This Is What We Have Waited For!
21 May 2011 | Annpolis
This was definitely the longest week of my life! I just wanted to be back on the boat! We arrived at Midnight Breeze around 1900 hours Friday evening. Everything looked good. All our concerns had been illuminated through repair or programming. We moved aboard a second time. I must regress for a minute and explain a phone call I had received at home from our sales rep at Annapolis yacht Sales. Tim, our sales rep, called and asked us for a favor. The owner of Annapolis Yacht Sales, Garth (not Garth Brooks) wanted to know if we could stay through Saturday since they were having a regional sail boat show. He need a finished out boat for show. Mary and I decided to stay and we would take the boat to our marina on Sunday. Saturday came and the show was in full swing by 1100. Mary and I had a great time meeting a lot of people and answering their questions about Midnight Breeze and the process of purchasing her. Everyone we talked to we invited aboard for a tour, by this time the boat was in half decent shape from moving aboard. A good time was had by all. Again that night Mary and I went out for a night on the town.
We were up by 0900 the next day and left around 1100 just as the show was to open for its last day. As we left Back Creek and headed for the Chesapeake Bay I started to reflect on how far I had come since my days as a police officer in Baytown Texas. It was a very long and hard road both for me and my family. A road that would eventually lead to a dead end. Then after 9-11 I had a sort of rebirth. I realigned my priorities and set a direction for myself that I would not deviate from, no matter the cost. And cost it did, a 35 year marriage to a wonderful women. I poured everything into my job and worked toward my goals. Along this hard traveled road I met a wonderful woman who is now my wife, Mary. We shared the same dreams and together we set out to achieve our goals. And here I stand at the helm of Midnight Breeze, another one of my, now ours, goals accomplished. Getting back on track, as we exited Back Creek after pulling away from the docks at Annapolis Yacht Center and entered the Chesapeake Bay, I pulled her into the wind and Mary prepared to raise the main sail. My heart was pounding, I was excited, and the adrenalin was flowing as Mary started to pull the main out. She was able to get the main out about 90% of the way before it came to a complete stop. Talk about a blowout! I looked at the main sail and dam it had gotten stuck in the mast. We have in-the mast furling as you can gather. Is this a reflection of our first sail on the old Midnight Breeze? (See the beginning of our log). The main outhaul sheet was really tight and I was afraid to try and force it the other 10%. We didn't want to push our luck and bring the mast down so I started working the problem while Mary took the helm. I noticed that the main sail was not fully up the mast and looked like that was causing a bunch up with our in the mast sail mechanism. I was not sure what to do next. I sure as hell didn't want to bring the mast down or tear the main sail, what the hell to do? I did the only sane thing anyone would do and I got my cell phone and called my sales rep. I was able to get Tim on the line, because I knew he was at the boat show. We discussed the situation and formulated a plan of action one sheet at a time as to not put tension on the mast and sail at the same time. I told Mary to keep her into the wind, and that was very important, then Tim decided that I should release the tension on the main outhaul sheet first and then the main halyard in that order as that would loosen the sail and prevent it from possibly tarring. I followed his instructions. Loosening the main out haul sheet was not a problem but the tension on the main sheet halyard was a lot and I had a hard time releasing the cam cleat. When I finally got it released, POP it went and the main started to come further down until I was able to get the halyard cleated again and pull the main back up into its proper position. That done I then was able to first pull the main sail in and then all the way out to its full length. I gave Mary the order to bare off and we were finally sailing on our own. I turned the engine off and we celebrated with a bottle of water. I called Tim back and told him to cancel the rescue boat, WE BE SAILING! He wanted me to call him back when we got to the marina just to make sure we did not have any more problems furling the main. Mary and I sailed for about three hours and then headed to our marina. No problems furling the main. As we were backing into our slip the marina crew said that the smile on our faces were awesome! You bet they were! We had a great day and it was time for a celebration. We both took a shower (together) and headed over to Hemmingway's for dinner. A perfect ending to a perfect day. NOW WE BE JAMMIN!
PS. A little note on the cause of the main foul-up. Tim said it probably happened due to someone fooling around with the rope clutch that locks down the main halyard during the boat show. Hey sounds good to me!