It’s been fun cruising the Keys, but we’ve got unfinished business with the Bahamas. Chris Parker’s prediction has held true; tomorrow we’ll see 15-18 knots of wind coming from the southeast and 3-4 foot waves. It’s not an ideal direction for sailing, but we’ll manage a motor-sail without puking our brains out. Tomorrow we will cross the Gulf Stream.
Like clockwork, as soon as we had our crossing window settled, stuff started breaking on the boat. First, the faucets in the galley and heads stopped working, even though the water tanks were full. Then, the port side winch (device that allows us to haul on the lines that control the sails), responsible for carrying the load of our headsail, locked up when I went to trim it during our jaunt back to No Name Harbor. We pulled the winch apart and discovered that a solid bronze gear had split, rendering it completely useless.
I appealed to the sailing community via Facebook, looking for leads on a replacement winch. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of people in the community, including a supportive phone call from Gerry O’Donoghue, and an offer from our friend Tom (you may remember Tom from the Jasaru crew during our Deltaville to Florida passage) to fabricate a new bronze gear for us, in exchange for me cooking some meals at anchor next time we’re together (sweet deal, if you ask me!) For now, we’ve figured out a work-around for sailing without the winch. Hopefully that’s all the boat has in store for us for now, and tomorrow we’ll be motor sailing and ringing in 2016 en route to Nassau by the light of the moon.