Our Oyster 56′, an ocean cruising yacht did us proud while crossing the Atlantic Ocean. We might have bent a stanchion, ripped a sail and damaged a few other cosmetic things but overall the yacht was wonderful (and fast)!
Atlantic crossing day 15 – We broke 200 miles in 24 hours.
Only four more days to go! Woo woo. I woke with an unblocked ear. Unfortunately, as soon as I lifted my body up it blocked again. That aside I felt like I could move about without getting sick. The Scopamine patch must be having a positive effect.
At 5:30 am Sienna was in the cockpit watching a movie with Simon. Simon was on watch. Normally Sienna is not up that early – every few days we’ve had to put our clocks back. St Lucia is 5 hours behind the time it is in Gran Canaria (Note: later we discovered it was only 4 hours behind).
It’s been fun trying to determine when to change our clocks
We’ve based our decision on when it gets dark and boy does it get dark quickly. The sunsets and before you know it the sky is pitch black. Apparently dusk doesn’t last long when you’re close to the equator.
That aside let me tell you about our disaster of the day.
Thankfully it wasn’t something that happened to our ocean cruising yacht but it could have been. We attempted to get the gennaker up despite the fact that the last furling went unwell.
As we made a human chain to guide the sail up the lower furling unit (attached to the sail) came loose, went flying out of our hands and the wind took it out to sea. Imagine a sail attached to the top of the mast but nothing holding it to the boat.
What’s worse is that at the bottom loose end there was a big metal furling unit – essentially a large heavy metal box. The unattached slightly furled sail became a wrecking ball as it flew back and forth around and in front of the bow.
I yelled out for everyone to protect himself or herself.
After a few flights, Kenny grabbed the rope trailing from the sail only to have it pull right back out of his hands. Like an angry monster, the sail was twisting and fling its heaviest point all over. Eventually, a dangling rope was retrieved and tied to the boat.
Within seconds the sail dropped into the sea and went under the boat.
Then came a ‘bing, rip, rip, rip, rip, woosh’
The sail ripped apart and was lodged under the forward part of the boat. We secured as much sail as we could, furled in the genoa and turned the boat to relieve the pressure of the sail under the boat.
Within a few minutes, we retrieved everything. What a nightmare. Thankfully no one got hurt and the furling unit didn’t bang into (and hole) the boat. Or worse, take someone’s head off.
Murray escaped with the worst of the bruises.
So there goes our gennaker. I don’t want to know what the replacement cost of that one is…In fact, I don’t want to think about the gennaker or what could have happened right now. Aside from that entertainment, we were hit by one squall – lots of rain but no heavy winds.
Simon stood to watch while we all controlled the music in the cockpit for him.
To make him really suffer Kenny and Murray piped country music up for him. Simon, a non-lover of country music, was not impressed.
For lunch, Andrew used the last of the tuna in a tomato, garlic and peppers sauce. Lunch was followed by canned fruit and it tasted great. All but our potatoes and onions are gone regarding our fresh fruit/veg.
Everyone said I did a good job on the provisioning. We still have loads of food. And after the mishap for the day we still have a fully intact ocean cruising yacht,
Right now we’re flying along at 9 knots with the genoa and staysail out.
Eve is napping on the adjacent cockpit bench and most of the others are taking a nap. Perhaps I will start doing my night watches again tonight?!
It’s my turn for dinner so I pulled out cabbage and sausage stew. I’m actually getting tired of eating. I never thought I’d say that but I am. It might be from the heat – it’s getting hotter. We’re on the 50 degrees line west and 15 degrees north line so we’re almost due east of St Lucia.
I’m feeling much better now so life doesn’t seem so bleak.
I’m okay with still being at sea. I am a bit tired of the ceaseless rocking motion during sleep time and I’m annoyed that I can’t play with Sienna more. Otherwise, I’m okay. There are enough people around for entertainment and frankly, I actually do love to simply sit in the cockpit and watch the sea dance. I really love the feeling of being high on the crest of a swell looking back down the navy blue and white frothed slope and then gently easing into the valley. And then repeating over and over… Every so often we catch the swell at an angle and the boat slides over to its side quite harshly. I feel these swells are here to keep us awake!
What’s Next in our Ocean Passage sailing guide?
- In the next article, I explain how we created a design your own hat contest, I had a fright with the moon, and I start getting sentimental. Check out Sailing Over Atlantic.
- In the previous article, day 14 in our ocean passage, I was really ill but despite feeling terrible I still found ways to love the voyage. And our 5-year-old daughter. How was she doing? Read on – Ocean Passage.
- Click here for a general overview of our Atlantic Crossing