We finally made it off the dock! It’s been a long time coming, so we were pretty excited to get out for our first test-sail on Toucan last week.
The forecast was for 5-10kts so there’d be nothing too exciting about the outing, just a chance to get the sails up and tweak a few things. As it turned out, the weather gods must have been on coffee break – we saw no more than 7 kts, and for much of the time it was a huge 2-3 kts. Hardly a rip-roaring start! Nevertheless, it was pretty nice to drift along on the flat water on a nice sunny day. I even got to lie on the trampoline, listening to the gentle swishing of the water underneath, imagining being in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean instead of the muddy brown Chesapeake Bay. That was the good news…
The bad news – raising the mainsail requires the strength of Samson and as a result is a very slow process. Should it really be so hard? It IS a very big sail so maybe that’s just the way it is, but we’re going to have to try and find a way to make it easier before Bruce ends up with a hernia or worse. An electric winch would be nice, but is waaay beyond our budget. So we’ll do the obvious things first, like lubricating the track slides and checking the sheaves at the top of the mast to see if we can make a difference to any friction problems there, but beyond that we’re at a bit of a loss. Any bright ideas from you other sailors out there would be most welcome!
We also discovered that the spreader patch on the jib hadn’t been repaired as we asked. We had a bit of a running joke when we were preparing to bring “Illusion” back from New Zealand that the Kiwis seemed to need to do a job twice before getting it right. Here, it seems it’s 3 times! Very frustrating to say the least.
While we were motoring we also noticed a worrying whine from the portside engine/saildrive that wasn’t there when we motored down from Baltimore, and to cap it all off the wind instrument decided to go on strike. Our patience and stamina is definitely being tested. Back to work we go…..