What was that? Didn't sound familiar. As I sat up nothing was apparently wrong in the dark. I turned my head light on (Those things are great on a boat) and continued to search. Nothing amiss in the cockpit floor. If it is down below oh well it will have to stay that way for about two and one half miles. But the sound was unselttling so I headlighted the water to see if we had hit any debris in a futil attempt to see what happened 3 minutes ago. Not sounding like a hull thump I wasn't worried about taking on water at the moment so the inspection continued. The fore deck, cabin roof and railings all looked good. The sails were still flying and I could see the spreaders and side stays were attatched. Finally I turned the search onto the aft section of the boat.
WTF! There was the port split stay dangling in the air. The back stay is only a single wire ran from the port to the starboard ubolts. Luckily it broke just under the crimp looping it to the back stay. That half of the split stay kept our rig from going to Davey Jones and possibly pulling s/v Gemini Dreams under with it in the 15 plus knots.
Ayrton! Ayrton get up! As I rolled in the roller furler too lighten the load on the rigging there was no stirring down below. Ayrton Get up NOW! Sleepily he made it to the top of the stairs. His inverter had kicked out and wouldn't power on earlier and I wasn't going to trouple shoot it in this wind so he decieded to sleep. Once in the cockpit I told him. "I have to get the sail down. The rigging broke and the mast could be next. Be prepared for the boat to go under!" Off to the mast to haul the sail down.
Everything went like clock work which was good for now, without sails, we were a cork in 6 foot seas. During all the events so far i was trying to make a plan to secure the rear stay. I decide the half inch line lying in the cockpit would do until Morgans. After making the port stay secure with the line and only a couple miles out of Morgans it was time to share the news.
"Liberty, Gemini Dreams. "This is Liberty." "Seems we had a back stay fail. All is okay now."