Awaking for my 3am shift, Bob informed me the bowed starboard whisker pole (the one bent on the first night out) had become a boomerang. Almost disbelieving, I turned on the floodlights and peered out. It surely was!!!!!
As a result of the colossal pressure now being exerted upon it, we furled the Gennie, unhitched the pole and continued with just the single sail.
The hours during which I slept, saw Bob doing some serious thinking: that brain never rests!
Feeling like only minutes later, thuds upon the deck awoke me from a deep slumber.
Popping my head up above, there was Bob, attempting a new idea in order to run the large foresail set once more.
With our long main sail boom being 6m in length, I figured it was worth a try to use it swung out to starboard as far as the lower shrouds would permit. It was better than no pole, but because we could not move it out fully due the aft lower shroud it would only work dead down wind or on the leeward side. With a block attached to the end of the boom, the Gennie sheet would run through it back to the winch.
Working from bow to stern and back, the mainsheet was gradually released, thereby enabling him to inch the boom out over the side: to let the steel structure out in one motion would have spelt disaster.
In position at last, it was finally possible to raise the twins and let them fly.
Disappointingly, there was a consequence. By mid – morning our course was 270° rather than 207° with the distance from our rhum line course only becoming greater thanks to the easterly continually pushing us westward.
All that recent effort for nil!!
In came the sail. In came the boom. Twins rolled out to port as a single sail, and with the engine to assist, Gratis’ bow pointed northward once more in order to regain course.
This was the night we attempted a new watch system. Over the months it had been 3 hours on, 3 off. As a result of interruptions and the time taken in dropping off to sleep, one was left feeling punch drunk and exhausted beyond belief on arising. 6 on 6 off was now the plan and what a difference it made for us both, as we awoke much more alert and ready to face the day.