Year of Zayed maybe under tow battling the elements continues in the Atlantic Ocean as Nick Leggatt reports in from Supertramp at 1400 UTC Thursday 10 January, 2019.
“As usual another action packed night in the mid-Atlantic!” commented Nick. “Soon after midnight (night of Wednesday 09 January) the tow rope between Supertramp and Year of Zayed parted in a strong ENE breeze and rough seas. Bit of a bang, but otherwise nothing too dramatic as the two vessels parted company.
The tow consists of 140 metres of various types of rope. On the bow of Year of Zayed we had a nice, springy nylon line to absorb shock loads. This was tied to another nylon line and then a couple of sections of dyneema line, which is considerably stronger but does not stretch. The length of the tow was adjusted so that catenary action absorbed the shock loads on the dyneema line, but as the wind increased, so did the loads, until the nylon line parted. In the darkness we judged it best for the two boats to drift along until daybreak before effecting modifications to the system and passing the tow rope back again.
Daylight found us nearly 10 miles apart, but it gave us time aboard Supertramp to make the necessary adjustments. The Year of Zayed end of the tow rope now has a short dyneema soft shackle onto the nylon section which has been repaired by cutting and whipping the broken end. On the Supertramp end we have rigged a quick release system by splicing the end of the dyneema towing bridle and securing it to the boat with a quick release snap shackle.
We passed the tow rope back to Year of Zayed by circling them, much as one would do with a water-skier, and with the soft shackle they were able to quickly secure it to their bow so that we could continue. 510 miles to go now, but at a more conservative speed for the moment as we are expecting strong breeze over the next 24-hours and rough seas lasting until around the 13th January.”