We almost lost the rig last night.
It seems like these things always happen in the middle of the night. I had just laid down for a nap after my watch. I’m about to put my headphones in and I hear Willy say “Brian, Brian! We lost the backstay adjuster”.
I hopped out of the rack and ran up topside in my shirt and skivvies. Luckily, no rain. Just salt spray. The seal that holds hydraulic fluid into the cylinder – essential part of the equipment – had failed. Our backstay was flopping around like a wet noodle. This is the wire that connects the mast to the stern of the boat; critical for keeping the mast pointed up and not somewhere else.
Willy and I quickly devised a plan using some dyneema, a block and tackle and other assorted parts and pieces to keep the backstay where it should be. Later today, Chris used his climbing knowledge to form a more permanent solution.
I was really impressed with everyone’s cool heads and ability to solve problems under pressure. I feel like sailing is just a series of problems that require solving, along with some wind and sails. Compound that issue with minimal sleep, dead batteries and the inability to run the engine to charge them (charging up now with solar!) and last night could be considered a kick in the balls.
Sun is out now and we are slowly making our way to the South-South West. The water is so blue out here, it beautiful. No whales or dolphins yet though.
Getting a few mins of sleep before my watch…Capt Brian