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A Bad day at the Office

Updated: Dec 23, 2019

We have had a busy 24 hours on board Phoenicia with a number of incidents happening. The first incident was caused due to a yacht over-taking and coming far too close in the early hours of the evening, causing us to change course and nearly back the sail. In the end the yacht passed ahead of us by 0.3 miles and given the thousands of square miles of ocean, one might have thought they could have kept to the rules of road and avoided us. We suspect they were on auto pilot and not keeping a good lookout.


The wind was quite fresh and overnight we had partially reefed the sail up using the 8 brailing lines. Unfortunately, one of the lines chaffed on the main starboard stay. By morning the damage was all too clear to see, the stay was badly frayed. A little later, the stay suddenly gave way and a bemused Sheimaa gave out a characteristic “wow!” as the natural rope stay fell on the deck just in front of her. Whilst we had some concerns about the stay having given way, we were comforted by the fact that we had two parrals and another quarter stay rigged on the starboard side further aft, so plenty of support for the mast.

The next event to take place was starboard brace, that attaches to and controls the end of the yard, snapped leaving it hanging in thin air. Fortunately, the break occurred near deck level and Steinar was able to join the two pieces of thick hemp rope together and we were able to continue as if nothing had happened except there is now a large knot on the starboard brace that holds it together.


Finally, the knots that tie the halliard to the yard began to chafe at the mast itself causing a small amount of damage. So, with no time to lose we had all hands-on deck, the yard and sail down and retied the knots, added a new temporary stay for the one that had broken. We also made a small repair to an emerging hole in the sail. And within less than an hour we were on our way again.


The winds have now slowed somewhat and we recorded our first sub 100-mile day for a couple of weeks, making just under 80 miles over the last 24 hours. We have had several rain showers and some hammocks, bedding and crew members are feeling a bit damp but nevertheless the spirit on board remains good and positive.


Philip

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