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Day 19 - A rolling hitch saves the day!

Saturday 13th November

Another day in sailing Paradise!! ....Such a beautiful day!... Wind slowly dying down from the 20 knots or so we had around tea-time yesterday afternoon to 15 knots overnight and to just 11-12 knots by lunchtime today, mostly NE - the NE Trades (except we're now on the edge of them). With full canvas, including stays'l, we were making around 5-6 knots but by soon after sunset, only 4-5 knots, with wind backed a bit & down to 10-11 kt. Stays'l furled away since on more of a broad reach. No more surfing at the 7-8 knots of earlier and yesterday - the seas have also lain down. In fact, everything is becoming very smooth and very calm.

I went to pull in the mainsheet this afternoon and somehow the line over-rode on the winch....& not just a little bit - this was major! I'd had my eyes on the sail, to see how far I was sheeting it in and didn't notice that anything was wrong until I'd finished.... so the winch had about about eight turns tightly tangled up over each other around the drum.... The only way I could undo the tangle, since the line from winch to jammer was bar taut, was to use another line (I soon discovered it had to be a much finer one) to tie a rolling hitch near the jammer onto the mainsheet and then use another winch to take the load on that line to release the load on the tangled mess, giving myself a bit more mainsheet in the process, to help sort things out. Amazing how such a simple knot can be so important to know about - I'd never have got the line untangled any other way, short of cutting.

I found two tiny squid on deck this morning. I'd found another, a couple of days ago, but so far no flying fish... LATER: Just found two more squid which had been overlooked - calamari rings tonight, for sure!

Because I was up anyway from before sunrise this morning, I did the rounds of the several morning radio Nets I'd been told about.... all of them, just to see what they were about! The Chubasco Net was the busiest - but not with many boaters - mainly land-based people who clearly did this regularly. (All Nets tend to have a 'core' of users who know each other well.) But it did put me in contact with another boater from B.C., whom I'd been told to keep an ear out for, as being down somewhere in the Baja (Mexico). Steve, John and Meredith, on the 'Silas Crosby', are slowly heading S, to spend the southern winter in Chile. We might manage to stay in contact for a bit, but possibly not for long, with distance between us increasing rapidly. Interestingly, I also made contact with Bill, VE7WSM, on 40m, despite our distance apart, for which 20m would be expected to work best - but time of day also makes a big difference.

We're now 725 ml W of the southern tip of the Baja and Cabo San Lucas, at 23N, 123W. The moon is bright, in between a few clouds, and we're coasting gently along - no prizes for speed or 24 hr distance today, but it's very relaxed and pleasant! (We had a good 24hr run yesterday - 146 n.ml, close to the 147 n.ml. of the day before.) I thought about poling out the genoa again, but the wind angle is just not quite right. So long as we're roughly headed S, that's fine. Don Anderson was on the Southbound Net tonight, as usual, and made the comment that, being a 'La Nina' year, the ITCZ isn't something to worry about - that's good news!

I'm off to fry my calamari rings as a starter.....

Written by : Mike

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