From Nandor and Conrad today
We were really sad to hear the Renault is going to New Zealand and not even to the southern port Invercargill, but to Wellington. As far as we know, beside their renewable problems with the rudder they have some problems with the keel too. We are really sorry for Jörg and Sebastian, they’ve been sailing perfectly, just the way you expect good mini skippers to sail.
Good news in the night! We just couldn’t accept the fact that we are out of sugar, so we started to search the boat. Of course we didn’t find sugar, but I did find two jars of honey and two big gas tanks. Yaaaay, now we will have enough gas the entire course. May I never have bigger problems than having to drink coffee with honey!
I’m never going to be happy about stuff in the middle of the ocean, because it always hits back at me. I barely finished typing my previous sentence — I look up at the instruments as I always do from time to time while writing, to make sure everything goes all right —, and I see that the wind data is not correct. According to the instrument, we should have already gybed, the wind had turned so much. I jump out and see that everything is just the way it was before. Reality did not lie, we have a 20-23 kts reaching wind. So I look up and realize the top instrument is dangling around the top of the mast, hanging on its own cable. I woke C immediately, he’s slept enough anyways.
First, I suddenly put a wind indicator ribbon to the back of the boat on the URH antenna to see the directions. “If you pull me, I’ll go up there” - I said. Our speed is 15 - 18 knots, we are running on 5-6 m high waves, not very promising… C goes out, looks around and says: you pull me, and I’ll go up. He’s up there in five minutes and I let him down another five minutes later. He brings the instrument with him in two pieces. Before he detached it, all functions worked, but it was showing false data — so the cable must be in one piece. The lock and the beacon’s tube were parted — I was amazed how the two parts of the Rolls-Royce of sailing instruments was just glued on 10 millimetres and that’s it. The gluing just naturally slipped. At least it can be repaired. On the other hand, nothing, not even the manual tells me how to fix the parts together. At home, it’s 4 o’clock in the morning so I’m not going to call Peter, I rather pull Conrad up again to check where the cams are. There are certain leading cams on the plug, so that it goes in the right place. C goes up, takes a few pictures and comes down. Now I know the big cam has to be up. I clean the whole thing, polish it, and glue it together. Now we are waiting for it to harden and crossing our fingers so that it would work. Tomorrow would be even harder to fix it, the wind is going to increase.
By the evening the glue had hardened and I woke C to put it back up before it gets dark. He climbs the mast for the third time now, and reinforces it with four carbon laminas. Now all we have to decide is, what to do if it doesn’t work. As he put it in place I went back to the helm, as all instruments have to be turned off while we set it, even the pilot. When I turned the system back, everything appears on the display. I signaled him it’s all right, he was whooping up there on top of the mast. It hurts just imagining myself looking at that one ribbon in the dark, with a headlight… and sailing the whole circumnavigation according to that. Now the instrument is very well reinforced, it will be hard to get it off.
Our whole day was spent on fixing this, while we had not slowed the boat for even a minute. He climbed the mast three times, I pulled him up three times while the boat was doing 17 knots on the 4-metres waves. Only those can imagine what it’s like, who’s been there.
We could as well celebrate this, but as soon as we’re finished the wind turns, and we have to change the reacher for a gennaker. It’s still up, we progress well, though the wind has calmed to 16-18 knots. We’re going to have to gybe soon again, before tomorrow’s northerly increase arrives.
Now I’ll go have some dinner, and then C comes next.
At 14 10 UTC our position is: 47° 02,8' S, 126° 34' E.