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Saturday, June 13, 2009

So much for the Galapagos...and the Marquesas...

(One of) the weak links in our plan to go to the Marquesas has always been Nakia's mainsail. It's 12 years old and I've never been very happy with it. It had started developing small rips when we reef, the lines that take in the sail catch it and cause it to rip, so I put a large patch on it to help protect against this.

Our feeling was that the trip to the Marquesas should be mostly down wind, and the main wouldn't have much pressure on it. Of course I completely ignored the fact that the trip to the Galapagos is entirely up-wind where the mainsail has a lot of pressure on it.

Well Friday night the weak link broke. I had just put in the second reef and was adjusting the trim of the sail when it blew out, causing a 6 ft vertical tear above the second reef and out to the back edge. There's no way to repair it on NAKIA, we're 400 miles from the Galapagos and only 150 miles from Bahia, so it's back to Bahia. It takes 2 months for delivery of a sail, so we'll be well past our time frame to get to the Marquesas. Looks like we're spending the wet season in Bahia again...


Update Saturday AM: Instead of returning directly to Bahia we've decided to head south along the Ecuadorian coast to "the poor man's Galapagos," Isla de la Plata. It comes highly recommended so we will enjoy some play time there. John can take a closer look at the sail, and we can plan a strategy for it's repair/replacement. We should make landfall some time Saturday evening, and we're having a pleasant sail reaching with staysail and reefed jib.