LAT 39 09.5
LONG 161 58.7
ETA 04 Apr 12
WEATHER WIND 010@12kts Sea Mod, Swell Variable 2m, Cloud 4/8 Cl, Baro 1019.0
Gold Coast Australia has had another good 24 hour run as the wind has begun to abate and we race towards the scoring gate. Yesterday evening the winds began to abate and seas calm down a bit allowing us to change back through our sail inventory and decrease the amount of reefs to the point that we are now sailing again with a full mainsail, Y1 and Staysail.
This morning the wind died out all-together and for most of the day it has been very variable. Normally we would find this very frustrating, however, with the sun out and blue skys it was a welcome relief from the strong winds we have had over the past couple of weeks and it allowed us to not only dry some kit on deck but do some maintenance to get the boat ready for the next blow.
Included in the maintenance was the job of repairing our spinnaker pole which I managed to shorten by two feet and then using an existing sleeve already inside the pole re-sleved it. Up until now we have been hesitant to use the spinnaker or pole out the Yankee while running down wind as we did not want to break our one and only good pole, now the second pole is fixed we at least have more options.
Sheets, halyards and sails are also being checked and we have found more chafe than we have previously experienced throughout the race. We were able to find the cause of the problem is a loose electrical wire casing inside the mast that may be rubbing on the halyards internally inside the mast. Halyards have that were chafed have been re-spliced and some anti-chafe applied and hopefully they will last until we get to San Francisco.
The forecasted conditions are not exactly desirable and I have been spending a lot of time looking at the best and safest route and options to deal with the weather and prepairing the boat for the worst. Once all the preparations are done, sometimes all we can do is wait and hope that the punishment is not too severe.