Could the Aussie cricket team have saved the day?
25 June 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
08 55.038 S
140 05.994 W
Weather; sunny then overcast and raining, wind N/A, waves N/A
A day of frustration for sure! Gerry started the day by checking the staysail and came to the conclusion that we could get by without doing anything to it, thank goodness. He furled it away by himself whilst I busied myself mixing a batch of fruit loaf dough and the putting it in the cockpit to proof. The next little job was one we hadn't anticipated, for some reason known only unto Gerry he decided to check the windlass as it has been a while since we used it. Good job he did really as one of the foot buttons that operates it (when he's not using the remote control) was stuck. A bit of loving care and attention and a shit load of grease and the thing was back in working order once more. Meanwhile I made a fish pie for tonight's dinner in case you think I was just idling about the place!. Of course this was only the morning, the main sail was in need of a couple of repair jobs and we needed to run a new topping lift line so Gerry waited until the middle of the day before he wanted to attempt running the topping lift line (mad dogs and Englishmen stuff), this is of course a 2 person job and I was not happy. Out came the bosun's chair, the headsets, the winchrite and a very long line to which Gerry attached a piece of small gauge line and a length of chain to help with the weighting of the line and hopefully make it drop down through the mast easily. The bitter end was tied off to the end of the boom, all that need to happen now was for Gerry to climb / be hoisted up the mast, the line dropped down through the mast and for me to fish it out through the small exit plate on the side of the mast with a bent fid, all in the heat of the day! Gerry got himself into the bosun's chair and attached the main halyard to the chair as a safety line and he began to climb, hanging on to the end of the new topping lift, with me winding him upwards using the winchrite. Eventually he reached the top and I made my way to the mast to attempt to fish the line out when it dropped down. I kid you not the hole that it was to come through on the side of the mast was at arm's stretch height above my head and I was on tip toe to reach it, add to this the fact that there was a bit of a breeze which was causing some swell to rock the boat so I had to keep hold of something stable with one hand whilst trying to fish in a small hole above my head with the other hand. Gerry was convinced he had threaded enough line down through the mast for me to be able to fish for but as we know, we aren't the greatest of fishermen! I tried and tried to find the line with no success and Gerry at the top of the mast in the midday sun was getting crosser by the minute as the bosun's chair was giving him a high pitched, squeaky voice. After many attempts and shortening tempers on both ends of the headsets Gerry asked to be let back down to the deck and he would see if he could fish the line out. Back to the cockpit for me and I let him back to the deck. Then it was on for old and young at the mast - could I even see the line? Not a chance, it was way above my line of sight, could I feel anything? Yes 2 lines neither of which were the right ones, "get me a flash light" not that it helped at all even he couldn't see anything with his height advantage. Ok, on to the next plan, “get the drill', he would drill the exit cover plate rivets out to give us a bigger hole to peer into. I stood a short way off as he drilled the rivets out, the plate didn't move, it was stuck to the mast, "pass me the screwdriver" which I did. So with me standing somewhere between silly point and 1st slip (come on Aussie come on , come on!) he jammed the screwdriver under the plate and it promptly pinged off, "catch it" came the cry but unfortunately no one had told me that I needed my baggy green cap and wicket keeper gloves and there was no one standing at 2nd slip as the plate sailed through the air, at a record breaking speed worthy of recording in the Guinness book of records, and dropped into the water - lost forever to Davey Jones locker. To make things even worse there was still no sighting of the elusive line. By now Gerry had had enough and thought he would just pull the line that he had threaded down the mast back out, yeh right. He pulled it out so far and then it wouldn't budge any further no matter what we tried, in the end I said that we needed to cleat off the line as much as possible and give it a rest until tomorrow and start over in the cool of the morning with clear heads and better tempers. Was it time to retire to the cockpit and get smashed? Oh no, there was the main problems to deal with, between us we dropped the main to the deck, only dropping the pin that holds the sliders in place to the deck where it was retrievable thank goodness, but the webbing on one of the sliders gave way totally and was going to need replacing. So we now had the main draped over the starboard side of the deck, out came the sail sewing kit and I made myself scarce whilst Gerry set up to replace the slider webbing, he found another one that was looking a bit worn through so made a decent job of replacing that one as well. I sniped off the frayed bits and pieces and checked the condition of the rest of the sail - it isn't looking too bad and will certainly get us home with no issue. The top batten pocket was the real reason for taking the sail down to check as Gerry had noticed that the stitching had come away and the pocket was coming loose. He found the offending pocket and began stitching a very crude seam to hold it in place, realizing the difficulty I had the other day when I fixed the sacrificial on the jib. Anyway he had one side done and was about to start on the other side when it began to spit with rain and we couldn't ignore the fact that the entire hills surrounding the harbour were completely covered in cloud, we were in for a good downpour. The sewing kit was hastily packed away and we retired to the cockpit in time for me to bake my fruit loaves, one of which was then taken over to Jonathon's boat as a thank you for the loan of the fuel pump. Back in the cockpit we had a couple of adult beverages whilst I baked the fish pie I had made as well as a batch of chocolate and cherry brownies. By the time we ate dinner the rain had stopped, the moon was coming up and the harbour was looking peaceful , making a mockery of our somewhat fraught day of fixing stuff. We just hope things go better tomorrow.