Crew member on 27 Hot Socks
So the Fasnet race has changed face somewhat from a driftathon to a slamathon. Sailing upwind is never that much fun but sailing upwind in a figaro II for 3 days is a real test of patience! Soggy doesn't come close to describing both boat and its 2 crew, the talc has even had to be deployed in an attempt to dry out damp derriers (with not much success I hasten to add). Oh the glamour of life on the ocean wave.
Ok so last time we reported a string of disasters that had plagued us even before the race began so today we bring you a resounding success story, as well as a couple of minor problems but we would be lying if we told you it was all going swimmingly out here! In a brief spell of nice weather early Tuesday morning, we deemed it suitable conditions to crawl into the back of the boat and remove the offending ballast pump that had stubonly refused to work. This was after exhausting all other options to jump start it back into life including hard wiring it to the batteries (a few sparks went flying in that attempt). After taking the thing to pieces we have diagnosed it with death due to drowning, not good news. With more wind forecast and the need for ballast imminent, Hannah set to work with a fierce determination to turn the stirrup pump and a length of hose cut from the bilge pump into something that could draw said ballast. 15 minutes later and with the aid of a hacksaw, some emergency repair tape and the essential ingredient to all boat repairs, good old gaffer tape, we are proud to introduce 'Big Bertha'. This legendary device involves lowering the hose over the side of the boat whilst the output pipe of the stirrip pump gets wedged down the ballast overflow pipes on deck. You pump like crazy for about 10 minutes and there you have it - ballast!!! Simple but highly effective. Big Bertha then really came into her own, after the removal of the electric ballast pump and in our excitement over our new creation we had completely forgotten that the scoop was still down. This resulted in rather a large volume of water entering the boat and momentarily had us thinking we might just be doing a spot of sinking, (we might both be brunette but we are still allowed blond moments when tired). All sorted now.
This mornings fun has involved being chased by a guard ship for a vessel towing seismic gear. The on deck VHF sounds like someone talking in a fish tank so we hadn't heard their call. Katie then spoke to a very nice chap who whilst obviously concerned that we didn't become an involunatry part of the seismic survey was more keen to make sure we could get back on our course asap as he appreciated that we were in a race! And finally for today we bring you the tale of the great spoon hunt. There are or should we say were 4 spoons on board, essential for the consumption of the delightful freeze dried food. Unfortunately the spoons don't seem to like staying where they are meant to which involves a major hunt every meal time. This morning however we have discovered that the best way to hunt a spoon is to exercise a little patience. Sit at the nav seat for long enough and one is sure to come floating by!
That's it for now but fingers crossed we will get round the rock tonight and no we are not at all jealous of the crews from the big fast boats who are all home and dry...ok maybe a little bit...