Day 3: Swim call
After successfully dodging the fishing fleet yesterday afternoon, we ended the evening by catching a line in our prop. How, you ask? We had been trailing a line along the side of the boat all day to prevent gooseneck barnacles from attaching to the waterline (the jury’s still out on how well it worked). With sunset approaching we powered up the engine and turned into the wind to reef the mainsail – we use the engine to hold us steady when needed, which is a big help in lumpy seas. It took only a matter of one turn and one blast of power for the line, about which we had completely forgotten over the course of the day, to wrap around the prop, tight as a drum, and the engine to die. It took only a split second for both of us to realize our stupid oversight. We didn’t have time to tackle the problem before dark so this morning we got to practice “heaving to” – this is a technique whereby you turn into the wind and counterbalance the mainsail and a headsail to put the boat in a state of no (or almost no) forward motion. It is very useful for riding out a big storm or, in this case, doing repairs requiring a slow speed. Wags went over the side in 13,000 ft of water and spent over an hour under the boat being dragged at 1.5 kts in 6-foot rolly seas working with a sharp knife to separate the newfound relationship between prop and line. It was a success – all fingers are accounted for and we learned a valuable lesson. Now, let’s hope for a less eventful Day 4.
Current location: Lat 03 10.33S Long 097 50.16W
Distance traveled: 154 NM