We are signed up for the 2024 Pacific Cup race to Hawaii. In preparation, I wanted to get some offshore double-handing under our belt, to know what it feels like. Last weekend we left Saturday morning and came back Sunday afternoon after spending a little over 200 miles at sea. It was good work. We sailed a bit away from the Coast and then sailed downwind. During that leg we changed the spinnaker 3 times, trying a douse by releasing the tack line first, and one by releasing the sheet first instead. I think we concluded that easing the sheet is best, with a bit of tack line off too. Then, with the water ballast full, we came back upwind towards the coast until the sun came down and proceeded to sail due West for the whole night. When the sun came back up we turned back towards HMB, sailing with the A1.5 spinnaker, then the gennaker. Finally, I chose to motor-sail the last 5 miles or so as the wind came down.
I didn’t get seasick, which was a positive surprise. I think with Alex we each found our space. There are few things to sort inside the boat for a longer stay at sea, but generally speaking, I think I was pleasantly surprised. The one thing that bothered me the next day or so was that I think that we need to be a little more respectful of safety guidelines, and in particular tethering to the boat at night.
Of course, things broke:
- The spinnaker halyard chafe cover came undone, which could have required a trip aloft. I’m lucky that wasn’t required. This was fixed underway. Although that halyard has seen better days!
- A bolt on the starboard tiller broke. That still needs fixing.
- The jib halyard is showing chafe in an unexpected place, which will require investigation.
We used the hydrogenerators to charge the batteries to full twice, which was good. Food-wise, it was the usual JetBoil & freeze-dried combo. I was well hydrated the first day but not so much the second day. I need to continue to drink through the night. Sunday morning we were greeted by dolphins who swam along Changabang for a while.
I was a little sore the next day, which, considering how much work we did compared to our usual sails outings, was not bad at all!
As a separate update on the maintenance front, I’ve been replacing Dyneema control lines for the jib cars, the lashings on the inner headstay blocks, and some of the safety lashings on the backstay blocks. The running rigging, after baking in the sun for the better part of 6 years, has seen better days!
All right, that’s all for now. Just a bunch of random thoughts collected into a blog post.