Last Day at Sea

31N, 78W

Getting through that cold front the last few days was not fun. 25-40 knots for 36 hours. At first it wasn’t too bad and I thought it wouldn’t last that long, so I ran off for a while. Then when it didn’t back off I had to head back up to a close reach. Jib needed to be rolled in, but the furling line broke – at night of course. I had two choices, either bear off and try to bring it down to put the staysail or storm jib up, or bear off a little, luff a little, and try to get by. I decided the risk of putting the sail in the water at night was too great (I bent a headstay doing this once), so I bore off a little, luffed a little, and got by. It took many more hours for things to calm down than I had anticipated, but the jib appears OK. It was actually the most stressful night of the trip, worrying about the jib and mainsail cars. There were a few times I was hanging in mid-air in the cabin, holding on to the rail as a 40 knot squall rolled by. Not my finest moments. Poseidon got his punches in for sure, with an assist from Yours Truly.

Public service announcement: make sure your furling line doesn’t break in 30 knots, at night. You can’t re-thread the drum while the sail is on, even after a half hour on the bow. Don’t ask me how I know.

So yesterday was characterized by calming but big (12-15’) and confused seas, and things were back to normal by afternoon. Thank goodness.

10 thoughts on “Last Day at Sea

  1. Goodonya, no screwups on last day! Have truly enjoyed your saga, tough nut you are. Was out in that Bermuda area as a 17 year old Swab (fresh out of hi school cadet) in 1953 on USCG Eagle when we were hit by hurricane. Dont go there! Terry Jackson

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  2. Safe harbor homecoming. I have followed your saga from the beginning. my hats off to you/Cynthia Brandreth

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  3. Great Adventure, thanks for sharing it with us all. I learned a lot. I got so cold thinking of you in Chile I bought a 12 volt electric blanket for RAD. Do not let your guard down on your last day at sea.

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  4. Sounds like a wonderful trip up so jealous I always wanted to do that. You’re a great sailor my friend so proud of you.

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  5. Thank you so much, Whitall, for sharing your adventures with all of us! Followed along, virtually, with you and Sparrow the whole way – please keep us posted on new adventures to come your way! All the best, ~ sailawaywithchelle

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