We didn’t speak to each other about the beatings the boat and our bodies took during the trip for 2 days. We needed to calmly talk about the passage and where we would be heading in the future. Angie was concerned about saying something emotional that would “kill the dream.” However, we both have veto power and were pretty much on the same line of thought. At any given point in time, if it comes to one of us not being able to handle living on the boat anymore, then we will do something different.
If the 14-28 day ocean passages are going to be anything like what we just went through for a mere 6.5 days, then we cannot do it either physically or mentally, and we did not want to put that kind of stress on Uno Mas. We decided that if we have to do more sailing in gale force winds and big seas or going against current for an extended length of time, then we would turn North at Panama and not continue our circumnavigation. Every time we run into problems, it is because we are trying to meet a deadline, typically trying to catch an airplane flight and taking shorter weather windows than the conservative ones we should. We just cannot do that anymore. If the circumnavigation is to continue, we need to figure out how to sail like “a gentleman sailor”, and sail with the wind. The flip flops are ok, but Angie still refuses to let Mark grow that long gray beard.
While at anchor, we started tallying the items that didn’t survive the trip, besides the topsy-turvy island cabinetry that ripped its floor mounts out and broke apart. We are in utter shock that none of our dishware broke. Our Corelleware, and even a few pieces of glassware survived that were only wrapped in coozies. (We try to limit the amount of glass on the boat due to a high chance of breakage.)
Our man overboard pole line toss bag disintegrated, and we had two chafed and one broken reef line for the main sail. These were caused by the reef line roller guide at the back of the boom imploding. Our dinghy davit hoist lines were badly chafed. Our anchor bridle fireman hose chafe guard did its job. It chafed, and thankfully, the one inch bridle line saw minimal damage. We lost a hatch cover and the dinghy engine cradle.
We had one broken sheet for the genoa. This, of course, happened while Angie was at the helm during the crossing, near the end of the passage, thankfully at dawn. It sounded like a gun shot. There was enough light in the sky for Mark to go forward while tethered, and deal with the thunderous whipping of the sail. The remaining sheet also unknotted while Angie was trying to hold the boat into the 25-30 knot winds for Mark to “catch” the flailing sail and secure it. He came back with welts from the whipping lines.
The force of the waves hitting the underside of the boat forced salt water up into our generator, killing the exhaust blower fan motor. We had saltwater infiltrate our fresh water holding tank, causing salinity readings of 1750 ppm. Needless to say, our water tasted quite briney. Mark suspects that the force of the waves pumped salt water up through the vent tube. Our escape hatches leaked so bad from the slamming waves that the starboard bilge pump cycled 2,268 times and our port side cycled 98 times during the trip. (Mark really likes our cycle counter for these stats.) We actually shut off the automatic bilge pump and manually cycled it for the last few days, to hopefully keep the pumps from dying. It would have been an almost impossible job for us to replace them in the conditions we were in. We had a moisture alarm go off from a small amount water coming in from the midship genset and anchor rode lazzarettes (their drain holes have scuppers on them but the shear force of the waves still got water in) through some obscure holes between the exterior and the interior. All of the deck hatches leaked, but the damage was very minor due to the hatch covers. We seem to have limited the amount of water intrusion, but we still have some that need to be addressed.
The force of the water coming over the bow destroyed our forward red/green navigation light. We also developed an intermittent short in our stern white navigation light and our mid-mast steaming and deck lights.
Since we are scheduled to fly back to the States to work a job in Colorado, the Amazon orders started rolling out when we could find wifi.
Ironically, after a few days at anchor and with very little boat movement (in comparison), the treachery of the passage seemed to dwindle. Angie slowly weaned off the motion sickness meds. We were anchored off a beautiful beach. We could sit back and enjoy the sunsets. We were able to get the boat put back together and dried out, for the most part.
The juice is still worth the squeeze.