Sri Lanka to the Maldives day 5
Position at 10.00 Thursday 3rd March
24 hour run from 10.00 2nd to 10.00 3rd 145 miles average 6.04 kph 54 miles to go
It was a really good sail yesterday 15kts of wind on the beam. It means we were heeling quite a bit but we made good progress. The ships have stopped passing us finally, as they go further north, and no more fisher men asking for booze and cigarettes. They were quite harmless but when you see a fishing boat motoring directly at you it’s very worrying. It happened twice and each time we put the engine on and motored away from them as fast as we could, they soon gave up.
The wind died completely at 7.45pm and we were down to 3kts. We’ve sailed that slow before but it would have meant we wouldn’t have arrived until the middle of the night which isn’t wise so the engine went on and we’ve motored since. At first, as there wasn’t any wind at all, the sails came down because they flog badly which doesn’t do them any good but this morning the wind picked up a little and we decided to raise the sails again. That’s when we noticed the boom vang was broken.
The boom vang or kicking strap holds the boom in position and is essential for sailing. Without it the boom can’t be pulled down and the sail flattened when necessary. It also holds the boom up and stops it crashing down on our heads or the bimini cover because it has a gas strut inside it. Yesterday I had noticed some black stuff on the deck at the bottom of the mast and had blamed the Tanna volcano dust again (we still find traces of that even though it’s almost 4 years since we were there). Bill managed to disassemble it and bring it in. When he took it apart he found the gas had escaped from the gas strut because the seals have failed on one end. So for the time being the boom vane will be a passenger and Bill has rigged up a rope kicking strap temporarily. The black stuff on the deck must have been bits of the seal.
We continue to motor sail and should be in the anchorage this evening. Tintin are ahead of us so they’ll have to buy the ice creams again!