Cruising the South Pacific with Tackless II
Tackless II, along with her two captains, Don and Gwen, cruise from Fiji to Australia
Friday, August 3, 2007
2 August 2007- All’s Swell?
We woke Thursday morning at four to the boat rolling in swells rolling straight into the harbor from the south. At four thirty our neighbor called to alert us he thought he was dragging. Fortunately, as he and his wife went to reset, they discovered they'd just let out more scope than they thought.

However, once up, it was hard to go down again as the four boats (the Kiwi boat Freedom Hunter arrived yesterday) in the tiny, narrow "V" of an anchorage were bucking and rolling in a horrid onslaught of 3-5' waves. Don and I sat up until daylight, when we added coffee to the mix, and Bill finally emerged when the dish drain with all the dinner dishes crashed to the floor.

Are we having fun yet?

No. Our little hidden paradise has become a bit of a trap. The prudent mariner would surely put to sea and ride the weather out in the open, but we can't even consider that as our dinghy and engine are in still in the water. Steve on Apogee took a shot at it, and turned right round and tucked back in, meanwhile scaring the beejeezus out of the rest of us.

So we have spent most of the morning staring at the seas breaking on the reefs around us as the tide slowly goes out and the wind ever so slowly backs toward the east. The sun is breaking through and things are beginning to settle. As soon as things settle enough, we will yank the engine off the dinghy and hoist the dinghy itself onto the foredeck to be ready to break out when the time looks right.

The lull we were waiting for came in the mid afternoon. With the three of us working together and a safety on the outboard, we managed to hook it and yank it off the dinghy transom before the next big roller got us. Smug with our success we tackled hoisting the dinghy onto the deck, and all went well until the windlass –which we use in company with the old spinnaker halyard to raise the 178 pounds of dinghy out of the water – STOPPED three inches shy of the lifelines. Well, the boys were able to manhandle the beast the rest of the way aboard, and we got it down and secured.

BUT what was wrong with the windlass? Don and the multimeter and his ½"wrenches went through every connection. We even opened up the motor cover to see if the problem lay there. To make a long story short, Don & Bill's perseverance (with as Ms. Stepandfetchit) revealed the problem to be the 150amp circuit breaker, even though it had checked positive for continuity. The problem identified, Don was able to wire it direct so we can get the anchor up not just when we are ready to leave tomorrow but should conditions get bad again.

What Uncle Bill makes of the show we are putting on about the cruising life, I cannot say. He was on hand for all the day's projects, and he has been a stoic sport about the nasty roll. Freedom Hunter left the anchorage this afternoon and reports much better conditions at sea. Let's hope they prevail until tomorrow!

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