My first offshore trip was a delivery and it was an amazing sail. When I look back on it I always remember feeling relaxed and cruising downwind. This video makes me feel the same way.
Though, as the end alluded to there was still some adventure along the way. With as many things as went wrong as a whole the trip as a whole went remarkably well. (If the previous statement doesn’t make sense to you you’re either not a sailor or you’re an amazing sailor.)
You watched us spot an approaching cold front and drop all sails in anticipation of its arrival. Good thing too, it brought winds in the high thirties and hail. It kicked up chop that quickly grew steep enough that we couldn’t motor into it. After an hour of making 2 knots toward the harbor we dug out the storm jib, hoisted it and were on our way; we managed to tie up about an hour before sunset and hide from gale force winds for 24 hours.
Running the asym at night we sailed into the center of a low pressure while on port tack. After the fourth time we sailed back into the dead air in the center of it we gybed which carried us out of the low into air that kept building and building and taking us the wrong direction. Once all hands were on deck we dropped the asym and switched to our blade; shortly thereafter we tucked two reefs into the main.
The boat had 7 winches, the largest 5 were electric. Electric winches would have been great except they kept tripping a breaker somewhere cutting power to the entire boat. Using any of the 5 electric winches at the wrong time could cause the power to fail; only one of the 5 electric winches would disengage from its electric motor so that it could be used manually with a winch handle. When we raised the storm jib sans power the cockpit was an absolute tangle of lines. Other than making moving around tricky the arrangement we chose actually worked out fine.
The starboard running light on the bow didn’t work. We bought some battery powered replacement running lights but those would hardly last a night on the bow. More of a problem is that we had to attach them to the bow pulpit which meant they were obscured on one side whenever we were running the asym.
With that big of an asym and only 5 crew the gybes and douses were dramatic but uneventful all things considered. We only broached once and, shockingly, it wasn’t at night. A big ease of the main and asym sheets got us upright again which was impressive in 25 knots of breeze.
Still, the most memorable part of this sail was ripping along under full main and A3 for more than 24 hours reaching more than 17 knots of boat speed and being completely relaxed on deck while doing so. Something I’ll always remember and work to duplicate 🙂
[…] A3 through the night. Once there was enough light I got out my camera and started filming. Sure, plenty went wrong but, overall, the experience was relaxing and rewarding. Anyway, I just thought I'd share these […]