Snap shackle pop

November 10th 2022

Things break and things have broken as they do on boats and we have made necessary repairs. The skipper is infinitely practical and can fix anything. He is very generous with sharing knowledge and taking the time to teach how things work and how they are repaired so I am learning as much as possible.  Yesterday the rudder on the hydrovane broke and today a fibreglass repair to fix it.  

Broken Hydrovane
Repair underway

We have not yet got into really big swells but the sea is big enough that we are all covered in boat cuts and bruises. 

5 days in and we are well on our way to becoming an efficient crew. We are all settling into the routines and the life of the boat.  Sometimes even in this small space we pass each other like ships in the night going on watch or snatching some sleep before the next watch. We eat lunch and an evening meal together and talk about what we have learnt, how the day went and what the sail plan will be for the night.

When things go wrong our skipper breaks down a potentially difficult task or maneuver into calm logical well thought out steps.  The tone is set and as a crew we have handled some challenging situations really well together.  One night the snap shackle that holds the base of the spinaker and drum to the bow of the boat broke loose.  We were about to have dinner and it was growing dark when we heard a loud bang as the shackle popped and the big kite and drum started flailing in 18 knots of wind. There was enough  of a swell that things went flying and Peri Peri chicken was tossed all over the galley floor.  Two people went up on deck to try to wrestle the big kite and drum to reconnect to the bow. This was a dangerous situation in the growing darkness as the risk of being hit by the flailing furling drum was significant.  Two of us in the cockpit tightening and loosening sheets  as required and one on helm.   Eventually the kite is wrestled down and re-attached where it should be.  We decide to continue flying it through the night. Once everything is tidied and Optimistic is sailing happily again we settle into the cockpit and eat the remaining peri peri chicken in the darkness.  We talk about what just happened and how we dealt with it.  A difficult and dangerous situation was handled really well by all of us and I am feeling at ease and confident in our ability to collectively handle what comes our way.

Keep up with the journey - click the + below the map and enter your email address to subscribe. You’ll get an update every morning, whenever there’s a new blog post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *