There was not much wind, but once we were back into the swell of Bass Strait Alex unfurled the mainsail to give us a little stability and ease the rocking motion. Oh no, the sail was jamming in the mast and the last little bit was twisted around something inside the mast! The nightmare of all owners of an in-mast furling mainsail. We decided to leave the sail as it was and continue on to our night’s anchorage at Tomahawk Island where we would take the main down completely.
We anchored with the main fully out and quickly removed all 5 vertical battens (the longest one is longer than the boat) and dropped the sail onto the deck. We had to flake the sail on the foredeck so that we could stow it in the forward cabin. Not easy in a rolly anchorage!
An investigation soon revealed the problem. There is a long strip of plastic that runs the length of the mast and covers a groove in the mast to make a smooth surface for the sail to rub against as it furls/unfurls. This strip has somehow come away from the inside of the mast and is flapping about loosely and catching on the sail as it furls or unfurls – we’re lucky it didn’t really jam badly or damage the sail! We’re thinking about the solution and whether to just take the strip out and put the main back or wait until we’re home.
After a beer to recover from our efforts we had an early dinner and went to bed. Unfortunately, aerial bombardment by a regiment of mosquitos made for an uncomfortable night’s sleep. The alarm went off at Stupid o’clock (05:00) and we set off yet again for a long day passage – 100nm.
There was not much wind, but we motored through Banks Strait with 2-3kts of current helping us and then were able to put up the genoa to help us maintain an average speed of about 7kts. It was an uneventful passage, so all I have to show is a lazy albatross and a couple of gratuitous sunset pictures!
We anchored at 9pm, in the dark (thank you radar!), towards the middle of Wineglass Bay as there were 5 other boats taking up the good, sheltered corner. All the boats were gone in the morning so we shifted into the best spot we could and enjoyed the solitude and peace for the rest of the day.
Where is everyone?