Algalita Marine Research Blog

Day 15

Posted by: ORV Alguita

Noon Position 33°37’42.84″N, 152°28’43.80″W

Day 15 Monday 9/21/09
At the stroke of midnight last night, Lindsey was finishing up her 2200 to 2400 watch when all halyard broke loose. Actually, it was the spinnaker. Lindsey ran to Jeff’s berth, but he was already on it. He knew what it was just by the sound. “The sail tore!” The three of us in the other cabin were aroused by the commotion and the captain confirmed the urgency by chiming a bell. While Gwen took the helm, we all clambered in different directions grabbing clothes and slipping on life jackets then pressed on into the cool night air. The wind howled just like in the movies. The captain, Bill and I worked the lines down from the winch table on the aft while Lindsey and Jeff finished pulling the remains of the spinnaker on to the bow. The captain, Bill and I worked our way to the bow to find Lindsey and Jeff sitting on the spinnaker so it wouldn’t take off into the 30 knot winds. While Bill collected the lines from around the sides of the ship, I unlatched the head of the sail and secured the spinnaker halyard. I then took Jeff’s place so he could finish bringing in the lines. The boat rocked over large swells and dipped into cavernous water trenches. Water slammed from all directions in a confused state as the spinnaker laid wounded on the bow The beautiful and enormous sail that has carried us 300 miles just on the last run, blew out on one side and tore a 30’ hole down one side. We all worked in tandem to get the Main and the Stay Sails up and by 1 a.m. the drama was over.

We’ve average 8.5 knots since changing the sails. Alguita climbs over and rips through some 10’ plus swells without hesitation. The ocean sounds angry beneath us as if challenging the unfettered stability of this catamaran. The bumping and banging take turns every few seconds, some sounding like a Giant trying to fist holes in the bottom. Most the time we can block out the sounds, but the punchy ones usually get this novice sailor’s attention.
Inside the ship everything expresses itself. The dishes clank, the spices rattle, hanging towels pendulum, while the water bangs below. Even the sink has something to say, it gurgles and sometimes geysers. Lindsey laughed straight out loud the first time she saw it. A foot and a half geyser shot straight up out of the drain then straight back down. I didn’t dare tell her how I found out it did that. I discovered this unique phenomenon while standing over the sink. Later the captain said it was mostly sea water since the drain connects directly to the sea. It made me feel a little better than thinking last nights dishwater ended up on my face.

Traveling this fast via wind has such a different sensation. It’s like front wheel drive instead of rear wheel with the engines. The cat seems to flatten out over the water better. Even though we are traveling this fast, the squall that has been tailing us finally took the lead creating some fussy winds that forced us to add the genoa. Jeff, Lindsey and the captain managed to “get’er done,” while I videoed. Nice work crew!
More later.
Bonne

QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS
Q: If you could talk to elected officials about plastic pollution… what would
you say? -j

A: Hi Jennifer, Nice question, it generated a lot of conversation this morning with the captain. After talking a lot about people who have gone the legislative route and have been sorely disappointed, he didn’t hold out much hope for legislative action. He did say that there has been some headway in California with the “Leach Law” meaning bottle caps have to have a leach connecting them to the plastic rim around the spout. We need to keep being creative like this in presenting new ways to reduce the amount of trash on the ground and eventually out at sea. The long term answer is a Steady-State Economy System, not one based on a Grwth Economy System. This means we only produce what we need and reuse what we have. I miss you J and keep talking to me. Thanks for getting the video to BIOS. Any word from Maureen? Best, Bon

-Hi Dave Cooper, This is Bonnie the Blogger and Charlie and Jeff are happy to from you. (and Vince too) Bill Cooper, from UC Irvine says to say hello to a fellow barrel-maker and the rest of us always enjoy hearing from well- wishers. Keep sailing along with us. Best, Bonnie

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Date Posted: September 22, 2009 @ 3:48 pm Comments (1) | Show Comments(1)

1 Comment

  1. Bonnie et al …

    Tell Bill Cooper, that us barrelmakers can get all French and fancy and call ourselves "tonneliers". Ooo la-la !

    Best wishes to all from Amsterdam!

    Comment by Dave Cooper — September 22, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

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