We arrived in Bequia after a long sail of little more than an hour. The distances here are a bit different from what we have been getting used to. Everything is so close together. Well in Bequia we found a lot of the Viking Explorers crews and got together with them for a bit.
We had some problem sometime during the crossing with one of the shrouds for the mizzen mast. The forward lower shroud on the starboard side. We found a crack in the deck next to the chain plate and the chain plate had raised the deck with the force of the shroud. We decided to fix this in Bequia. After a quick check we realized that the beam in the hull that the shroud ultimately was connected to had given away a bit because of to much force on the shroud.
Sometime in the 1970´s when the boat was built someone thought it was a really good idea to separate our two masts altogether. I also thought this was a really good idea because if you loose one mast you still have the other one. Normally with a ketch rig, that we have, you have a triatic shroud between the two masts to get some force to the front of the boat from the mizzen mast. But on our boat the only thing holding the mizzen mast forwards were the two lower shrouds that is connected to the middle of the mast. This was a big problem when one tries to tension the rig because the two lower shrouds got a lot of force because of the mast acting as a lever. So finally the starboard one gave up in the fitting to the hull. I actually strengthen the port one 2 years ago after finding a small crack and that seems OK still.
So we took everything apart and removed the shroud and the chain plate to be able to repair the deck and the fitting to the hull. I was sure I had to dismantle the whole kitchen that I built there two years ago which is quite a big hassle but was able to do a keyhole surgery from the side instead so the kitchen remains. But after a couple days of sanding and then epoxying everything together and stronger then before we could paint and refit the pieces. We decided to do something about the root cause, not having a triatic, so after hanging in the mast tops for a long while trying to get the exact measurement we got in to town and had a new shroud made, it was 427 cm long :). But of course we could not just fit it in place. We had to move the aft shroud on the main mast to get some space to put the new one in there. At least after some drilling and banging during sunset to get the old pin out everyone close by new who we were. But the shroud is now in place and the rig can once again be tensioned properly. We just need to fix a spreader that has a crack as well then we can actually sail with the Mizzen mast again
In the mean while we did some other jobs on the boat as well. We finally fixed our leaking aft hatches on deck, sun protection for the doghouse, water seal for the mizzen mast, shower on bathing platform and a few other bits and pieces. We also had time to have a few beers at some really local pubs, had a full moon party on the beach with some fire and rum punch, saw our first turtles, failed with a dive attempt, tried to watch a fort that was no fort and much more.
One hangover morning Anders and Michael woke up by a mayday call on the vhf about a boat taking on water in the bay. They jumped in the dinghy and drove there to help out. The boat, an Amel 53 foot, had been rammed full speed in the side by a catamaran and had a big crack down under the waterline. They helped out trying to seal the crack and leaning the boat over by putting a lot of heavy people on the boom. After the boat was healed over enough they could drive it in to a dock and lean it against the dock and some locals began to seal the cracks with fiberglass to be able to take it to a repair yard.
This must have been quite an experience for the crew that was sitting in the cockpit and realized a few seconds before impact that the catamaran was heading straight for them. The Catamaran was running on autopilot on full throttle for the whole night and was a charter boat up for delivery. The captain and two amateur crew was asleep. The catamaran did not suffer any big damages and actually the captain freaked and turned around and headed out to sea again. But he got chased up first by a gay taking pictures of boats and after a while the coast guard picked him up. It is a really serious crime to flee from an accident at sea and there were only rumors about him being taking in to custody in the main island but we dont know what happened after this.
A few days later it was kind of time again. Of course it was a slow morning aboard Chibidarra after a few beers the day before another call on the radio said they had lost there fore stay. Michael and I went there to help out and the main fore stay had ripped from the boat and the sail was flapping hard in the wind with risk of taking down the mast. After some tries and some mast climbing we could get the sail wrapped around the broken furler and the inner stay with some ropes and they could safely anchor the boat in the harbor.
It was a fun week and a half in Bequia but quite a lot of work. So after this we were off and needed a vacation from this trip called a vacation.