Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Island to Gambiers Day 8

0730 Report/1430 GMT
South Pacific Ocean
25 36.2S/126 53.6W
Winds 18 - 22 kn 080 mag
COG 262 mag/SOG 6.7 kn

We have been making good time towards Pitcairn sailing with poled out jib alone, and expect to be there by mid morning tomorrow. Local anchorage conditions will dictate whether we can stay and visit the island for 1 or 2 days. Winds have held up through the night around 20 kn, and backed to the NE overnight, and are now more or less easterly again.

Our gooseneck fitting (boom attachment to the mast) has been a casualty of this passage. The lowest set of fastening screws were noted to be loosening during our pre-departure winter inspection in Newport, and gooseneck attachment was beefed up at that time. We recently noted some loosening again and have been babying it carefully, but bottom of the SS plate pulled out while we were trying to shore it up yesterday, and it is now bent. Fortunately, there was no mainsail up when this happened and any additional damage was minimized. While planning our repair, we have noted that a beefier gooseneck with a larger attachment area to the mast would be better. We have also noted that the existing fastening screws do not seem to be long enough to engage the entire thickness of the tapped holes in the aluminum mast. We hope to be able to do the repair it in the Gambiers, and if anyone knows of a mechanic or machinist there with a (hydraulic) metal press, please let us know! It is a small island, but hopefully someone there does this type of work. We will be able to enlarge and replace the fasteners once the gooseneck is straightened, and will contact Forespar today about the gooseneck.

Last nights menu included Jo's meatloaf with baked potatoes and salad, and she made a flan for desert.

We are 175 nm from Pitcairn and 470 nm from Gambiers.

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