Seapunks Report 05.04.2018

03 May 2018
Seapunks Report 05.04.2018
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Seapunks Report 05.04.2018

To continue where I have left off…

The sunset was mind opening, we were cheerful and cautious, as the wind and swell picked up. The moon was hiding behind some clouds and then it hid behind sails. The only way for us to see other boats is visually spot their navigation lights.

With plenty of hot and sweet tea, I settled into my watch at the helm.

Let me derail this story to give you a better grasp on situation thats about to unfold. Sail setup we had was “Port Tack with Beam Reach”. In layman’s terms, wind coming from left-front side of the boat and tips of our sails pointing to the right-back side of our boat. So the wind skims through our sails as if it was an airplane wing, giving the boat an effect that is named in aviation as “lift”. The lift is counterbalanced by our keel under water, which cuts through water and allows us to choose direction while not allowing the boat to be pushed sideways through water (all of this is conceptual, PM me with criticisms 😉 ).

There are 2 sails on this boat. Front sail is called Head sail, rear sail is called a Main sail and it’s fixed to a horizontal boom.

So, setting sails and then directing the boat is a very delicate balancing act, which gives you bragging rights at parties and allows you to cut the line at DMV… hey, it doesnt hurt to daydream. 🙂

There are your usual beach waves and there are ocean waves. Ocean waves are called swells, they are more like hills that keep rolling and they get bigger as winds pick up. When swells hit shallow waters, you see surfers riding them.

Back to the story…

So, it was my watch, Captain and First Mate were below, resting and getting warm. As a swell came in from behind/left of the sailboat I have surfed down it without realizing that the boat has been sent on a trajectory, I have failed to correct direction of boat in time and that resulted in boom with main sail to swing to opposite side of the boat, pushed by gusts of wind.

As the boom swang around, it ripped one of the lines we used to secure boom in place and ripped out a cast brass part that we later found laying on one of the decks. It was a traveller car that allows you to control boom position, therefore, it allows you to change direction of your main sail – our main source of propulsion. That main sail and the boom were now swinging around and waiting to wreck something.

How to resolve an emergency?

I urgently called both Stanislav and Roman Partizzan to get on deck. We steered into wind to relieve sails of all pressure, brought down the main sail, we then re-secured the boom and decided that we can and should tie this heavy boom to strong points on deck and restore our course. Stas was just running around being super quick. Roman was calm and listened for instructions. Overall, a bit toxic of a situation to manage without formal training, yet everything was addressed properly and we have made adjustments to rigging

Once it was all set and done, boom was inspected for cracks, stress marks, etc. Its intact and only kne part has failed – it’s the traveller car.

Within half an hour, we were sailing on same course with identical sail setup. After changing my wet inner layers, I went to sleep. Hoping for the best and wishing Stas an easy watch.

Rigging and parts fail. It’s same with your bike and car. However, the design of this boat is just so fundamentally thorough and solid. Left me feeling safe as I got down below, put on some dry clothes and went to sleep for 3 hours.

Ahead were 12 hours of sailing and they were just as mysteriously challenging.

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