Out in to the Carribean!!
11 April 2009 | Carribean, North of Panama
Amy/Sunny, breezy, 90's
We were pulling out the break wall around 6:30 a.m., cloudy, but clearing skies. We weren't anticipating the large choppy waves as we departed the breakwall area, but had we thought it through in advance, we would of realized it. As the large rollers come in the much shallower waters, they create a slushing back & forth & much choppiness to them. We dealt with this for about 30 minutes until we got into 150' plus depth of water. Then it was more rolly than choppy. Although still not what we're used to. With very little wind, and mostly on the nose the entire trip from ES to Panama last year, it was very gently & comfortable. This was not. We also noticed the much deeper color of the water, a cobalt or midnight blue, versus the aquamarine of the Pacific. At about 8, we raised the main & put up the smaller gib sail & were cruising along at 5+ knts. Not bad, okay, wind was out of the north- ne. We would prefer a more easterly. At about 5:45 p.m., while I was on watch, Jim was sleeping, we hear a loud crash, like something fell in the wheelhouse or cockpit. Jim awakes & we look around, not until I look up when I'm standing on the port cockpit do I see our boom has released off to the port side. Jim quickly starts to lash it back down, and as he's doing so, our headsail gets caught on the lower port spreader & all the sudden we hear, zzzzzziiiiiiiip! It splits in 2! Not long after that, while Jim is still taking care of the boom & sail, the auto pilot quits working. We motor, hand steering the entire night, doing only 3-3.5 knots. This is NOT getting me home quickly to my family!