Pointing North

My last post may have sounded like in a way I didn’t care. I do. This sequence of events was not the preferred path, but for some reason I’m resigned, or more specifically looking ahead. I’m uncertain of what will happen next. Tom, Randall and Skip, to the extent possible, are helping with the search for a replacement boom, or a repair, for which I’m very grateful. Then there’s of course the sail home, which is no walk in the park! Finding employment again? Refit Changabang for another start? Train more? Try again? I’m comforted by all the positive comments from everyone. I’m glad too I was able to give you all some excitement! So let’s restate the goal of what started 17 days ago: go South, through the doldrums, hit your first southeasterlies squall, then come back home. That would be some serious shakedown cruise! I will say that in the end, although too late, one competent person did tell me that I should slap a fiberglass sleeve on the boom (which we were considering), and carry on. French. And I agree it would likely work, but should it fail then it would likely do so in the worst place, where recovery of the damage at sea would be hard, where shipping would be very expensive, and other red tape might make delivery a concern. This is not even considering that some countries are closed due to covid-19. There was more than “will the repair hold?” that went into the decision to stay in the Northern hemisphere. Right now, I’m nurturing the boom, probably a little too much, and we’re slogging along. In fact, I motored for an hour or so today. Yesterday, I fixed the 2:1 fractional spinnaker/code O halyard, and had some good learning with the small code 0. Today I played a little with the gennaker. We had to manage a couple squalls with winds hitting 20+ kts on the nose, which all lead to good reefing practice. As night fell we were left with a few knots of wind on the nose, so we’re back to slowly motoring at 3.5 kts. There’s no sound insulation around the engine “room”, which means it’s really loud inside, making sleep impossible for me. Life aboard is just the same as it always was: sleep, wake up finding the boat or sails need attention, prepare food, dispense water, respond to messages, take a nap, adjust the sails, look around for squalls, write a blog post, check emails, use the outdoor “fasealities”, check the weather forecast and ponder where to go, change sail, try something new, take a picture, eat a snack bar, drink, listen to music, fill in the log book, get hit by a squall, brush my teeth, go down to try to sleep, wake up, check boat status, close eyes, drift, wake up, check boat status, adjust sails, try another position in the bunk, what time is it?, drift into a strange dream with a raccoon encounter, wake up, check boat status, is that sunlight? And another day starts. The picture is from yesterday.

Author: Skipper

Wannabe circumnavigator. http://pjsails.com/a-skipper-looking-for-adventure/

4 thoughts on “Pointing North”

  1. Philippe – best of luck on your way home. Thank you for your inspiration.
    On your boom crack, consider drilling a stop hole at each end of the crack to ease the stress and hopefully prevent growth. Standard practice on aircraft. Use a 1/8″ bit, just beyond the visible end of the crack. May help you nurse it home.

  2. How long is Changabangs boom? I can keep an eye out for a replacement, too…but a riveted patch with a weld underneath might work. Welded aluminum isn’t the best solution but if it’s done really well, it’s not bad.

  3. Why not stop in Hawaii to regroup? Might be a good opportunity to repair some items and rest up a little. After all, it’s going to be winter soon in the part of the Pacific that you’ll be sailing through, which could mean that the window will be open for strong storms to drop down from the Gulf of Alaska. Shouldn’t be any need to quarantine for Covid-19 because you’ve been solo for so long.

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