Day 92, Year 6 Passage to St. Helena, Day 7-Half Way
Date: Monday, January 24, 2011, 1530 UTC
Weather: Overcast, Sun Trying to Shine Through; Winds SSE 10-20
Latitude: 26 32.515 S
Longitude: 005 06.723 E
Miles Traveled: 941.18
Miles to Go: 883
Location: Passage from South Africa to St. Helena

I like it when the top number (miles traveled) is bigger than the bottom one (miles to go). We hit the half way point just about noon today. But I fear the last half is going to take longer than the first half as the winds are lighter now and we are no longer traveling over 150 miles a day. But sometime early next week we should arrive in St. Helena.

We are both struggling with this downwind sailing in seas that are starting to calm but are certainly still rolling us from side to side. The winds are lighter so we don’t go as fast and that adds to the problem. Last night was no fun at all. First, I couldn’t get to sleep because I felt like I was being thrown out of the sea berth every time we rolled. Of course, I wasn’t, because we have the lee cloth to hold us in, but try telling your brain this when you’re body is suddenly jerked one way and then another. Then just when I did get to sleep, I was jolted out of the bed` when I heard a big bang and Mark’s call for help. It was another unintentional jibe and another piece of equipment broken. The attachment that holds the boom vang to the boom broke, so now we have to depend entirely on the Jyb-Easy to help unintentional jibes to be not quite so violent. It would be better not to have unintentional jibes in the first place, but when you are sailing with the wind directly behind you and you get sudden wind shifts, it is an easy thing to happen. What happened last night was that we found ourselves in heavier winds with a sudden change in wind direction. That happened again this morning when I was on watch, but the wind direction change put up on a beam reach instead of back winding our main sail, so that was easy to deal with. We sailed wing ‘n wing all day today, but just now we jibed over (intentionally) so both sails are out to windward and it is a MUCH smoother ride. We going off course, but we’ll just have to jibe back over later in the night. And the totally overcast sky just parted to let some sunshine through, so maybe this will be a calm night. We could both use the sleep.

I did a laundry today and Mark worked on rebuilding the watermaker. We both spent the last hour trying to reinstall the motor which was no easy fete. Imagine trying to work under your kitchen sink, but shrink the size by half. Then in addition to your normal water filters, add all of the filters and pump for a watermaker and a compressor motor for your freezer. You would be working in tight quarters. And then make sure your whole house is rocking from side to side while you work. Not easy. We were both so exhausted once the motor was back in place that we will have to wait until tomorrow to see if it works.

The sailing conditions right this minute are just perfect, so I’m hoping they will stay this way all night and through the next few days. Probably won’t happen but I can always wish.

Day 93, Year 6 Passage to St. Helena, Day 8-Great Sailing
Day 91, Year 6 Passage to St. Helena, Day 6-Fair Winds