30 August 2017
On the way to Palmerston
Leaving Mopelia, it didn’t seem to have quite the same scare factor as we shot at about 9knots. We were then subject to humpback whales breeching just outside the pass. An amazing display and it marked the start of our “whale watching” tour. Enroute we had one of those middle in the night incidences. Nothing bad ever happens in calm seas, daylight and light winds. As we were reefing for the usual nightly barrage of squalls, we were hit by a 30k gust and heard that horrible “bang”. We quickly realized the head stay was broken and we could no longer furl the genoa. We donned our tethers and went out in the wind and the dark to try to mitigate any further damage. We were able to secure the head stay with 2 extra halyards we have and wrapped what we could of the rest of the sail. We managed to sail for another day or so with just the main and kept an okay speed but the wind dropped and we motored the last day and a half to Palmerston. But luck had left us and as we approached the anchorage, we were unable to change gears. With a little Trini Mechanics AKA hammer, it finally loosened up enough to change gear to pick up the mooring. Luckily for us there was a mooring available so we were quick to pick it up. We were greeted by one of the local hosts, Edward, and he was quick to offer any assistance he could. For the meanwhile, we were safe and secure and would deal to the head stay another day. We put the problems aside for a while to enjoy the uniqueness of this island in the middle of nowhere. One of the absolute joys was the whales that sidled along behind and between the boats. They were amazingly close and put on grand displays as they rose out of the water and dove again. An absolutely daily delightful occurrence. We considered the $110 to check in the cheapest whale watching tour ever.