08 June 2022

Day 6 - A Bit Lively

The wind is still blowing like stink, as my Uncle Marty used to say. That makes the waves stand up a bit higher, and things got pretty lively last night. So lively that I actually got sea sick, something that rarely happens to me. Actually, I blame the chicken sandwich I ate just before the seas got the better of my stomach. Ah well. The cruising life.

Today I had to make a trip out to the end of our bowsprit to sort out a tangled jib furling line. Helena was not too pleased about this short walk, but it had to be done. Safely, of course.

To make it safer we pointed the boat further down wind so the main blanketed the jib a bit, and let the jib out to take the pressure off the furling line. This allowed me to furl the jib, which powered us down and made the trip to the bowsprit fairly easy. Once up there, I was able to fix the problem quickly. Sadly, I'd caused it myself by adjusting the lead to the furling drum. Adjusted it too high, as it turns out. Probably not the smartest move just before leaving for this kind of trip. Anyway, it's better now.

I haven't had much of an appetite today, but dry saltines and Gatorade taste great. I'm feeling fine, but no appetite. Reminds me of my voyage on the Blue Moon which turned out to be great for my diet! Time to study some French…


This afternoon I took a reef in the mizzen. Petronella has two masts with sails, the big main sail in the middle of the boat, and the smaller mizzen sail near the back. Taking a reef means making the sail smaller. You can take more than one reef, making the sail smaller and smaller.

So now we have two reefs in the main and one in the mizzen. I had to reef the mizzen to so our steering vane (which we call Wanda) could steer the proper course. Steering vanes are fantastic, but they require you to balance and trim the sails properly for the course you want to steer. In fact, steering vanes don't really steer, they merely make small adjustments. The sails really steer the boat. This is hard to grasp unless you have used a wind vane self steering system like our Aries for awhile.

I wanted to change course because I didn't want to cross the Gulf Stream with high winds. The course change will let us stay north of the Stream until better weather appears. Sure wish I'd crossed it right after leaving, but we didn't have the wind for that.

I also took the reef because we are gradually getting ready for a front to blow through on Friday. The weather will gradually deteriorate, so I'm getting ahead of that, making changes while it's still easy to do. 10 years ago, I would have waited until the last minute (or later!), but 10 years ago I wasn't so wise ;-)

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