Day 21: Sail review

Big seas, big wind, small appetite – again. Under staysail only, again. Hunted down by another squall, again…darkness now means OK bring it on we’re ready…and if we have to go down to the storm jib (looks like a sail stolen off a windsurfer!) then we will take it there. But rather not.

Saw a sail on the horizon today but no contact. Later talked briefly to TA-B catamaran. VHF range seems to be under 5nm in these conditions.Tonight’s squalls seem mainly about rain but it’s only 0100hrs so we will see.

After over 4,000 miles we thought we would review our sails:

Mainsail, big, powerful & fully battened. Great down Portugese Coast but far too scary for us in the Atlantic winds to set, reef or control Genoa, great sail, battened, foam luff, let down by the reefing system. Sets OK at 30 knots but forces so high something’s going to break. Pleased to wind it away.

Cruising Chute: The nice man said this is all you need for the ARC. Of course being called an A4 that sounds too familiar and comfortable to our office dwelling ears. In fact choices are all photocopy paper related A3, A4, A5. Far too heavy, far too powerful and the idea of socking it and tying it to the rail when a squall comes is a non-starter. Bit of a lemon for a short-handed crew & conditions in ARC 2013.

Staysail, pre-owned and unwanted we gave it a new home. Best decision ever made. Reduced load on rig, very settled in 30-45kn, hanked on, can’t unfurl, low risk & saved us mountains of stress. Invest in small sails as this is where the dangers lie. Our top sail on this ARC.

Storm jib; nice man said hopefully you will never use it; we have been this close to deployment and we are pleased to have it onboard as our last resort. A top sail on this ARC just by being here.

Vital sadistics:

415nm to Vegas, hold on we’re coming…

Galley: Scrambled egg on muffin, Chinese Chicken Curry w. Noodles, Chocolate Soup (mousse but impossible to keep in the bowl to whisk).

F&V overboard: 2 onions, a bag of red green peppers that pulped themselves to 50% juice. You can see why fish are not vegetarian.


Day 21: Sail review — 2 Comments

  1. Hi there – enjoying reading the blog and had very similar experiences – we loved our staysail. I was crewing on Sadie, a Sadler 34 and we were (I think) the sail you saw. We were looking out for you as we knew from the ARC logs that you were close. I gave you a shout but as you say – VHF was rubbish. Day 25. Hope all's well Jez Rowles

  2. Hi Jez what a shame we couldn't speak out there! Congratulations on the crossing, it was a toughie this year we are told. We will read Sadie's blog, thanks for the link. We hope you have enjoyed the Caribbean and didn't rush home as soon as you got here.
    Edited to add ok so you had a day in Antigua!

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