15 July 2012
In spite of our relatively middle of the road 175-mile day yesterday, it was a big day anyway. After rolling down in pretty big waves and 20 knots all night, the sun had stirred the off watch out of bunks and we were enjoying the morning - such as is possible with life inside a washing machine with 5 adults. The sky was blue, the water bluer and we'd been seeing the occasional flying fish soar above the wave tops. We just been discussing the strategy on how we were going to affect some small mainsail repairs and were sailing wing-on-wing with the 130 poled out to starboard when we all heard a bang and looked up. The jib was going slack and began to drop from the head. As we quickly tried to assess the problem, I eased the sheet and lolo tried pulling the port job sheet over to get the sail in line with the boat, but gravity took over and down she came - in front of and to starboard of the boat. The sail was now completely in the water, but with the mainsail out, we were still careening along at about 6.5 knots and it was impossible to get the sail aboard. I took the helm while Benjamin went forward and dropped the main so we could stop the boat. We started the engine, but didn't dare put her in gear as the sail was now under the boat between the aft edge of the keel and the rudderÂ.....right by the prop. As the boat slowed, Bill and I were able to wrestle the rest of the sail back aboard. I was amazed to find the head of the sail intact and no apparent damage other than some pretty blue bottom paint on the white of the sail (of course this is our newest sail.) Apparently, the headboard shackle had unscrewed itself with the constant rolling motion and just let go. Still, relieved, we went immediately to work. While Benjamin, Lolo and Becky straightened out the foredeck, I got to work on the mainsail repairs. In about 30 min, we got the main hoisted and then tried hoisting genoa again, but Lolo noticed the luff tape getting damaged again and so, had to drop her down for more repairs. While Benjamin drove under mainsail alone, growling all along about our lost boat speed, Lolo and I repaired the luff tape. In an hour or so, we were back in business - wing-on-wing and roaring along. We decided a small swig of rum was in order for us and for Neptune too.