Global Voyage

A Story About Sailing Around the World

Ray & Jenny aboard the ketch Suka

3 years, 35,000 miles, Nov 1982 - Jan 1986

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Chapter 1: Voyage to Fatu Hiva page 14 of 109

During our fifth day at sea, while moving slowly ahead in scant winds, we busied ourselves with more projects. I assembled, epoxied and clamped into position the galley cupboard-kit that Jim and Deidrie had built. Seated in the cockpit, Jenny wove a baggy-wrinkle, the first of many chafe pads we had planned to affix to the rigging in those places where the free-sheeted mainsail contacted the wire shrouds. Her project ultimately proved so time consuming, however, that she abandoned plans to make more. In deference to her change of heart I volunteered to buy a set of plastic shroud covers at the first opportunity. Meanwhile, Suka sailed slowly onward, resolutely and single-baggy-wrinkledly.


Jenny making a baggy-wrinkle.

“It is impossible to make something idiot-proof. Idiots are too ingenious.”

If things aboard ship can go wrong they will, and that morning the whisker pole befell to a series of calamities attributable only to a cosmic attack of the dreaded Murphy's law. Experimenting, I hanked the pole's outboard end directly to the dowsed jib's clew, and the pole's inboard end to a head-high padeye on the mast (a fitting that I had installed previously). Then I hoisted the jib. But with too much slack in its sheet (sheet: nautical term for a rope used to trim a sail) the sail billowed to life. And with a BANG! the snubbing jib sheet yanked out the pole's end-fitting as though it was a giant metallic tooth. Of course, the pole crashing uselessly to the deck suggested the inferiority of the equipment. "It is impossible to make something idiot-proof," someone once quipped, "Idiots are too ingenious." Indeed.

I replaced the end fitting into its hollow aluminum pole, hand-drilled a few small holes, then set-screwed the fitting securely into place.


Gennaker a'flying, but without a topping lift, a foreguy, and an afterguy (not a good idea, I would soon learn).

Later, the wind slackened so I decided the time was right to fly the chute. In my second attempt at using the telescoping pole, I extended it, then mounted it to the cruising spinnaker. The following progression perhaps illustrates the shortcomings of learning solely from books. One of my references explained that the whisker pole is to be extended from the mast padeye, and positioned at its outboard end using a topping lift, a foreguy, and an afterguy; and then, that the sail's sheet is to be rove slidably through the pole's end-fitting. To me this seemed unnecessarily complicated. But what the book failed to mention was that this seeming complexity is not without reason. It is to insure that only compressive forces are applied to the pole. The writer had left the reader to discover why this is so. He had not mentioned that if the sailor attaches the pole directly to a jib clew, then the headsail might yank out the pole's end-fitting as though it were a giant tooth, which was what happened first. And he failed to explain that if one flies a spinnaker without a foreguy and afterguy to hold the clew down, then the pole could rise out of control and bend out of shape. Which is what happened next.


Taken moments before the gennaker pole rose out of control.
(Note: A gennaker is a cross between a genoa and a spinnaker. It acts like a big genoa, but is not attached to the forestay.)

After we had corrected the pole to approximately its former straightness by re-bending it against an inflated fender, we found that the pole had not lost its functionality. It was then an easy matter to rationalize by saying that the pole's battle scars now lent the boat more character.

The story has 109 pages. This is page 14.
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Page Links
GV 001: Title Page
GV 002: TOC
GV 003: Dedication
GV 004: Preface
GV 005: Prologue
GV 006: Beginnings
GV 007: Work Done
GV 008: Making Ready
GV 009: Departure
GV 010: Sailing Credentials
GV 011: First Lesson
GV 012: Sextant Navigation
GV 013: Safety Harness
> GV 014: Murphy's law
GV 015: Spirit of Adventure
GV 016: Holding On
GV 017: First Big Storm
GV 018: Storm Intensified
GV 019: Rolling Violently
GV 020: Mizzen Sleeping Bag'sl
GV 021: Freeing the Propeller
GV 022: Visits by Birds
GV 023: Crossing the Doldrums
GV 024: Nearing First Landfall
GV 025: Land Ho
GV 026: Fatu Hiva
GV 027: Trek Inland
GV 028: Anchor Watch
GV 029: Passage
GV 030: Hiva Oa
GV 031: Skin Diving Circus
GV 032: Almost Like a Jungle
GV 033: Polaris Missile
GV 034: Taiohaie Bay
GV 035: Cascade Hakaui
GV 036: Taipi Bay
GV 037: Cyclone Lisa
GV 038: Cyclone Nano
GV 039: Passage of Patience
GV 040: Tuamotu Archipelago
GV 041: Tahiti
GV 042: Cyclone Reva
GV 043: Secret Sharer
GV 044: Moorea
GV 045: Cyclone Veena
GV 046: Aftermath
GV 047: Good Weather in Papeete
GV 048: Huahine
GV 049: Raiatea
GV 050: BoraBora
GV 051: Rarotonga
GV 052: Tonga
GV 053: Fresh Air
GV 054: Tongan Feast
GV 055: Excursion to Maninita
GV 056: Mariner's Cave
GV 057: Fiji
GV 058: Ndravuni Island
GV 059: Mara Island
GV 060: Aneityum
GV 061: Noumea
GV 062: St Elmo's fire
GV 063: Breakwater Reef
GV 064: Bundaberg
GV 065: Life on the Burnett River
GV 066: Engine Sabotage
GV 067: Flying
GV 068: Aground in Round Hill Creek
GV 069: Gladstone Confinement
GV 070: Tropical Queensland
GV 071: Trip into Townsville
GV 072: Cairns Sojourn
GV 073: Cramped Cooktown
GV 074: Lizard Island
GV 075: The San Michelle
GV 076: Lost Mummy Cave
GV 077: Land's End
GV 078: Darwin
GV 079: Christmas Is
GV 080: Passage
GV 081: Cocos Keeling
GV 082: Crossing the Indian Ocean
GV 083: Rodriguez
GV 084: Mauritius
GV 085: Reunion Cirque de Mafate
GV 086: Reunion Cirque de Salazie
GV 087: Passage to Africa
GV 088: Kruger National Park
GV 089: Richards Bay
GV 090: Durban
GV 091: Port Elizabeth
GV 092: Cape Town
GV 093: Storm Passage
GV 094: St Helena
GV 095: Passage to Brazil
GV 096: Fortaleza
GV 097: Passage to Caribbean
GV 098: Bonaire
GV 099: Passage to Panama
GV 100: Panama
GV 101: Panama Canal
GV 102: Medidor
GV 103: Costa Rica
GV 104: Passage to Acapulco
GV 105: Acapulco to Cabo
GV 106: Baja
GV 107: Home Port
GV 108: In Retrospect
GV 109: Next Time
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