More Night Dramas

30 Mar

March 28, 2019/Day 175

Noon Position: 46 13S  47 04W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NExN 7

Miles since departure: 23,947

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


Night dramas continue.

I had been in my bunk an hour when Mo began to pound. Winds were the better part of 30 knots on the beam and the sea had been bouldery all day, so I knew we had rounded up. But why? I got up and suited up.

In the pilot house, the chart plotter showed Mo doing a handy seven knots (good) but due north (not good). Once in the cockpit, I saw that Monte’s tiller lines were limp and the tiller, free-wheeling. This usually means one of the crew has failed to lock Monte’s chain in its chock with a small lashing, without which the chain can slip out. But tonight the lashing was in place. I climbed to the transom and peered over the side. There I saw that the windward tiller line had parted near the lowest block.

This line has parted once before–on January 10 to be specific, and after 13,543 miles of hard pulling. With nothing inside the Monitor frame tubing to chafe on, the only explanation is that this 1/4 inch Dyneema with a cover of tightly woven Dyneema and a working load of 2,000 pounds–extraordinarily tough stuff–simply wore out. I replaced it back then with an entirely new run of line and made a note (mental) to inspect it at around 10,000 miles of use.

It parted at 10,404 miles. Southern Ocean miles.

I quickly did an end for end of the line–effectively taking the chafed part out of service–and we were back underway in fifteen minutes.

Warm. And suddenly. Only five days ago the cabin was 45 degrees at sunrise. This morning’s cabin temperature was 60 degrees. The cause may simply be the rapid rise in water temperature, which was 42 degrees a week ago and is now just shy of 60 degrees. Remarkable. And we’re still well within the Roaring Forties.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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