Tricky sailing conditions and gear failures depress Nick's spirits on his Pacific crossing
It’s been a long time coming? I haven’t had much motivation since my last post. The weather tended light for several days, and then turned right on my nose – So I sailed close hauled for several days, and dealt with the corresponding change in swell direction and wind, as it swung back around to the north west. Rainy miserable weather prevailed, and Constellation and I beat upwind, and then beam-reached through a cross swell? And eventually made it out the other end into the tradewinds. I think I spent two full days lying in my bunk with my face in the pillow, whining to myself. The price of sailing above about 30degrees north is that one has to sail back through the variable/horse latitudes, and find the sometimes elusive stable winds and weather? Nevertheless, we’re here, and as I speak, Constellation is powering along with twin jibs set and a full mainsail up. During the nights so I can sleep, I reduce sail, but we still seem to be managing about 120nm days, depending on how eager I am to maintain decent sail area.
Several things have broken onboard, but none that could hold us still. The track for the port sheet has lifted, and water is coming in from the deck. Two of the newly bedded stanchion bases also appear to be leaking, and so I have towels all around the place trying to keep things dry. It’s annoying, but nothing much beyond that. Today, for the third time on this trip, the boom flew off the maintrack. It was a stupid design to begin with, but I guess one must remember the majority of this gear was not meant to be put under such stress loads, 24hrs a day, for weeks at a time? Poor Constellation, she was just meant to daysail around the Solent? Anyway, I permanently center bolted the maintrack, and then distributed the load to the boom through two blocks instead of one. I think now it is fixed for good? Not pretty, but fixed.
Otherwise there is little else to report. Tradewind sailing is? Incessant swell kicking the boat left and right, and the practice of balancing sail, windvane, and whisker poles (thanks Roya!) while maximising speed, and minimising stress on the boat, and on the living environment? There is nothing worse than flying along at 6.5kts and careening sideways down waves in the name of progress, while you try to sip your tea.
Thank you so much to everyone who has been sending me messages – They’ve been very amusing, and keep me going – I really appreciate it.
My track has been updated, and I sincerely hope it reflects my progress? I guestimate another 9 days of sailing, if I can maintain 120nm days?
Thanks Marty for getting this post up!