San Diego Bay w/Steve and Gabby
Left the dock cleanly and put up sail in the Channel. Unfurled the jib
as we made the corner and were sailing, with the motor off, by the time
we passed the gas station. Gave Gabriella, Steve's friend, the helm as
we entered the bay. Fine sailing weather, clear, warm in the sun, cool in
the shade, small chop, and 10-12 knots from the NW.
Sailed a single reach all the way out of the bay in spite of the busy
yacht race going on around and in front of us, and a large Auto Carrier
Vessel that made it's way out the channel passing us while still in the bay.
Out of the bay there were a ton of boats racing. Probably 100 boats out and
60-80 actively participating in the race. We stayed well clear of their apparent
path and did a little practice, heaving to, and putting in, then shaking out a
single reef in the main sail. I'm not particularly thrilled with the effect
of a single reef. It doesn't cut down the sail area by much with that big genoa
still flying. Seems that we need to furl the genoa first, since it is nearly
twice the size of the reefed main. Have to practice that !
Sailed back into the channel somewhat in the middle-tail end of the
racers. Got passed by all kinds of boats, including a large cat with
one foot out of the water, several tri-marans that were really moving,
and a number of racing boats of our general length, though not appearing
to be cruisers. All in all, I felt quite happy with the performance of our
comfort wagon, loaded with full tanks of water, and plenty of beer
in the fridge, making 8+ knots at times, dinghy on deck and all!
Even saw 8.5 on the log meter, but wasn't running the GPS so don't know
what our SOG really was. The water was definitely moving under the boat tho,
and once again we sailed a single reach all the way back into the bay
until our turn into North Harbor Island. It was great and Gabby and Steve both
enjoyed taking the helm, heeling the boat way over, and cutting thru the water.
Then a mishap struck. As we headed into the wind and we were furling the jib,
when it was all the way in with only a triangle of cloth still to be furled,
the knot on the furling line came untied (where it connects to the drum),
the line came free in Steve's hands, and the Genoa rapidly unfurled itself
and was flapping full in the still brisk 12 knot breeze.
It took a couple of seconds to figure out what had happened, as the sail was
flapping violently and noisily in the wind. We went forward and
tried to gather in the sail, but that was of no use, it would just as
soon pull you off the boat as come in against the wind!
So we hurridly dropped the main and tied it down, and then tried dropping the jib.
However, since I'd never really analyzed how it worked,
I didn't realize that you had to unzip it and run it down and out of the track.
And Steve was trying to pull it down, which really just cinchned the sock around
the track to no avail, missing also the presence of the zipper that would
let the sail down properly. We ended up just motoring ignominiously back to
the slip with our sail flapping noisily under the glances of some of the
racing boat crews who were ever-so-tidying up their boat for that final
perfect turn home! Sigh, lol.
When we got back, Steve and Gabby both stayed and helped as we removed the
genoa, figured out and re-rigged the furling mechanism, and re-bent the genoa
back onto the headstay, and furled it back into place. Gabby and Steve
also spent the time to help me re-raise and the properly fold and put
away the mainsail, and put all the canvas on the boat. When we were all
done, we finally had a celebratory shot of whisky. And tired tho we were,
I think we all went home feeling better for having faced
and overcome our small adversity.
I know, for myself,
I still had that wonderful feeling of the sea moving about me, and could still feel
the wind on my face and hear the boat cutting thru the water as I drifted
off to sleep later that night ...