Aphrodite continues along at a not so fast pace averaging 6.5kts under the few remaining sails available; storm trysail, storm jib and staysail. Last night in 20 kts of true wind we flew our #2 which was pretty well torn up about 9 days ago and on which Sheila and Sam diligently stitched in major panels around the numerous delaminations. Despite a hole in the middle of the sail about two feet square, the sail did not disintegrate and gave us another knot of boatspeed over the storm jib, which of course has the very attractive orange sections.
This morning we hoisted the 2.2 oz again and she drove us well for several hours before winds picked up to 30 kts and after a few spectacular spinouts we brought it down without damage.
The seas have moderated and we had some sun this morning giving us a "drying opportunity".
Lifelines became clotheslines and most of the crew took some well deserved showers with the hot wired watermaker working away. Early in the voyage, as a matter of fact on day one, when we discovered the brand new watermaker was not working, we contemplated whether or not to continue.
We have 100 gallons in tanks plus the 20 gallons in emergency. It was calculated that for the 2,800 mile trip we could each have 1/2 gallon per day but that would be close and with little or no margin of error. We troubleshot the watermaker for three rock solid days and hot wired around a new circuit board to get it going, but without all the bells and whistles. So far it has worked that way and we did not have to revisit the idea of abandoning the race at an early date.
We are currently about 630 miles from the Lizard, just a simple Bermuda Race away from finishing! Starting to feel like its downhill....
We were passed last night by Paradox, zooming by us at 23 knots. The courteous navigator wished us well on the radio and said he hoped we had enough provisions after learning we were sailing under storm trysail, as we have now been for over 10 days. We have been working on getting the main patched up for possible use as the winds get lighter.
The delamination is systemic and widespread on the main and four of our headsails rendering them unusable. Not mentioned before is that we have had two large snatch blocks faiedl making spinnaker handling a challenge. There is a finite useful life to mylar kevlar sails and we have found that in spades.
The crew is well fed, enjoying the experience and certainly hoping to get to Cowes as soon as possible.
Chris aboard Aphrodite.