Sunday, August 26, 2012

Forty Day and Forty Nights

2012 08 25
Voula, Greece about 10 miles out of Zea Marina, Athens

Look just above the furling drum
you can see the shear in the foil.

A couple of days ago I restarted our little Garmin 76 handheld GPS, the one we use to feed position information to our AIS receiver.  When it boots up it's default screen shows the distance to the last waypoint selected on the GPS.  In this case the waypoint was Bayfield, Ontario.  The straightline distance from where we were then to where we live was just a hair under 4,900 nautical miles.  

At our average boatspeed underway of about 5 knots more or less this means we are 40 days and 40 nights of nonstop sailing away from home.  In the biblical use the term stands in for "a long time".  In nautical terms it means we are far far from the comforts of home. 

Closing on Athens where our broken furling will be replaced by the very pleasant and attentive Eleni Kafetzidaki at Kafetzidaki Rigging and Sails, there is a bit of euphoria onboard.

Today we removed the foresail from the furling.  It is the first day since the damage occurred that the wind has blown less than 25 knots.  At 0900 there was no wind and we took this as confirmation there would be none.  Luckily it turned out we were right.  

As we expected the sail did not just come down.  The foil had been torqued from base to masthead when it sheared near the base and nothing would run up or down the foils without persuasion.  The foils did not permit the sail to slide out of the luff grooves not did the twisted metal even permit the halyard swivel to fall along its length.  

It required destructive intervention by me on deck and artful dodging by Connie at the masthead to persuade first the sail and then the halyard swivel to descend the forestay to the deck.  Connie always goes up the mast (either I pull her up or she pulleds me) and sorted out the problems in short order.  

We are very lucky to have friends to pass on good advice, and even luckier to have friends who knew Greece so intimitely as to recommend a good repair facility.  We are happy with Kafetzidaki and we have not even met them.

With the furler replaced, which should take a day, we sail south, rounding the Peloponnese westward thence north along the Ionian coast of Greece.  Hopefully we will see some of the Ionian islands, maybe as far north as Corfu.  Sailing friends on Life Part 2 were there earlier in the month and gave a thumbs up.  

Then we cross the Ionian Sea east to west making for Italy and Sicily and our winter home of  Marina di Ragusa.  Air tickets are booked for departure October 15, returning April 15 or so. 

It will be good to get home.  This has been an active and very full summer, one heck of a ride so far.

We still have a month available and we are looking for action, just time limited action please.   

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