Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Day 9: At the End of Our Rope

So you'll recall a couple days ago we had to take down our jib for repair. At the time, we were scooting downwind in big swells and the motion was nice. As for all foredeck activities, Windy had us talk things through ahead of time--about how we would accomplish the job, anticipating problems and aligning our thinking. Then we got started.

I was at the bow, wrangling the sail down and Windy was at the mast, slowly releasing the halyard.

"Faster!" I called back to her. The sail dropped and then froze. I tugged at it and then turned. Windy was still at the mast, but hanging on for dear life to the bitter end of the halyard, which she'd grabbed as it whizzed by her.

If you don't sail, it's hard for me to relate how absurd this is.

"What in the world?" Windy asked.

"I have no idea."

I kept looking up, then looking at Windy. I wanted to see a problem--maybe a big knotted bunch of line she'd allowed to whiz past, maybe she wasn't holding the halyard at all, maybe…? I couldn't make sense of the situation.
Finally, I ran back to the cockpit and grabbed a line we could tie onto the end of this one, so we could at least drop this partly-lowered sail and figure out what the heck was going on.

"Did you cut this halyard?" Windy asked.

"Of course not." Seriously? She's asking me if I cut our halyard?

"I just have this faint memory of you telling me you'd trimmed it, that there was too much line."

"No, no way."

But a tiny bell was rung. Her memory did not sound as foreign as I wanted it to. I thought back to the last time I'd lowered this sail. It was January, when I'd spent all the time on the phone with the Profurl people, determining which model furling system we had so they could send me the correct lower bearings. Windy was up north and she brought the bearings back down with her. When she got back, I replaced the bearings, did some other maintenance, re-hoisted the sail, decided that this halyard was way too long…

I'd gotten out the hot knife and cleaned things up, ship shape.

Uhg. It's still unbelievable to me. If anyone happens to come visit us in French Polynesia, please bring a spare halyard. I used our previous spare for the second spinnaker halyard I rigged just before we left.


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1 comment:

  1. Michael, Your honesty is refreshing (and humorous). Kind of rings of the old saw "measure twice, cut once". It sounds as if the spare line you rove to the halyard gave enough length to lower the jib. As always, it's entertaining to read about your adventures and this installment wasn't a disappointment. Hugs to the family.


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