You should be glad you went home. As you can see we have returned to Panama
. If I could I would put my thumbs on the sailmaker's wind
pipe until he was blue in the face.
We were sailing along doing 6-8 knots close hauled when we noticed a squall approaching. Melanie went below to close hatches while I turned down wind
to cover the jib
, so I could furl it. I let out the main to blanket the jib
in 25 knots, and the head
of the sail sheared right off the headboard. The main down, and the headboard stuck up the mast
The headsail furled, the main down, and we continued on with staysail. The squall, storm, lasted a day at least. The waves came from every direction, and the wind had a mind of it's own too. We fought our way south with Galapagos
in mind with just the staysail, and motors. All the time a lee shore becoming closer, and closer sailing close hauled. The shore was a 100 miles off, but if it was to be a 3 day storm with wind direction, the angle of land, and if the weather
deteriorated we could be on the rocks.
worsened, but she did her watch. The sound of the waves was like being in a artillery practice ground, constant! A couple of times waves picked us up, and threw us sideways. Using fuel
with 600 miles to go, Mel is sick, & the health
of Imagine all concerned me.
I finally made the decision to run with it. We turned 180 degrees, and put the waves & wind on the quarter. Everything got quiet except a bit of wind howling. We started doing 8 knots with just the staysail, and no motors. There was the occassional bomb, but I could live with that. 3 hours later the wind turned again, and moved 100* forward. I tacked, and turned on the motors to sail away from land.
I wasn't going to turn around again, and become a yo-yo. Eventually it started to subside, and we turned for Panama
. Before it was over we ran over a telephone pole. It hit the bow, and bounced along the bottom. I think it hit the prop. I will have to dive down, and look this afternoon. I immediately looked in the engine
compartment for water
intrusion. I revved the motor
, and things seemed ok, but I then noticed a slight shimmy. That makes me think the prop is bent.
One thing I will have to type is that the F#*)+NG rudder
is still there. The grate to the door split, there's a large indentation on the bow, and the windows now leak like a waterfall. We'll lick our wounds, and set out in about a week. I offered Mel to fly home, and she refuses. My li'l brown love is one tough cookie.....
As soon as we dropped the hook I sent a reply to RTB's letter of WHAT'S UP? This is the short story, but I will fill in some details later, and post on SPOT. The wind was only 35-40 knots, but the seas were a mess. Just hours before a we hailed a freighter, and he advised weather
from the west 13-15 knots for days, and that is what we were sailing in. I was thinking I hit the goldmine of weather. We also downloaded the weekly report from Passage
Weather. They can be as bad as the local forecaster too I guess. We will next go with the percentages in the Pilot Chart.
When we sort out the main we will head
south, and round Punta Mala, the most western side of Panama right at 8*s. Then it's head west to about 135*, and turn for Hawaii
. The sailmaker
made the sail different from the old one against my request. He was suppose to duplicate the old, so all hardware
would be interchangable. I am beginning to think he didn't, because my old battens are gone, and new ones in thier place. We will pull down the torn main, and have a form plan by tomorrow evening. Even if I have to fabricate more battens.....Type with you soon.....i2f[/B]
To add to this a wee bit, and give the mono guys a hard laugh. When we were being tossed, and the bombs were exploding enough to crack the grate. I was considering an immediate trade
for a mono
. Unfortunately there was no immediate takers in the vicinity, so we will carry on with the cat.
I have gone under the boat, and it looks like it was just my inner fears about the prop. Everything looks fine, and feels good. The indentation from the log once I got in the water
. Is just paint
missing down to the outer glassed skin. I will call it a draw with the pole.
I think we have found someone to fix the main. Mel & I will fit the new battens to the old main, and see if they will work. I do have more battens, doorskins, and epoxy
if I need to rework them for size in length.
While taking down the main I found the same batten pocket had let go, and the batten was hanging out almost 2 feet. Same batten as before that was lost
Looks like we will miss you. Then again things may start going my way sometime soon