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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday 12th May 2010

We got back to the entrance to Fanning Island at about 1:00 am but couldn’t risk entering at night due to the reefs and a lack of lights on the island so we drifted until light, keeping watches.

As soon as we got in Mike came over in the dinghy to see if we were ok, and as soon as we had anchored back in our old spot people were on the VHF asking what had happened and offering assistance - once again, demonstrating the cruising community spirit! By 10:30 we had about 8 people on deck helping to unwrap the sail and drop it, and as luck would have it Travis, from Sugar Daddy, is trained as a rigger and to Stu’s delight he offered to go up the mast. He was up that mast in 30 seconds flat – obviously a spider monkey in a previous life… Travis found the problem – the jib halyard had wrapped itself up somehow which caused it to jam but also bent the foil which frayed the halyard almost all the way through.

Pieces of the foil

Looks like a potential disaster was avoided… Travis very generously offered to fix things for us – splicing rope, filing the damaged foil and helping us to raise the sail.

In another stroke of luck, Mike and Kirsten had a sailmaker’s sewing machine on board and Mike brought it over for us to fix our torn sail. He then offered to sew it for us, knowing the intricacies of the machine, and after a couple of false starts the sail repair was done.

Stu is helping Mike, although possibly in the same way that my brother 'helped' Dad make models when he was young - Dad let him hold the glue :)

Mike and Kirsten also invited us to their boat (Kia Kaha) for lunch where we were treated to fish followed by coconut pancakes. They have been super generous to us and have fed us a couple of times, to our great appreciation.

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