Monday, January 25, 2016

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man, I smell like a garbage can.

The saga of the stuck sail continues. It was a decent nights sleep, there wasn't much wind to speak of and we were in a nice little harbor. I woke up around seven hoping the Sailmaker would come early and early to an islander is 10:30 AM. I needed coffee, I hadn't showered in a couple days and I was grouchy.

So Sam and I spent several hours trying to fix the stuck sail ourselves. Unfortunately I was being to gentle, I wasn't sure how much I could stress the sail before I caused irreversible damage, I guess there is really no such thing.  When the Sail guy finally showed, I was frazzled, We had 50 miles to make today, there was literally no wind and I had a bad sail.

What we ended up doing, after several failed attempts to run the guy up the mast in his Bosuns chair (A chair used to hoist someone up the mast to do work), was we used the travelers pulley, a line run to an eyelet just above the Clew of the sail and the forward 48 Lewmar Wench. Then we attached the outhaul line to the 54 Lewmar wench and cranked them both as we beat on the sail. Crazy as it sounds, it popped the sail out. We then lowered the sail to inspect and it turns out that a Baton had come out of it's pocket and when unfurling the sail, wedged in the mast and fouled everything up. In the extraction process we created 3 small tears in the sail close to the head and was told the repairs are fast and would cost around $60 if we dropped off the sail. Sounds like a deal as I also need some Tell Tails installed. We removed all the Batons and reloaded the sail in the mast and set sail. Well, after $260 of education. You see, I wasn't sure how to access the Mainsail to drop it, How to reload the sail into the Mast and how to inspect the Halyard for the Mainsail. All of these the fine gentleman at Calypso Canvas and Sail in Key largo.

Once we were making way the going was slow so we motor sailed ( added engine to augment the sails) and we able to use very little engine and fuel and get 6.5 knots. This speed would put us into Marathon long after dark, but we would make Marathon.

We had 6-8 knot winds ENE and we we were sailing a Broad Reach over Starboard and then the wind completely died. I thought oh hell, pulled in the main sheet and kicked up the engine. I thought well, we can make 7 knots with diesel, it isn't sailing but it is getting us to Marathon. And as quickly as the wind died, we had suddenly had 15 knots ESE and increasing so I let out the main sheet and ran it like a wing and kicked the engine back. Before I knew it we were making 8 knots and having a blast. I tried to run out the genoa but the main was stealing all its air, I was wasting to much time tuning sails and not paying attention so I hauled it back in. As the sun started down towards the horizon we got a spectacular show.

Absolutely Amazing and all I could think is this is why I wanted to sail. If there is a heaven, I found it. The views were so spectacular that we just kept taking pictures, over and over and never wanted this moment to end.

We made it into Marathon at 6:30 PM. It was dark and and we anchored without the luxury of light next to a few other boats parked in the wave shadow of Marathon Key. The wind is now howling to 25 knots, the waves in open sea are getting huge and we are in for a bumpy night. But first Dinner!

A couple of New York Steaks will fix a tired crew.

Oh. And I got a nice hot well deserved shower!

May the winds always fill your sails and the sun and moon light your passage.

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