Time Bandit

Whiling away Covid lockdowns cruising slowly towards South Africa for November ‘21.

26 November 2021 | V&A Marina Cape Town
13 November 2021
05 November 2021
28 October 2021
23 October 2021
17 October 2021
27 September 2021
18 September 2021
09 September 2021 | Peely Wally Pins Oot For A Walk.
24 August 2021
14 August 2021
02 August 2021
26 July 2021 | Covid safe, full body condom by Gucci
17 July 2021
09 July 2021 | Celebrating our permission to stay
03 July 2021 | Can’t get between a girl and her GS1200
26 June 2021
26 June 2021

Pressing On

28 October 2021
"See when we get to Cape Town, I think we'll get new running rigging. I mean, it's six years old now".

So said the ancient mariner last night.

This morning, after a furious day and night thrashing down the Mozzie Channel - setting a new speed record of 21.5 knots, more furious toe tugging dragged me out of much needed sleep.

“The wind's died. We need more sail". Now, that's not something I hear everyday, so I jumped out of bed, well, actually, more like levered and groaned my way to the vertical. Gravity can be a real bugger some times. These night watches aren't as easy as they used to be.

We then set to getting the big code 0 asymmetric out it's bag, tack attached to furler, head to halyard - with a plop and another curse, as the stainless bush in the head fitting headed for a new, more restful life at three thousand metres, then hoist the whole shebang twenty metres up the mast.

Sheets twisted. Drop the whole shebang. Untwist. Re-hoist.

Unfurl. Sheet in - and off we go.

"BANG". WTF was that!

The braided outer cover of the tack line, one of the running rigging parts I'd thought I'd replace in sunny Cape Town let go. We now had seventy five square metres of sail, pulling hard, held only by a thread of dyneema core. Yikes! A quick bear off to ease the load, furl it in and bring the whole shebang back down.

The great news was that replacing the tack line involved balancing precariously on the A shaped sprit poking out from cross beam at the bows, one mangy piece of equally old eight millimetre line stopping me from chasing after the stainless bush.

Hacking and pulling soon replaced the broken line, I climb back on board and guess what, the wind's piped up and gone ahead and it's now too much and too tight for the Code 0.

Undo the furler. Undo the halyard. Shove it all back in the bag. Lash bag to deck and on it goes....

The good news is that the wind is, unusually, favourable for a direct run to Richard's Bay. Apart from lost sleep, this is good news. We also avoid illegally anchoring off and seeing absolutely anything of Mozambique, especially the bits in the north where the crazies are out on the loose with their Kalashnikovs, although I believe their activities have been suppressed by professionals running around with Kalashnikovs. Further south where it's safer, at least from the crazies, we avoid the perils of crossing sand banks and spending nights anchored off open road stead's, rocking' and a-rollin' to find shelter. According to the scuttlebut, we'll also be saved hassle from the local authorities trying to augment their meagre incomes by fleecing passing cruisers.

And so, in true Time Bandit form, we press on. Our plan of breaking the trip with two or three stops of only three or four day passages of four hundred miles or so in between, is now lying in tatters along our wake as it shapes up for a one-hit, twelve hundred mile bash. And it's all against the weather clock, so it's sails up, sails down, in, out. Tweak , tweak, tweak. That and Michael and Prescilla on Hylite are behind us doing the same.

It whiles away the days. However, as officer Murtagh said, “I'm too old for this s#%t.”
Comments
Vessel Name: Time Bandit
Vessel Make/Model: Outremer 51
Hailing Port: Largs, Scotland
Crew: Anne and Stuart Letton
About: ex dinghy and keelboat racers now tooled up with a super sleek cat and still cruising around aimlessly, destination Nirvana...
Extra: May’21. Now in Seychelles, either ‘till October when we head for South Africa or maybe we do an early side trip to Tanzania. Who knows.
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/timebandit/profile
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