Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Sydney and Sails

Well last night was interesting. Yesterday, several boats started leaving and we kept on adjusting the raft until we had four boat left. During the night the wind really picked up with a new low coming through and the rafted boats ended up broadside to the wind. Of course everything sounded wrong and about 3 am three sets of heads popped out of three different boats at about the same time. We quickly decided that the raft up needed to be broken up immediately. So under the glare of a half dozen mast spreader light we cast everyone off. Lucky for us we already had our anchor out so we really didn't have to do much besides fend everyone off. Strangely enough, it was quite a festive event and overall pretty low stress considering.
Later the front moved on through and the rain started dumping in earnest.
The next morning I dingied Mike and Diane over to Roche for their early AM Sea Plane flight to Seattle. It had just let up on the rain, but was apparently still dumping in Seattle, so they had to wait a couple of hours for everything to break up. Meanwhile, I dingied over to White Swan and Bob and I went to retrieve my Danforth Anchor along with his rode (the end of which was attached to a fender floating behind us). After we that mess up, we hauled up my Primary Anchor and the hauled up my secondary anchor. The last 50' is chain and we hauled it by hand ... whew. Bob and Diane then headed to the docks while Kathy and I dropped anchor again and promptly went back to sleep.
About noon we woke up and managed to snap a photo of Mike and Diane taking off.
Mike and Diane taking off next to Nelli Bly
After some more serious slaking, we headed off to Sydney to pick up our hopefully shortened Genoa. We had a really nice sail and managed to get some hitchhikers. A pod of about 20 dolphins rode our bow wave for 30 minutes. Kathy and I hung on the foredeck while they surfed our bow below. Very, very cool! Nelli Bly left about half an hour after us and managed to spot some Orcas about a mile North of us.
Since the wind was blowing 15-20 kts, the whole Port of Sidney docking experience was quite a challenge; however, we managed to make it in without too much problem. Earlier, people had been getting pulled into the water because of the strong winds.
BJ & Tricia showed up a bit later and we had a nice Greek dinner downtown (Sidney has a million Greek places).
I called up UK sails bright and early so that they could bring my sails over. Lo and behold they hadn't even started re-working them. That is why I sent them the sails two weeks ago, so that they would be ready when I showed up! They did promise me that the sail would be delivered by 10am the next morning. So we will see.
The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping, booze shopping and doing several boat repairs (like replacing my stern tie that I sold to the White Swan the year before).
BJ and the UK sales rep helped my pull the Genoa down again (this is something like the 4th or 5th time we have done this in the last month!). The new sail slid up quickly and looks okay on the dock. We won't really be able to tell until we put some wind on her. BJ & Tricia take off for the Princess Islands while Kathy and I clean up the boat. Meanwhile, we are getting booted out of the Marina. The Seattle Yacht club has reserved damn near the whole marina and the guy that has our space is waiting for us to leave. So under a flurry of activity we cast off and start heading north. We don't actually know where we are going but I guess we will figure it out somehow. I go down below and plot a course to Monteque Harbor. We were there last year and it is an easy Harbor to anchor in, plus there is a really cool pub that we wanted to try out.
But first, it is time to try out the new sail. We are on a broad reach and I unfurl the new sail. Hmm, there is a big pucker that runs from the luff all of the way to the clew. This does not look right. So I spend about 20 minutes farting with it and call UK. They give me suggestions, but no luck. So I snap some photos. (The furled sail on the right is actually the Staysail. Also notice that the draft is way aft.) UK has a rep in Nanamio, so the rep will supposedly look at it. We sailed for a couple of hours and then I went to start the motor. Nothing. I went below and banged the starter with a hammer and she fired right up. Just another day in the life.
That night Kathy and I dingy ashore and wait for the bus to the Hummingbird pub. The bus used to pick people up at the marina, but now picks them up at the main road after a little incident. Seems like the brakes gave way one day and the bus crashed through one of the marina's buildings. Oops. Of course Kathy and I didn't know this, so we waited until we saw the bus pass us by on the hill. Luckily we were able to pick up a ride with someone from the kayak rental place. The Hummingbird pub is really a fine place and we managed to tiredly make it through dinner. As we were finishing dinner, who appeared before us like an apparition, but Saint BJ. I guess Nellie Bly didn't feel like messing with a stern tie so she had anchored in Montague as well. So they joined us while I related the days activities. When I got to the part about the starter, BJ suggested that we take it apart and rebuild it --- "15 minutes," he says. At this point Kathy start laughing uncontrollably (and really hasn't stopped). Afterward there was a lively discussion about starters and spares and all kinds of wild and crazy things.

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