Position Report: June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016

Position: 17º 14.838′ S 80º 27.462′ E
We hit the half way point today!!

Last night I saw something that every sailor dreads. Awaking to a thunderous bang, I rushed up to the cockpit. Vick pointed forward on the port side and I saw the lower shroud, dangling helplessly. We swiftly doused the jib and I tethered in to inspect the damage. The strap toggle, which holds the lower threaded rod for the turnbuckle, had shattered IN TWO PLACES. I asked Vick to keep us downwind, giving me time to think, while there was less pressure on the shrouds.

I did some triage with some lengths of Dyneema, and satisfied that the mast would stay up through the night, settled in to nurse Convivia through the next several hours. After a good sleep, I decided to take the strap toggle from the leeward side of the boat (where our rig would see very little load over the next 1000 nautical miles) and move it to the windward side, which is fully loaded whenever the wind blows at or forward of the beam. This partially stabilized our rig, but left me with the leeward side to worry about. I used my temporary Dyneema solution until the noon radio call that is a standing date with our two buddy boats (Caminante II, and Peregrine). On the radio, I mentioned my problem and the solutions that I was thinking about. Our friends brainstormed with me for the next half hour or so, and finally Trevor (on Peregrine) came up with an innovation that would save the day.

He suggested that I use some of my 3mm Dyneema to reattach the threaded rod to the chainplate. The plan was to zigzag it back and forth through a pin led through the chainplate, lashing it at the end to hold it in place. It worked like a charm, and by noon we had a re-tensioned rig that looks like it will easily keep us sailing to Rodriguez, where we can find a permanent solution.

As cruisers we are all aware that tragedy can strike at any time. Knowledge, a cool head under pressure, and a well stocked spares kit can make the difference between a heart racing evening, and outright disaster, but when the cards are all played, the support of our tremendous community is the Ace in our collective sleeve. There’s an unwritten rule that we all pay it forward whenever we can, and today my good friends on Caminante and Peregrine did just that.

Convivia is safe and making progress (albeit with shortened sails), and we have our friends to thank!

All is well.

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