Mike seems to have had most of the excitement during his morning watches over the past couple of days. Yesterday it was a show put on by dolphins… and today …. well, just read on.
It took a bit longer for the wind to fill in than we expected. My (Hope’s) watch from 4:00 – 8:00 this morning was frustrating because the wind picked up ever so slowly. About half-way through I tried cutting the engine and rolling out the genoa but the waves just knocked the little wind that there was out of it so I had my morning exercise furling again. However, by the end of my watch, it was definitely time to start sailing. Mike agreed that the best sail for the conditions was the asymmetric spinnaker so we set it up then woke the captain to approve of the plan and assist. All was well and Mike had a lovely time, enjoying good boat speed in bright sunny weather ….. until near the end of his watch, when he shouted down to us, “HALYARD BROKEN!!” Howard and I jumped up on deck, grabbing lifejackets as we went, to assist with pulling the spinnaker out of the water and back onboard while the autohelm continued to keep us on course and the mainsail kept us moving at a reasonable pace. Once onboard, it was clear the halyard had chaffed through, probably caused by the wave action. We didn’t have trouble hauling it onboard but getting it back into the sock was another story. The next time we fly it (using the second spinnaker halyard) will be in very calm conditions as there is a very good chance the lines in the sock or the spinnaker itself will have twisted. Now the wind is picking up some more to over 15 knots so we are making good boat speed with mainsail and genoa, 7+ knots, a beautiful broad reach. Howard had a short trip up the mast (just about 10 ft) afterwards to pull the remaining halyard out of the mast and thus prevent it from fouling other halyards, particularly the main halyard.

Other news …. Benjy is continuing to maintain the house systems, running the water-maker, trying to remove corrosion from control panels for the aft head so we can use the macerator pump to empty our holding tank while at sea. Mike and I joined forces in the galley last night and cooked pork tenderloin with apple sauce in the pressure cooker accompanied by garlic-rosemary baby red potatoes and corn – yum. We are living well