A Day Aboard at St. Francis Island

st francis map  

We never woke till 0930. It seemed late even  though we hadn't slept much during the night. It was the calm followed by thunder that woke us. Thunder rumbled, roared and clashed throughout the rest of the morning and afternoon. Wind and heavy rains … big, noisy, splattering drops … followed each thunderous outburst, but we remained firmly ensconced. The anchor held. The continuous cycle of calms and squalls left us unsettled, alert and tired.




We anchored off the north side of the island in St. Francis' crescent-shaped Petrel Beach. The island, at least what we could see of it, was either shrouded in the mist or the rains, looking grey and dismal or barren in the sun. We could hear birds from the island. Silver gulls lit on the water beside the boat and eyed us nonchalantly.


silver gull


We busied ourselves with chores and “what-if” conversations, usually in snippets. As a new thought or alternative occurred to one or both of us, we'd discuss it for a bit, then go back to our chores, noodling the new idea. We were hoping to come up with an alternative to returning to Streaky Bay. Not that we don't like Streaky Bay, mind you. It's just that we'd give up the 50 miles we'd gained, waste fuel by motoring back and not much more could be gained by being there.

Closer inspection of the torn out clew indicated that the stitching had indeed given way. One piece of webbing was still attached to the clew itself and several others were missing. This part of the sail is not one easily tackled by my SailRite sewing machine. It's just too thick with all the webbing and reinforcements and there's too much of it to try to repair by hand. We reckon we'll need a sailmaker's expertise and equipment to effect the repair.


torn jib


The deck needed to be washed down and the grass either mowed or removed. The sail cover needed to put on. The wind had not subsided in the least which made folding the damaged jib, hoisting the old genoa or even launching the dinghy out of the question.


grass on foredeck


Lighter winds were promised in another day or so. We'll wait patiently (as if) and read and write and chat and do chores and eventually the weather will change and we'll be good as.