We lost our main mast last night! Disaster, but we are all fine except for a little scratches and bruises and some sore muscles.. We don't really know why it happened, but we have written a report to the insurance company about what happened and I think I'll just publish the same report here now.
We need a lot of comforting now, so please write mails and messages in our guestbook.. Ingeborg wonder if she should report to a Spanish school right away, as this might take some time. I'll be back with more when we are a bit more relaxed.
Dismasting of SY Sirius in the Balearic Sea, 17th September 2009
SY Sirius was on course from Portocolom, Mallorca to Puerto del Espalmador north of Fuengirola. We had started from Portocolom at 15:00 on the 16th of September. On watch was Stein Julsrud, 57. Skipper Gjertrud Rian, 45, Thorstein Rian Julsrud, 15 and Ingeborg Rian Julsrud, 13 were below decks, sleeping.
There were thunder storms in the area, but not exactly where we were. We had been sailing in medium wind ~6 m/s from S. Our steering course was 250º. It was a bit rougher sea than the wind force indicates, but no breaking seas. Both the main and the genoa was hoisted and the speed had varied between 4 and 7 knots for the last couple of hours, seeming to decrease.
Course of events:
At 01:30 in the morning of the 17th the following happened: A big bang was followed by the mainmast falling down to starboard. The boom was attachd to the traveller on our deckhouse top and this plus all the stays and lines kept the mast hanging down into the water over the lifeline with the foot sticking up. The lifeline had now been ripped off the terminals and one of the bases for the stanchions had alo been ripped loose from the aluminium toe rail. Both sails were now down in the water along with the mast. By now we could see that the forestay was bent and the roller boom was twisted. We wanted to try to secure the mast along the side of the boat in order to save sails and equipment. In order to accomplish this the forestay with the furling gear had to come loose. There was also a second forestay mounted which was detached from the eye in the deck. Then the spinnaker uphaul was brought back and over the genoa winch. Nothing really came out of the water. Then the boom toplift was taken back likewise, and when this was winched in we could raise the top of the mast to the surface. It was easy to see that the mast was bent 90º or broken by the spreaders. It was still not reachable from the cockpit level, as the freeboard is quite high. Due to the state of the sea the mast now started to bang against the hull, and we did not dare to keep it there for long. It seemed like the teak rubrail had protected the hull as long as the mast hang downwards. In order not to jeopardise the security of the boat and crew, we now concluded that we had no other options left than to cut the stays, and so we did. The time was around 03:00 and we were in position 39 °09.45' N 02 °34.47' E. Everything sank slowly into the deep. A fender that had ben stored by the mast was still there.
Summary of observations:
The mast was bent, probably by the spreaders.
The extrudate for the rolling forestay was bent.
The rolling boom and rodkick was twisted.
A triangular steel plate attaching the lower spreaders on one side was laying on deck, obviously ripped loose from the mast.
All stays were intact.
Wiring in the mast was ripped off by the throughdeck cable box, and this was twisted.
Our reflections after the event:
We have no conclusive idea how this could happen. The rigging was new this summer, all stays had been replaced along with new terminals and bottlescrews. The forestay with the furling gear was new, the boom was new and the sails were new. The only thing that was not replaced was the mast itself.
We noted one thing when the mast was hanging in the water: Two lowers SB? were still attached to their mounting plate which had been attached to the mast right below the spreaders by throughbolting the mounting plates on each side and secured by nuts that were locked by cotter pins. A possible cause could be that the bolt sheared. This could of course also be a secondary effect of some other main cause.
tirsdag 15. september 2009
Well, a lot has fallen over Mallorca these last days, with a lot of thunder and lightning accompanying the water! Stein and Ingeborg are back in the boat after a visit to Porsgrunn in beautiful autumn weather. So they did not bring the rain! Well, it's September and probably quite normal, and after all the temperatures are still well above 20degC. Another water related issue is that we have produced our first water with the watermaker! It tastes delicious, and we only have to fix a few leaks before the installation is considered finished.. We plan to head westwards again tomorrow. Weather forecasts have been downloaded as GRIB files, which we will also be able to do underway. According to the forecasts we should start out going west and then go south along the Spanish coast. We don't know how many stops we'll have between here and Gibraltar, it depends a lot on the winds. Ingmar and Seija on Marieke are ahead of us, and probably underway from Ibiza today.
søndag 6. september 2009
We are still here in Porto Colom in Mallorca. At least Thorstein, myself and Sirius are here. Stein and Ingeborg has taken a trip back to Norway to keep up with work and school! Ingeborg's class has started at a new school this year, ungdomsskolen, and she wants to keep up with the rest! This week she will hopefully establish routines for the contact with the new school. And, of course, she will have a lot of time with her friends. Then we have met Seija and Ingmar again! They started from Leros a month later than us, and now they are here in Mallorca, too! We will sail together, more or less, at least as far as to the Caribbean.
onsdag 2. september 2009
We arrived in Mallorca, Porto Colom yesterday morning. Everything is well, and no problems arised during this crossing! Just too little wind like on the previous crossings. We lost the hook twice from the fishing line, and didn't catch any fish so.. there must have been some really big ones there.. Porto Colom seems to be a quite nice little harbour, not too many tourists! We'll stay some days before proceeding.