Sunday, January 3, 2010

I woke up early to the boat rolling around a couple of degrees with a quick frequency, a quick look outside showed that there wasn't a breath of wind and the boat was sideways to the very slight swell that managed to make it over the protecting reef (which has taken over 300 known ships over time). The mainsail, which is rolled up into the mast, was banging about with every roll and was annoyingly loud. No matter what I tried I couldn't make the noise go away, I even went to the extent of pulling out the sail and furling it very loosely so it would take up maximum volume, but even that did not get rid of the noise as the loose part of the mechanism that was making the banging and squeaking sound was very high up on the mast where there is not much sail material. I am going to have to see what can be done about that - but as it was the first time that I'd noticed the noise it might be that it only happens under very specific low-wind and low-wave conditions that are not particularly common in the trade wind belt.
Given the absolute lack of wind I don't know where I'll head today - I wanted to go to Cane Garden Bay as I hadn't been there on this trip, but I would have to motor the complete way and I feel guilty about doing so much motoring; I have used the engine for more hours on this trip than in my previous 6 months of living aboard!
The winds were fickle and I once again motor sailed, albeit most of the time at 1200 RPM, just enough to let the alternator kick in and yet still give me an average of over 5 knots. I opted to sail to Sandy Spit and thence to Great Harbour on Jost van Dyke; I think it was a pizza craving that made me do it. After doing some snorkeling at Sandy Spit and anchoring I spent two hours using magic “Nevr-Dull” on some of the outside stainless steel fittings, the wadding is impressive as the “before” and “after” pictures below illustrate.
I went to Corsair's for dinner and met up with the crew of “Man of Steel” for too many drinks and I didn't get back to the boat until close to midnight. Luckily I drank lots of water before going to sleep and managed to avoid a big hangover, but I could tell that I didn't miss it by very much.

Passing Jost van Dyke The shoreline at the southeastern part of Jost van Dyke, just before getting to Foxy's Taboo.

[18°26'24.44"N 64°43'9.63"W (facing NW)]
Passing Jost van Dyke
Shining stainless After some judicious use of various cleaning materials I got the stainless steel to shine up quite nicely (at least for a couple of weeks, after which I'd have to do the same cleaning work again).
Shining stainless

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