Hello to all! I imagine most of you are getting ready for Christmas or Chanukah if it has not already been celebrated. Whatever your holiday season might be I wish you a joyous one! I am now in Sydney and working to get this happy blog updated. In between boat duties it is a bit hard.
So the adventure continues as we leave Rio.As the weather forecast for race start was 10 to 15 knots, we begin to get sails up and ready to go. As we rounded the corner, we had a rude awakening as the winds began to build and continue to do so through the start of the race. All hands were quickly getting Yankee 1 down and putting Yankee 2 up (a smaller sail). In all the craziness, we were also trying to get the branding banners down and put away. If you look closely at the picture above you can see them on the front of Da Nang’s boat.
Winds built to 25-30 knots and we started 3rd across the start line. All was well and we began to reef pretty soon. Lines were zipping around and soon reef 3 line snapped. As we looked up we also saw that 2 of the upper battens (long fiberglass pieces that help sail hold shape) had also broken. Immediately main came down.
At this time I am sent down to do the log in the navigation station. Not a good thing as it was as good as getting to be the cook in bad weather.While trying to put in the information needed in the log, the Green Monster came to visit. Panicky as I knew I would not make it to the head (bathroom?) in time, salvation dropped from above and a big Ziploc bag that had within it another Ziploc bag with bread mix in it bounced into the nav station. YIPEE!! I quickly opened the Ziploc and pulled the bread mix Ziploc out and satisfied the Green Monster. Once done, I stuffed said Ziploc in pocket and carried on with my duty. (Thank you blog reader for informing me the use of Ziploc bags on board!)
Moving out of the navy station, I found Justin using the bilge pump quite frantically and so began taking the buckets of water he was filling up to be tossed into the raging sea. As we got that under control we opened the engine room door and were met with a rush of water. We had a massive leak somewhere. Nick came quickly and he and Justin used bowls to scoop up the water and I had two buckets filling and passing to Annie and then to John and then up and out to the sea. This went on for about 45 minutes and luckily the water got under control as Annie, John, Nick and I all went down with the Green Monster. The next couple of days, Justin and Elaine were the last ones standing as most of the crew and our Skipper Diane all went down at different times.We sailed with no main up for the next 24 hours or so as Skipper Diane got better and could show the crew that were not sick how to fix it enough so the main could go back up. Great crew, very interesting how they rigged things, changed out the battens and got everything back up and going.
As the leg continued, I got to do Mother Watch with Alex (youngest RTHWorlder). Neither of us were cooks so it was quite interesting. It was great fun though as Alex got into making the pasta dinner and adding special ingredients. He had learned from Hal during Leg 1 to time things so he figured out a schedule for us to follow. I made two loaves of bread and put in the oven to cook. Did not think about bread growing, so when it did and I pulled it out, the top parted company as I should have dropped shelf down. Oh well, who would have known. All right, all of you that do cook would have known. You have to imagine this little oven that took 2 hours to even cook the bread. But, it was devoured for breakfast the next morning.
I had a chance to do lots of helming during this leg and really enjoyed it thanks to Mike and Nigel. Got to work the happy grinder, trim the kite and even help a little on the bow.Please note that more layers of clothing have been added. I was up to 3 layers plus shorts and underwear. The most exciting thing about that is going to the head (restroom, bathroom, toilet, loo, whatever you want to call it) at a 45 degree angle and then trying to get all layers back in place. Very embarrassing when you start moving on boat and something doesn’t feel quite right. So, you go down and discover one of the layers was missed in the pull up maneuver. Does make life interesting. And after days of the same tack we finally gybed and were on another tack. All was great except the angle of my bunk. Lucky we can pull a cord and change it to match the boat heel.
OK, this one is off to the press so that you can be entertained!