Drama on the high-seas!
From the skipper…
“With one loud ping the trip ambiance changed. The pin holding the forestay to the boat hull either sheared or came out. The forestay was broken. a boat forestay serves two main functions – holds up the mast and is where the front sail is attached. Both relatively important. wind was blowing high teens, we were beating so the mast was being pushed to the aft of the boat – lots of tension on the forestay.
Scrambled on deck – immediately if not sooner starting tying halyards to deck cleats to keep the mast from breaking. Genoa was flying like a flag to starboard side still on the forestay which attached only at the top of the mast. Whole crew rallied to pull the sail in without having it fill with water and pulling the boat with it. Using a couple of old shackles reattached the forestay minus the roller furler which was destroyed never to be found. Forestay was non functional but not banging around. top boat speed was maybe four knots – no more eight knots. After a quick round of beers – crew looked at methods to improve boat performance.
Took the main storm sail (is designed to be used when winds exceed 40 to 45 in place of the main sail – in four years of boat ownership we had never used – was brand new). Crew rigged the storm sail as a foresail using the spinnaker topping lift and the spinnaker foreguy for lines. looks weird as the storm sail has a big orange spot in the middle since it’s purpose is high wind conditions but….boat performance improved. We can do five to six knots on a beat and a beat we are on. The successful re-rig was followed by a round of ports and back to shifts – only 1200 miles to go.”
For all of us left behind it will be a LONG 1200 miles. But our confidence in this fine crew out-weighs this “minor” setback!”