Sunday, August 10, 2008

August 9, 2008

Friday was our day for repairs. Matt noticed the starboard spreaders were very loose so the decision was made to furl the jib and begin motor-sailing until we found a calmer patch in the Pacific to send Matt up the bosun's chair. Calm is a relative thing so the crew assembled with Sandy on the helm, Matt in the chair ready to climb the mast, and Lorraine and I on primary and secondary lines securing Matt. We hauled Matt up the Mast as Sandy maintained Compromise's balance at the helm. He needed to kick the spreader up but was unable to do so with the main up. So we brought Matt down and try to start the motor to stabilize Compromise for Matt when he goes up the mast again. Engine won't start. Sandy asked Matt if he knew diesel engines and of course he did. Half an hour later, Compromise is motoring again so we return to positions and haul Matt up the mast again. He secured the spin halyard to the end of the spreader then I would grind the winch as he kicked. Slowly but surely we raised the spreader. Down below I loosened the turn-buckle for the shroud to allow for final adjustments with the spin halyard. We brought Matt down for the second time. He adjusted the turn-buckles for both shrouds then taped them up again. Compromise was kickin' as we went under sail again.

I had a minor victory with sailmail. Basically we were unable to send or receive any transmissions and when we did connect, it was at a glacial speed that would eat up the 90 minute ration of connection minutes. Sailmail is a shared resource so all users must monitor their use. In our case, our use was stymied by our slow connection. Whereas we should have been connecting at speeds of 1000 Ð 5000 baud, we were lucky to connect at 200 baud. In addition, I was receiving COM3 port errors indicating there was a problem connecting to SSB radio via the PACTOR modem. I uninstalled the drivers then reinstalled (thank goodness for saving all installers), rebooted made our first successful sailmail connection. Several messages came in including a grib weather forecast that was 48 hours tardy and of no use. We will be able to plot our course through the high with greater accuracy now that we know we can receive weather reports.

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