Last night was one of drama. About 3am on a very dark night we were hit by a squall and were racing along under full sail. Suddenly the wind changed direction dramatically and blew on the other side of the boat. A similar event happened a bit later and it was decided to reef the mainsail. The main halyard that supports the mainsail then broke so it all came down and we ended up sailing onwards using the two fore sails. In all the kerfuffle the boat stopped and the cable for the hydrophone that is towed at all times became wrapped round the rudder.
It is in times like these that you want the skipper to be calm, relaxed and successful at sorting out the problems. Niall exhibited all these qualities in spades.
Niall went up to the top of the mast (31 metres) to inspect the halyard once it was daylight. The sea was too rough to allow any repairs to be made so we are waiting for calmer weather that is forecast for tomorrow.
In the meantime, we have been able to hoist the mainsail part way using a different rope (halyard) that is already in place that is normally used to hoist a storm sail.
All the ropes need to be carefully arranged. You never know when you will want one of them. If you have a rope in a tangle then it becomes useless.