A busy couple of nights...
13 November 2018
We had a good run with the pink spinnaker away from Gran Canaria and, along with a few of the faster monohulls, were first to pick up the stronger breeze between the islands.
As the sunset we decided to switch to our new downwind running sail which furls on a cable and is both more stable than a spinnaker so needs less attention from the crew and is also easier to handle if we need to take it down at night. It turns out it's also a bit faster when heading straight downwind.
We had our first cooked meal on board, pasta with sun dried tomatoes and pine kernels, washed down with a can of bitter shandy, the went into our watch system for the night. We had agreed to have 2 people on watch at all times for the first night whilst there were lots of other boats around, in 4 hour sessions.
The wind dropped at night, but unfortunately at 0200 we were raised by Mike to say there was an issue. It turned out that the downwind sail had dropped as well. We were unsure what had happened. All the crew donned life jackets and clipped on, Lucy and Mike then wrestled the sail down onto the foredeck. It's a new design of sail but it's turned out the the thimble at the top of the cable was too small meaning the the lashing was chafing against the swivel which attaches to the halliard. The lashings has broken and the sail hadn't torn but had slid down the cable. 90 minutes later at 0330 we'd effected a temporary repair, replaced the lashings, rehoisted the sail and the off watch crew returned to bed. In the morning we dropped the sail and made a more permanent fix with antichafe protective tape which we carry for just such a situation.
Last night was similarly eventful, with the same sail up we got hit by a squall and torrential rain at midnight. All hands on deck again to furl and drop the sail and get a complete soaking. We sailed the rest of the night with reefed mainsail and jib; slow but no further trips on deck needed.
This morning we are back in sunshine and have the runner hoisted again. Crew feeling much happier than last night after bacon and eggs for breakfast plus Lucy's freshly home baked bread.