Emails from Haji to Mupi – ‘Le Vide Grenier’

During our crossing, we were able to send and receive e-mails via satellite. The primary purpose of this was to enable us to get weather reports and ARC updates, however we predominantly used it to communicate with home and other boats making the Atlantic Crossing. We had two main correspondents: The lovely Canadian crew of Oui Cherie, and Bertrand and Patricia – our friends from Mupi. The next few posts are in fact e-mails that were sent from Haji, addressed to Mupi, who is a young, fast, orange RM (that’s a type of boat by the way!)

“Salut my young French friend,

The crew have abandoned all pretence of sailing me and my foredeck looks like a vide grenier for sails and control lines.
In my old age bits have a tendency to fall off me at unexpected times, some are important bits, some not so important. One of the roles of the crew is to go round the deck in the morning and find what has fallen during the night, identify it, and repair it.
When big Bertha the spi was up, it was double halyarded, in case one gave in through chafe, however when it came down they found the main shackle had worked loose and abraded the thread flat, almost a catastrophe! The skipper got out the tool kit and cut a new thread on the shackle, not as good as new, but it will work again.
Then they found a little bolt on the foredeck, the Skipper identified it as one that held the furler for the no°1 genoa, I have no code 0, just a 130% genoa. On examining the furler all three bolts had coroded and were no longer held by their threads, without them the sail does not roll up. Although they examined all my secret store lockers they could not find replacements, so a little dab of glue and duck tape to hold them in and they should do for now.
Talking of duck, or duct tape, I am covered in it, the Bosun went over every chafe point on board and covered it in tape, all my spi, and genoa control lines have tape on every corner or rub point, not very prety, but I am an old lady and not very vain about my appearance.
This windless ocean is Merde! With over 5 knots of wind Bertha will fly, but there is nothing and it is horrible. I am having to motor again, for one hour I can do 6 knots, but if longer only 4.5 as I get too hot and my coolant boils over. I am used to the refreshing cooling seas of Bretagne, not the 26°C here, it is like trying to cool down by drinking hot soup!
The crew went swimming today, the skipper even cleaned my bottom where the mucky waters of Lisbon had left a line.
Even too hot for fish today, but last night my friends the dolphins came to play. They swam and jumped around the bow, they were lit up by the bio luminescence, they left fireworks in their wake. Every time the mate tried to shine the spot ligt on them they dived, but came rushing back as it went dark.
If the wind does not come we wil run out of diesel and water, but there seems to be enough beer.
I and the crew hope all is going better with you and your crew.

Haji”

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