Yes, that’s the cruising life. One day you’re down, the next you’re back on top.
We made Portsmouth in record time and were happy to get ahead of the weather. Just as we were leaving the Tidewater fuel dock we got a text from Alan who said there was room at the free dock by the north ferry landing. Yippee! Another free dock night! This is purely a tie-up, no water or electricity, but we sometimes like a break from the drudgery of anchoring.
Alan took our docklines and helped secure Escape Velocity, then climbed up on the roof to take a look at the boom. “Do you mind if we have a go?” he asked in his understated Brit way.
We untied the sail and while i manned the furler with a manual winch handle he and Jack pulled and tugged and wrangled and yanked on the sail, unbolting and removing the broken battens as they went.
It took a good hour, a bit of Alan’s blood and the rest of the energy Jack and I had left but eventually the whole thing lay on deck. We got the foot reattached properly, flaked the sail on deck and carefully refurled it, an exercise that took several tries because without the battens the sail was difficult to get completely straight on the mandrel. We think we’re pretty close to good on that. We still have to remove the furling line, which is half wound onto the drum. It shouldn’t be when the sail is furled.
It appears the sail is no worse for having suffered our errors. We’ll need new battens and some stitching, maybe a new batten pocket, certainly a new cover. Of course we have yet to try raising it, but that will have to wait. And we owe Alan big time.
We’re planning to stay tied to this dock to wait out the weather and watch the election returns, then we’ll motor into the Intercoastal Waterway again, this time toward the Great Dismal Swamp.