What a start!
A dream run out of the heads escorted by a flotilla of racing boats. A tad stresfull trying not to be hit, but I did better than Wild Oats XI! Waving at family on the heads was quite hazadous!
A lovely 10 knots soon turned into 15 notes, and I put in an early reef.
By the evening, it was blowing a stiff 20-25 knots and a second reef went in. With the waves getting higher and suffering a little in the way of sea sickness, I decided to hove-to overnight which was a wise decision.
Sunday is a bit of a blur, sick all day and fighting nasty headwinds, – The best part of seas breaking over your boat is you can vomit wherever you want and it dissapears in seconds. 🙂
I awoke early Monday to disaster!
My timber tiller arm had completely snapped through very close to where it inserts into the rudder stock. I had a good look at it before I left, and it seemed quite sound – There was hidden rot running through the bolt points.
The weather was still horrendous and getting worse, I managed to lash the rudder stock to lee to keep the boat hove-to and give me some relief from the 40 knot gusts and 4 metre seas.
I got out my trusty spare marine ply and sawed out three 1m by 60mm sections. I then had to shape it to go into the rudder stock and drill three bolt holes quite accurately. I’m not sure quite how I managed it in those conditions, but the waves may have been aggressively sworn at every time they broke over the cockpit.
After a four hour struggle, I had the tiller working well and the self steering reconnected. I remained hove-to until the conditions abated somewhat. The winds changed to a gentle 10 knot tail wind and the seas abated.
Latitude: -35.08006, Longitude: 153.75099, Time: 02:53:08 26-03-2018 UTC