05 July 2013
3:17pm. Ping. Silence. Peep.peep.peep.peep.peep.
Silence is not something you hear at sea. There is always the slosh of waves against the hull, the wind on the sails, the engine in the background, the creaking of the boat. Something is always making a noise somewhere, except perhaps when you just drift without any sails with the waves in a light wind …
We had just finished a late lunch in the cockpit and everyone was settling into their own activities inside the saloon. It took us all a few seconds to realise something had changed. WHY is it so quiet?? Joop was the first to ask the question. Is the sail still up? I looked through the window, and there was no sail.
We all ran outside, and there was the spinnaker drifting in the water, partly under the hull, dragging on the lines. Myself, Joop and Dirk started clearing the lines while Johannes attended to Lelei’s opinion on the situation inside the saloon. She was not impressed with the situation and we could all hear her loud and clear. Luckily within a few minutes we managed to get the sail onboard, with some blue stains from the antifoul of the hull. Joop realised that the spinnaker shackle on top of the mast had worn off and snapped. That happened after flying the spinnaker for the last 9 days 24/7, which meant a new shackle was needed on top of the mast. So the preparation started. Finding the correct shackle, correct tools, collecting extra shackles and extra tools to take with up the mast. Joop spent 45 minutes hanging onto the mast in a light breeze of 8kts with a speed over ground of 4.1kts. This was the minimum engine revs just to keep the boat aligned with the waves, to limit his acrobatics while he was enjoying the view from the top of the mast.
6:18pm. All peacefully enjoying the sunset in the cockpit under sail of the spinnaker at the end of another day.