Sunday, July 22, 2007




ok so i went on to watch 2100 mellow seas mellow winds. around 2200 we spotted a boat on the horizon, all the lights were too bright to make out any nav. lights, so we watched it, from the moment we saw it Bill tried to hail it on the radio, they never came up. as they got closer we were able to see they were going to cross from left to right, fine. then they turned toward us, this made me very uncomfortable. i sent someone down to retrieve the million candle light, or what ever it is, we shined the light right on the sail. the boat turned away from us, at this point the boat was closer then 1/4 of a mile. at this point Caroline spots another light on the horizon, so we figured they might be under tow, but that for some reason did not work in my head. so we continue to sail along trying to stay as high on our course as possible. once again the ship turns toward us, made way, then got on to a parallel course to us, but he was way way too close, due to the chute we could not change course to drastically

so i got the crew on deck, i was at the wheel Christin and bill went up to the foredeck to take down the spin, Donna, Caroline and Nancy, were on the spin gear. Nancy was doing a good job of giving me a play by play of what was going on with the ship. since we had jibed the pole earlier in the day, we were now on the wrong jibe to bring the sox down. Bill and i had gone up on to the deck before sunset to figure out a way to work around that fact in case of an emergency, its a good thing we did. we figured that if we put the pole forward then walked the sox sheets to the bow, passed them between the toping lift and the spin, in front of the forestay it would be all good. that's what they did. it would have worked out well except for the fact that i had to steer on a reach in order to stay away from the ship. once the sheets were blown the boat rounded down, the bottom of the kite was in the water, for some reason the sox was not coming down, i sent Caroline up to help, at some point the sheet got caught on the boom, there was no way to get it lose, that alone was really bad! i had Donna cut the line, what ever was the hold up on deck got cleared up, and the sox came down.

the crew would really like me to emphasize just how much the rig was under strain, having the chute out like that with no control of it made the rig really shake and shutter, the line that got caught around the boom was really detrimental, creating a hell of a lot of force in the wrong direction, given enough time it would have broken the boom then got caught around the stanchions and at some point probable taken the hole rig down. but that did not happen,

during this ordeal we were still keeping an eye on the ship. at some point he turned away from us, then promptly put his engines in reverse and back his ship towards us, then went forward, turned and headed toward us again. one of the crew members saw a small boat get to the large ship, we think that was what the light on horizon was. what ever.

all said and done, we got back on the other tack passed behind the ship, i had Christin then Caroline try to get the ship's name off the stern, no luck it was all in Chinese or something, when we passed by we got a good look at the other side of the ship, we think they were hauling net up. what ever they were doing, they were not supposed to be doing it. and they really went out of there way to scare us off. i could have done with out all of that.

we put the chute back up. the wind had gone down a lot, the 1.5 was too heavy now. i had Caroline and Christin bring up the light air chute, we put that one and it worked much better. i sent them to bed. i was still on watch now with Nancy, i asked Donna and Bill to stay on deck. we made some adjustments on the main and we are now sailing along at about 5.2 knots in very light wind.

i would like to make a note here, i spoke to the crew after this whole ordeal about being ready at any given moment to be called on deck in case of an emergency, for example if you wear gloves have them near by, that kind of crap. i asked the crew if they had knives it is always a good idea to have them on at all times. i got some attitude, from very little of the crew, one asked, oh are we to wear our gear to bed? well i have about 4 times so far on this race alone. and i have seen others do so as well. due to all of that it is just a little uncomfortable on board. but it should pass soon.

i got some rest, around 0600 i was woken up by Donna, there was a pretty ugly squall baring down on us. we thought to bring in the kite, but gave it a few minutes. it passed low of us still giving us stronger winds for a short bit. we messed with the main a little then i went back to bed.

i woke up this morning to clear skies, flat seas, and light wind. Bill got on the wheel Nancy was in the cock pit with me helping to center the main, i was taking in on the the main sheet while she tended the boom brake. once the main was centered i asked her to haul in on the boom brake really good, i had no idea just how buff Nancy really is. she hauled on that sucker so hard she busted the shackle holding it to the boom!! the boom brake hit the deck with a bang. that gave Bill a project for the morning. he had to find a shackle that was long but with a narrow shaft, no luck there. plan b, swap out a few shackles that were being used around the boat, to find two that could do the job of one, with a few other slight modifications done to the boom brake it self. Christin helped in that effort, in about an hour we were back in business. all said and done they raised the rest of the main, stuck it back out there, its all good.

for lunch we had mango pancakes, yummy. that's all i can think of for now. oh wait my big brother Phillip is heading out to sea tomorrow. i think some where in the Bearing Sea, going to the North Slope. so i love you Phill, have fun, be safe, watch out for the yellow snow. see you when i get back from work.

Capt. LG out

1 comment:

Doug said...

If you are using a spinnaker sock (I assume that is what you mean when you keep writing "sox"), then my advice would be to snuff the spinnaker into the sock before every jibe. That way when you are on the new jibe and launch the kite again the sock is correctly positioned to do a snuff in an emergency.

Kinda defeats the whole purpose of having a sock if you can't snuff the kite whenever you want/need to, right?