July 4 Part 2

From the Deck Of Prospector 1600z 04 July 2015

Duct Tape

They say if it moves and it shouldn’t – use duct tape. Well I am happy to report, the duct tape has been deployed to another critical item that Henry and I broke last night. The night before as you recall we teamed up to demo the critical A6 kite as we hit warp speed pressing as hard as we could. Just five minutes before the kite disintegrated in spectacular fashion as we screamed along deep into the 20 knot boat speed range, we remarked knowingly to each other “this is the right sail”. Five minutes later as we frantically tried to devise a method to get it down, with the bow wake back by the cockpit and as high as the spreaders, Henry remarked “this is nuts”. Indeed.

Larry has remarked how hard we have been pressing in the big breeze. For us 30 knots of windspeed is the new 15. 20 feels like light air. We continue to do so. Foot hard on the accelerator. However, safety is critical and we do need to arrive in one piece. Last night we even took two reefs to keep the boat under control. Even with that, as the waves and the wind continued to build last night we found ourselves surfing along on our 60 foot surfboard occasionally on the edge of control.

While I was driving fast down a wave, another huge wave came aboard completely uninvited and swept Henry into our carbon wheel which gave way with a loud crack! I was swept off my feet but hung onto the wheel. Henry ended up upside down on the driving platform while I grabbed the leeward wheel before we crashed.

Our resident MacGyver's in Tery, Quinn and Lew puzzled over the repairs talking knowingly about stresses and load factors for carbon. Plans were hatched to take the wheel off and grind it out and repair with fiberglass. Formulas debated. But after deep consultation as we ripped along in the dark, it was deemed that wrapping the cracked part with duct tape and our special “super secret” tape (aka duct tape) would do the repair nicely and indeed it has.  Henry and I are here all week so I suspect the duct tape will be back.

At one point last night as we surfed down the 500th bonsai pipeline wave, I swear I saw the tube of a breaking wave over Tery’s head. It’s daunting in the dark but fun.

Henry and I have been on best behavior all morning as we bounced between thunder squalls in “typical mid ocean weather” whatever that means as I have never been out here before.  As I finish up, the boys are back at it in our customary 30 knots of wind.

Finally a note on Larry’s skills as a navigator. There are a lot of fast boats and talented crews out here and no amount of fast sailing would put us in the place we are now unless the navigator did an absolute amazing job. And Larry has. We have a long way to go but there isn’t a navigator I would rather have.

Actually one last thing, we smell like goats and that’s an insult to goats. Collette has taken up mushroom farming in the soaking, steaming environment below. It could be worse, it could be raining. Actually, it is.

Back to the mayhem.