Today was a very productive day! The winds died down last night to a stand still as we entered the Gulf Stream. What a difference in temperature between the cold Labrador Current and the warm Gulf Stream, though! In fact, we thought about going swimming today (we could definitely use baths). Instead, we tackled the daunting task of repairing our torn main sail.
I knew my junior-high, home-economics class would come in handy some day! The rip wasn't as bad as we previously thought. The tear was a little over a yard long, but very clean along the trailing edge of the sail. First, we buffed the area around the tear with sandpaper and then cleaned it with acetone. We cut out several circular patches of sticky-back tape to secure the ends of the tear. Next, we placed long, rectangular patches along the length of the tear to hold the two edges together. We then added circular patches to the seams of the rectangular patches. Finally, we laid large rectangular strips over the entire tear and smeared the seams with epoxy. I don't think she'll win any beauty contests, but we have confidence that other parts of the sail are likely to give way before our repair comes undone.
While the main was down and the winds were calm, we decided that it was a good time to refuel. In planning for the trip, we were concerned that we would not have enough storage space for the diesel required to make a trans-Atlantic. We budgeted running the engine to recharge the batteries for four hours each day, consuming roughly two gallons of diesel a day. We provisioned 62 gallons to last a thirty-day trip. To our pleasant surprise, the RPM required to recharge our batteries was much lower than we had planned. Instead of using two gallons a day, we have been using only one. So, we actually have enough fuel for a return trip if we so desired (don't worry, I don't think we're that crazy)!
The winds for the next three days are going to be terrific. They will be a steady 10-20 knots from behind. With our repaired main back in action, we have resumed averaging eight knots of speed.