They call it pleasure boating

The past couple of days have not been what you would classify as fun. I’d still rather be aboard Escape Velocity than anywhere else but I sure wish we were someplace warmer.

We have well and truly screwed up our mainsail and furler. We returned to the anchorage after the mishap but couldn’t even assess the situation until the next morning because of high winds. When we finally got a good look, we could see that when we furled the main back on while the sail was out of control (that was our biggest mistake) the battens got caught and shredded in the mechanism, and now are jammed against the boom, keeping us from turning the mandrel to release the sail.

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We assume that detaching the mandrel from the boom would allow us to lift the whole works out and release the sail and broken battens but it isn’t obvious to us how to do that, and we’re reluctant to try and effect this kind of operation at anchor in 40 degree weather.

Complicating things is another storm brewing along the coast that’ll reach our current position on Wednesday with conditions approaching what we experienced with Sandy. No, thanks. We decided to wrap the mainsail up, lash it securely to the boom and get the heck outta Dodge. Sunday there was very little wind, and what there was was on our stern, so we put up the jib for a little push and motor sailed as far as we could in a very long day. The sun came out and cheered us a little but added no heat whatsoever.

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We made it as far as Deltaville, VA, and went in the back way to give us a head start in the morning. Our cruising guide advised there is a town dock where you can tie up for free. We found it easily and despite a sign warning no overnighting allowed, we stayed put.

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We had a fantasy that we would call for a pizza to be delivered to the dock, but no, we’re in rural Virginia, the Bible Belt, and everything is closed on a Sunday night. Jack and Izzy settled in with a blanket while I cooked dinner.

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We both had a fitful night, worrying about the mainsail and the weather, and the unfamiliar sounds of being tied to a dock for the first time in months.

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We got underway again at 7am, before coffee even. I helped Jack navigate the narrow channel back out and we touched bottom briefly on a falling tide but we made it out safely and while Jack got us back on our southerly course I went below to make coffee. NOAA is predicting worsening conditions later today and we’re hoping to get at least at far as Portsmouth where we can fuel up and get out of the way of the coming storm.

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2 Responses to They call it pleasure boating

  1. karen sherer

    Be careful….travel safely…enjoy! These photos are fabulous

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