13 June 2022

Day 10 — Shake down cruise

You always hear the phrase 'shake down cruise'. I think I know why.

Most, of our serious problems have been caused by things getting vigorously shaken, or vibrated, or banged around by the wind or the motion of the boat, until they open up. So a shake down cruise let's you find out (the hard way!) exactly what is going to shake loose during a long hard sail.

Yesterday we discovered two more problems caused by this phenomenon, both of them utterly surprising to me. First, and worst, we discovered that the screw-in plug on deck which we open to fill our water tanks had shaken loose and been washed out of the deck fill pipe by one of the many waves running down our deck during the storm. This allowed sea water to fill one tank, and before we realized what had happened, we'd contaminated another tank by filling it from the first one. Not good.

Luckily the cap didn't go far, so we were able to retrieve it and screw it back in place. But who would have thought such a thing could happen? Not me! This is what you call learning things the hard way.

Luckily we have 4 separate water tanks and we have plenty of water left, if we are careful, but it was still quite the shock.

The other thing that shook loose, again almost unbelievably, was the bowline that secured our first reef line around the boom. I discovered this last night when we tried to pull a reef down in the main. All I did was pull the reef line into the boom, where it is no use to us. I will have to re-run it on the next calm day. Meanwhile, we have the second reef tied in, which we needed eventually anyway.

This despite our best efforts to walk around the deck and keep an eye on things. We have to expand our list of things to inspect to include things that can't possibly go wrong, because apparently anything can go wrong on a shakedown cruise!


  1. Love to have news from you and imagine all details from this lovely trip, best wishes, Marina

  2. You know John, your commentary thus far and your pre-sailing description of the work on the boat, so makes me want to become a sailor on the ocean blue!! ...Not. But, I'm enjoying hearing about the trials, tribulations and successes of the intrepid Petronella crew as I sit comfortably at home. Gary

  3. My heart shakes with Petronella! May Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes guide you!


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