Sounds like your travels are going with a more normal level of smoothness now! Do you plan to visit Australia, and if so, when do you expect to be there?
Regarding the runners, do you have a block fitting as shown in the attached pic for your runners? It’s attached to the base of the staunchion adjacent to the Amel logo on the coach house. It was on Stella when we bought, but I’m not sure if it’s an original fit. It looks like it’s a pull-tight arrangement and I didn’t think it was really up to the task if the wind gets up seriously, so I’ve been using a heftier block on the rear lifting points, and using the rear cockpit winch to tension.
Maybe I could re-deploy these fittings to rig a releasable Barber hauler like you describe for a more inboard sheeting angle... hmmm.