Our spirits were high as the swell became smaller on the morning of day 4, and we were able to fly the spinnaker. This was very satisfying for everyone and we sped along in good cheer. This same cheer was amplified by cheese and jam sandwiches at lunch time. The jam was finished, but Kyle was determined to have a PB&J, so a hangry teenager spent a good few minutes scraping a jam tin.
We took the spinnaker down and poled out the genoa. During this process we discovered that the pole up had snapped, so we needed to use an alternative halyard.
Kerryn cooked up some mince, tomato sauce and mashed potatoes for supper which was satisfying for all, especially after tinned fruit and Ultra-Mel.
After supper, the skippers were reading in their cabin while the crew sat in the cockpit during the 20h00-22h00 watch to chill, singing and teasing Wendy a bit. At about 21h30, Ewan and Kyle went to the main to put in a reef, and discovered that the roller furler had come completely loose from the chain plate, and was whipping about in the wind which was gusting up to 30 knots. If the wind had not been behind us, we would’ve been de-masted, as our forestay was no longer attached.
The boys essentially flew back and called us all into action. Rory, Wendy, Ewan and initially Kyle battled the flapping genoa like a wild beast. First, they were purely trying to get it under control to reattach the forestay by means of halyards to stabilize the mast. We also had to depower the boat, so the rest of the time was spent trying to get the genoa off.
We battled like this until 02h00, the other crew worked hard pulling strings, trying to start the motor, or steering in large swells and keeping the wind behind us. At this point it was obvious that we could no longer keep on our course to St Helena, so we set a waypoint to Lüderitz in Namibia- to make repairs.
The next 35 hours were spent motoring to Lüderitz, with swells crashing into our side, and wetting anyone who dared to be in the cockpit. The shifts were messed up due to our bit of drama, Joshua managed to sleep for the entire of Sunday. That night, Kyle fed us tasty pasta with beef goulash.
We’ve arrived in Lüderitz, and are planning to wait out strong wind, and make repairs and plans for the near future. We have met with several yacht repair experts, with two of the four problems already solved. As we wait out the weather we hope to solve the remaining problems and then be on our way.
Unfortunately we are not able to continue with the race, but our adventure is not over. We’re all staying positive and will keep everyone informed.
Tonight we are celebrating new years on the boat, and Tyla will be playing the ukulele after mac and cheese.
Happy new year to all!