Tuesday 15 March 2016
Left Ponce Marina with all p/ps working with new float switches, missing overboard discharge temp into cockpit and working ok. 104.6 to Destn.
Noon Position 17°54.56' N 066°36.23' W. 103.5nm to Destn speed 5.1 knts, wind East 10-15 knts, achieved 600 nm through the water at 0000hrs. Very good sailing conditions, not too much wind and not a big swell. Boat going great, but more than normal amount of water coming in.
Wednesday 16th Noon Posn. 18°04.52' N 065°31.83' W. 652.0 nm through the water 450 nm over the ground towards Destn. Yesterday and today it became obvious that a serious amount of extra water was coming into the boat, hadn't really noticed that before because of the bilge problems that made me stop in Ponce. At Ponce the boat was normal with no extra at all. P/p repositioning is a success but much to much water coming in. did an investigation and found ALL deck level mast chocks had fallen out and mast not supported at deck level ! They had obviously fallen out with all the pounding I was getting in the bad winds and seas. This was causing the frames on both sides of the mast to flex, and now the caulking had worked loose between the frames, again on both sides. You can not fix that underway or even heaved too. So again looked for a safe haven to stop and fix, I was now tacking along the coast of the next island east called Isla Vieques having left Puerto Rico behind. I found a promising bay called Esperanza and decided to check it out, took me an hour or so to get there, dropped sail and motored in. I very slowly edged my way into the anchourage and saw a boat that looked very familiar, as I got closer I could tell it was Susie's Boat 'Spirited Lady' ! She spotted me and got very excited and jumped in the dingy with her new crew member. To say hello, then very kindly they both helped me to a mooring. What a lovely surprise though, what are the chances of going or stopping somewhere you hadn't planed on, I mean I was sailing past and had no intention of stopping, then meeting up with a friend you didn't think you would see again? Well its either fate that's written down in the stars, or as I believe, the only way is to be a traveller yourself, if you stay in one place you only meet the people that pass your way.
So Posn. Today is 18°05.51' N 065°28.42' W on a mooring ball in Esperanza, Isla Vieques, Puerto Rico, still with 36.8 Nm to go to Destn. ! Didn't want to unship the dingy, so Susie and Moty invited me ashore for drinky poos at the many beach bars in her dingy, of course had to celebrate a bit didn't I..........
Thursday 17th March 2016 @ Esperanza, St Patrick's day.
Well I got up 0500hrs and got stuck in right away, lifted the floors and located all 11 mast wedges in various places around the bilges, and left them in the cockpit to dry out a bit, then all the rig was undone running and standing, with boom in its crutch. This allows me to move the mast to get the wedges back in, a beautiful dawn arrived at 0630hrs it will be a nice day today.
Susie promised to come and help with the wedges, as it will take more than one person to achieve, She duly arrived and after approx an hour all wedges were in place and the standing rig hardened up. I then finished off by locking all the bottle screws again, and putting all the halyards back. I made lunch then I just had to have a kip.
Decided to temp repair the seams tomorrow, and as Susie had an electrical problem I went over to help find it, found one part, but still need to find the next bit, it got dark so we went ashore for a local restaurant fish meal, back early and straight to bed zonked out.
Friday 18th March, @ Eaperanza,
Got up a 0500hrs again, and have written this blog post first, have to go ashore and post it today some time.................