Day 14: Position 02*57N 124*54W
Day 15: 01*23N 125*58W
Exiting the ITCZ and nearing the Equator... few to no squalls now. Wind on the nose and 2 knots of current against us. Shameless as we are we turned the key and started the engine. And the next day there was absolutely NO WIND – none. Zilch. Zero. Nada, Nothing. Occasionally a burst of 2 knots coming from somewhere sent us running to the bow to raise the spinnaker... only to watch it flop and flail and snap... and so we lowered her – again. As we have been keeping track of all the boat in our small flotilla to French Polynesia, I recorded that many boats above the Equator were motor sailing – anywhere between 05.00N and below 02.00N to 123.00W and 129.00W.
We used this time to tighten the puckerstring on the headsail's leech – close to the head there was flutter we didn't like. We also checked all lines for chafe – found some bad areas. We cut chafed line off and used some sail tape for chafe guard... worse area on the sheet where we have been poling out the jib. And my new dinghy chaps have been rubbed clear through in one spot where we have her secured on the davits. We re-adjusted the dinghy and I will repair the chaps once we are at anchor.
In the evening Day 15 we got a beautiful SE breeze that filled the spinny full and sent us racing ahead quietly at 5 knots. It was so nice that we dared to spinny through the night... a choice we regretted 4 hours later. I was woken from my sleep by Carolyne who alerted me the captain needed help. I quickly donned my harness and ran on deck. Except for the tack and the clew, the spinnaker and douser were completely in the water and being dragged behind us. Jim and I heaved and hoed until it was back on board – no halyard was found. The only explanation is that the shackle broke, the halyard chafed through or that the shackle pin loosed. Getting that halyard back down is going to be a nightmare – as we are no longer flat calm.
Luckily we have the genoa – so furled her out and kept on going.
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