Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 1 Position Report

6/1/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
GMT 1600
15 39.82N 136 32.25W
COG 285T
SOG 7kt
DMG 168 nautical miles
DTG 1105 nautical miles
Wind: ENE 15-20 gusting higher, last night 30-35, higher gusts
Temp: 84 F (wind is cold, boat is closed no fans on, kids using blankets)
Pressure: 29.70
Sky: overcast, raining on and off, wind spray from seas constantly in the air.
Seas: confused 8-12 ft very uncomfortable
Sails: double reefed main, storm jib, no stays'l

Well, I was up all night again.  Sure wish we had known that we'd be dealing with this crap for 3 days we'd have planned for storm watches, as it is I that am up all night dealing with it.

When you spend this much time offshore on a boat you become almost in sync with the sounds and motion of the boat.  If there is ANY new sound you immediately look for what is causing it.  Usually it means something is broken somewhere.  The rattle in the boom meant a chafed through reefing line a couple of weeks ago for example.  Our boat is quiet offshore.  There are no rattles or shifting back and forth of cans or other stores.  If we hear something we investigate and restow the offending item.  Shifting cans or other things can prevent you from hearing a new, important noise and can also cause damage itself.  On our last delivery the owners decided we needed six 2 gallon water jugs as extra water even though the boat had lots of water stowage and a working watermaker.  They stowed those heavy water jugs under the salon table, wedging them in.  I asked specifically if they rode there ok in heavy seas and he assured me they did and had never been a problem.  All I can assume is that his idea of heavy seas and my own are not the same thing.  Sure enough when the boat was really rolling the water jugs slid back and forth on the floor and because they were cheap ace hardware jugs they also started leaking all over the floor.  It apparently wore through the varnish in a spot on the floor which we thought had been there before the trip.  It also soaked Emily and Benny's gear.  Again this illustrates and backs up my own belief that extra heavy jugs stowed around the boat is not a good idea.  And any stowed items need to be secured in a proper stowage area.

So last night I heard a new bumping on the deck and it turned out that during one 39 mph gust the snap shackle holding our primary preventer (we use two) on the main literally bent itself open so I called Beck up so she could be my spotter and light.  I put on my harness and tethered myself to the jackline.  The most dangerous part of going forward on WD in heavy wind and seas is the first part where you have to make your way around the dodger.  In this case I was going forward on the port side which is the low side right now.  It was pitch dark and the seas were over 12 feet and the wind was blowing spray right off the water into my face.  Once I was clipped into the jackline with one tether I clipped my secondary tether into the lazy running backstay which was just secured to the low side deck (the working running backstay is up in use on the starboard side).  Then I sort of crab walk / ass walked up the heeled over deck to the broken preventer.  I checked it to see what happened and then sent Becky below for the tools and parts I needed to fix it.  While I waited I just hung on and rode the deck like a bronco, occasionally a wave would wash over from the high side and I would just grit my teeth and hold on.  She came up with my tools and new shackles and I replaced the broken one, tightened up the preventer and then, since I was already up there and exposed, I had a close look at all of the standing and running rigging for damage or chafe.  It was all good so I crab walk / ass walked back into the cockpit.

We are really hoping for some sunshine today so we can dry everything out and get warmed up.  When ever we talk about landfall now we say, "Three more days!" And give each other the high five.  We figure in about four days it will be true but for now it makes us feel better.

Yesterday we had rice for breakfast, chili mac for lunch, and black bean and corn salsa over corn chips for supper.

Time for coffee.
Captain Tofer, Becky, EmilyAnne, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Benny

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