Wed&Thurs 5th&6thSept, days 4&5 to Bali: Finally...nice sailing!!

Wed5thSept07

We'd been sailing by the lee most of the night - more or less on a run but not enough to stop mains'l from trying to back regularly in the swell, despite preventer & being as far for'd as it'll go. I'd been trying to ignore it but finally just had to get up to take it over to port side where it would behave better. Was dark (~5am) but some moonlight, so all fine a little later and I sat out in the cockpit stargazing, waiting to see what effect that had on our speed - genoa was poled out on port
side & I was hoping to leave it until daylight .... but, no - it needed to be changed over as well, naturally ... 6.10am Still dark but hint of light in the east... I furled genoa, lowered pole, & then tried to goosewing the genoa (without pole) ...but it kept collapsing around inner & main forestay (threatening a 'wrap'!).... no good, so needed to raise pole on starb'd side ... we're now rolling around in a biggish NE swell ... I left genoa out while got I pole over, past inner forestay & connected
up lines (sounds so simple when you say it fast!) - genoa still out, flapping & jerking sheets. Then went to furl it in .... furling line went bar taut almost immediately..... found the line had got itself in a twist around forestay under drum.... So now, furling line had to be brought for'd to undo mess & then led back again (genoa still jerking/flapping etc!) before I could finally furl in genoa, attach sheet to pole, raise/position pole & unfurl genoa ....!!
But it's now 7am (just before sunrise!) & I've acquired several bruises & bashed a few ribs falling onto the lifelines while manoevring pole (painful!)... Oh well, could be worse...! At least Nereida's sailing more happily. Wind now 10-11 knots. Time to check in with 'Sheila' Net on 8161kHz in Australia.

11am Wed - wind dropped to 6-7 kn - motoring... grrr!!

Later: Predictably, wind DID get back into SE - by early afternoon, in fact, so had to change pole back again... but after that made excellent speed under sail alone - beautiful afternoon's sail - so peaceful & gentle - uncomforable swell lay down completely. Think it had found gap between end of Timor & next island to W but then we passed that channel. Sat in cockpit and read in shade of sails. All very pleasant & a nice change....
Was helped along by a 1.5kn fair current - pity this didn't all happen sooner or I'd have got in to Benoa by Friday easily. As it is, I'm most probably now going to have to slow down for daylight arrival on Sat morning!! (Made excellent 7.0-8.0 SOG for a time, but kept varying..)
Passing 45mls to S of Sumba island, then we'll be passing S of Sumbawa, then Lombok & finally Bali...

Thurs6thSept

5pm Had a good night's sleep - no AIS alarm going off & I think I'm far enough away from land not to be bothered by locals - certainly seen none until half an hour ago when I noticed a small white boat heading other way on N horizon as I sipped my tea.
Another very pleasant sailing day ... until now, when started motor. Batteries down a bit anyway and wind died down to ~5-6kn from astern, boatspeed 2-3kn. Hopefully wind will pick up again soon - shan't stay under motor for too long since I'm well ahead on getting to Benoa by first light Sat - just need average of 5.5kn or less to arrive early morning. Been getting SE swell again - on port quarter, so knocks us about a bit sometimes.
Played around with preventer today - occurred to me that I have unused clutches on each side which I could make use of with a length of line to block on quarter, hence to winch, with shackle at other end of (shortish) line, ready to take remaining section of preventer which leads to bow cleat & then aft to boom (as previously). Measured & re-measured umpteen times before cutting off length of line from spinnaker downhaul which was WAY too long - provides just enough line for both sides now - have
some whipping to do before I use it. Good to have spare blocks & shackles on board to make such projects feasible! We'll see how it works out... will continue with it tomorrow.
Reading Lisa Clayton's book about her singlehanded non-stop antipodal voyage around - interesting reading - she had a lot of people helping & supporting her.
6.45pm Sitting in cockpit with tea, reading & waiting for sunset....sky completely clear.. green flash?? 4knots SE wind - hope it picks up again soon.....

24hr distance run to midday Wednesday was 125 n.ml. & Thursday was 141 n.ml. Distance to go (Thursday midday) to Benoa Hbr entrance is 233 n.ml.

Written by : Mike

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