Day 24, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 15JUN22, Day 24, Ascension Island to Grenada. A solid progress day, direct to Grenada, with a devastating loss of a favorite sail. The Strawberry Supermoon was impressive last night, lighting our way and keeping us company.

Current Position: 11 36N / 057 29W
24 hour progress: 138nm, 5.75kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 2993nm, approximately 252nm to Grenada. We destroyed our asymmetric spinnaker and have been sailing deep downwind with the poled out genoa, 3 reefs in the main and a nice current assist.

The day started off with sunny weather and a few storm clouds. We whisked along nicely with the red, white and blue asymmetric chute flying and enjoyed a quick 33333 celebration as the boat odometer rolled over this milestone. The first cell hit us after the 24 hour log entry was made and suddenly pummeled us with 30+kt winds and 25+kts of apparent wind (wind over the deck and through the sail). We tried to head straight downwind and let out the sheet for the chute, but she ripped in two and shredded. It was a very sad (and likely expensive) moment. At that point we weren't paying much attention to the anemometer anymore, so we don't know what the peak gust registered.

The boys were quick to the cockpit and we all set to work in the freshly pouring rain to secure the sail. Thankfully the luff (the leading edge of the sail that holds the torsion line that goes from the bow to the top of the mast) remained intact. This allowed us to furl in the sail. It was a mess, but it all eventually wrapped in to a coil and we were able to get the full sail back on deck and secured. The sail will likely be repairable, but it will need some time with a good sail loft / sailmaker which should be possible in Trinidad. We aren't sure if we ripped panels or just seams. At any rate it will need new edging and possibly some new panels. It was a sad, sad moment. Spinnakers are made of light weight fabric and if you sail them enough, eventually one will tear (or dramatically disintegrate) and you have a very sad day.

Apparently this was all a sign that the weather was no longer stable enough for the asymmetric anyway and we needed to be on the poled out genoa. This is slower, of course, but very safe and stable in gusting winds.

The rest of the day was filled with sun and occasional storm clouds. The storms cells didn't have any lightning, but they did have a lot of energy. Packing 35-40kt winds for 10-20min as they rolled over us, often with a good shower. Definitely not weather for us and an asymmetric. The rest of the time the winds were largely steady around 20kts, and so they remain.

There was a lot of disappointment throughout the boat as we all knew that we needed to make around a 5.5kt avg to arrive in Grenada Friday morning. The boat goal has been to try to make Friday in time to check in and have a celebratory meal out. Of course, arriving Friday night or Saturday morning would also be totally fine, but we like goals and working together towards them. Being on the genoa in <20kt winds made a 5.5kt avg unlikely and we all knew it. However, we have all been pleasantly surprised that we have beat this target with the help of a good current in our favor! Help from the current has largely eluded us this trip. So while the weather forecast suggested we should have favorable current, we weren't counting on it, as it has very rarely been helpful for us this passage.

In a good news story for the day, Jon worked on the inverter again as the laptop was nearly out of power. He found the problem! Ok, he found *a* problem, it may or may not be *the* (only) problem as these aren't exactly simple systems. After more switch flipping was unsuccessful, off went the box covers and out came the multimeter and then the networking tools. It seems that one of the male terminals on the Ethernet cable connecting the inverter with its remote control panel was not seating securely in the socket on the inverter card and slight movements/vibrations of the cable were resulting in all kinds of random signals. (Who expects that there will be movement and vibrations on a rocking and rolling boat???)

The sea has remained green in color and so far no fish for us. The line is back in as we continue downwind, rolling from side to side. One more fish meal would be nice, but we can figure out two more dinner meals or even three (or more), if need be without going too deep in the cans. Almost there.

No comments:

Post a Comment