Things are raw lately. I’m known to indulge in self-deprecation. I just can’t shake it. Even when I was leading the race in the 2018 SHTP I felt like a loser. These feelings are still here with me, compounded with what I feel is a lack of appreciable progress and unwelcome surprises.

Note: lots of embedded Youtube video in this post.


Yesterday we doublehanded Changabang. I had just delivered the finished (and very well done) brackets for the hydrogenerator to the guy who will install them on CaB’s sugar scoop. We left under full main and staysail, and then decided to give the gennaker and the internal ballast a try.

What the old mainsail looks like! Do you see the logo at the top? Probably not.

It was a good and wet exercise to rig the gennaker at the bow when sailing upwind in 18-22 kts. We pumped water into the starboard ballast, and off we went. We were blasting along at 10-13 kts, on a happy boat, and with a reef in the main now.

Powered up. Nice rooster tail!

As we were making good progress towards Hawai’i, it was time to furl up the gennaker, tack the boat (in the process forgot to handle the running backstays and the ballast (so had to tack twice to fix that)), and set course for home, blasting along.

Happy camper!

I was elated. It was really the first time that I could say that we powered up CaB as she was designed to be. Of course, it was confirmed in the process that the plumbing for the internal ballasts is leaking; nothing that is unmanageable but still, it’s more stuff for the list. I also found out that the foot cord of the gennaker was not functional (the foot was fluttering), as it had slipped/retreated into its pocket. This required some surgery today; I also applied a few sticky tape patches where the sail cloth was damaged.

Lastly, we experienced the problem with the halyard again. This time, since I had fixed the brake of the furler, we could easily keep the sail up. But this required yet another trip up the mast.

A view from under.

And downs

Besides the puzzle of figuring out the leaks on the internal ballast, I had concerns about a keel bolt. Considering the story with the keel, I looked at it again today. And I do think that there is a leak there as well. I’ve stuck my tiny dehumidifier in there and will check again tomorrow. But that would be one piece of sad sad news, both in terms of concerns, time and budget hits.


To be fair I don’t think there’s any reason to be concerned about failure here. In fact, I’m considering departing like that. I’ll monitor developments though. It’s nothing like Webb Chiles’ hull splitting in two, Chichester leaving with half his body not functional and a boat poorly designed, … There are many tales like this. It’s not an excuse to leave things unchecked though …

Other developments

Today, after I got myself out of the keel well/pity potty, I also finished the wiring for the solar panels. They would be my backup plan for electricity generation: 275 Watts total. I still need to build the wires to connect them to the Watt & Sea converters.

And here’s me happy doing good speed, and keeping an eye on a Pillar Point’s fishing fleet. Both the whales and them were fishing. Obstacle course!

Author: Skipper

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

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