The winds picked up a little earlier today. Kristen turned on the engine during her three to six am watch, and we were able to set the jib flying and turn off the engine around ten this morning. Here it is now, eleven, and I am finally done pulling and tweaking strings.
One hour is a bit unusual to set a single sail, the jib, and trim the other two, but this is Mango and me. Naturally I got a jib sheet override, and spent the better part of fifteen minutes sorting that out. I don't always get them, but enough to know the drill:
- Stare at it, maybe it isn't real.
- Pull the tail of the sheet, foolishly hard enough to hurt.
- Mutter about, look for the piece of temporary line to attach to the jib sheet before the winch.
- Rig the line with a rolling hitch, run it true through a block and lead it to another winch.
- Realize something is not right, redo step four.
- Haul away, haul away!
- Cringe since I'm sure something will break while removing the load of the jib from the jib sheet (nothing ever has).
- Without any pressure on the tail of the jib sheet, undo the spaghetti and run it correctly around the winch.
- Ease the loads on the temporary line, stow.
All the while it's "Watch the damn dogs, mate!", as I move throughout the cockpit.
Penultimately, finish trimming the main sail and mizzen, coil the lines, neaten the cockpit, pour a cuppa joe, and be amazed at the sea, with that glorious blue.
The final step, and the best by far, is to receive a grilled cheese sandwich from Emma, and spend a glorious hour chit chatting away with her.
As the day progressed, so did the wind, and by dinner time we were hitting low twenties. By course the main was reefed, first reef, then the second, and finally we dropped the main altogether. Each time we hove to, essentially parking the boat to ease the motion and slow everything down. It is so much easier to manipulate the main sail when the boat is calm.
During my nine to midnight watch I furled in the jib, with the wind blowing near twenty five knots. When we came down from Seattle twenty five was no problem, but that was running with the wind, and we were beating into the wind this time. It is surely a different feeling. The boat is banging around, moving like a bronco, and about every fifth wave launching a bit off, slamming back down into the water. Not quite slamming, more like a whoosh, but still, the motion was a bit warmer than we like it.
Eventually with eighteen miles to go at around midnight we turned on the engine, furled the jib completely and motored the rest of the way to Cabo. The anchorage is wide, with virtually no navigational hazards. There were two boats at anchor, making it particularly easy to pick a good spot to drop the hook, which is a good thing at four o'dark thirty in the morning. With the hook down, we buttoned up the boat and slept like pet rocks.
April 22nd, 2017