Current Location: 20 25.7N 66 17.8W
Distance from San Salvador: 507 NM.
Distance from Culebra: 142 NM
Local time: 11:28
Weather: Sunny, Wind 15ENE, Seas 8 feet
We were frustrated in our hunt for the weather buoy. We know it is there, because we can see the data it reports in our weather information, but in the waves, and diminishing light of dusk we couldn’t find it. From past experience we know that these buoys have a pretty small radar signature, and it was lost in the random returns from the waves. After a short search pattern, we surrendered to the increasing darkness. Oh well. Onward!
At 2AM (everything happens at 2AM!) Karen was on watch, and heard a loud noise, and quickly realized that something was wrong with the genoa, the largest of our sails on the front of the boat. It was no longer attached near the top of the mast. We quickly rolled it up so we were not left with a huge pile of canvas on deck. We do have a small extra jib we could use, unfortunately, the swivel that the sail attaches to was stuck at the top of the headstay. When the connection between the sail and the swivel breaks, the stretch and tension in the halyard snaps the swivel upward, when it reaches the limit of its travel, it gets stuck. Until we can get it down, we can’t put the spare sail up. In short, until we can get to a point I can climb the mast, we are without a usable jib on the front of the boat.
In a real emergency, we could get the original sail down, and hoist the spare as a non-furling sail. We decided against that for now.
Now an Amel Super Maramu without a genoa is not much of a sailboat. It is slow and cumbersome. In ocean waves it is also a pretty poor motorboat. But… under power with the mainsail set, we can motor sail quite effectively. We are currently motor sailing at 6 to 7 knots. We have enough fuel to reach our destination. So all is good. Not great, but good.
In the next couple of hours we’ll be crossing the Puerto Rican Trench, at close to 5 miles from surface to bottom it is some of the deepest ocean water in the world.