A different kind of birthday

Instead of a family dinner at home or a rare visit to a favorite restaurant, instead of birthday gifts and birthday apple pie, Jack had a very different kind of birthday. We began the night before with a homemade pizza dinner and a wonderful bottle of champagne, courtesy of Alan from Snow White.

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The next day, Jack’s actual birthday, we bent on the repaired mainsail. Mark from Inner Banks Sails & Canvas delivered the sail to the dinghy dock the day before.

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We have a boom furler and this is the first time we bent on the sail. With Alan to help, we got the foot attached.

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Then we added the battens as we furled the sail onto the boom. We would have preferred to add the battens from the top down as we raised the sail, then furl it, but it was way too breezy for that, so we worked from the bottom up and furled as we went. This went well until the next to the last batten. It kept coming up crooked, meaning it wasn’t lined up with the boom and couldn’t be rolled onto the mandrel. Hmmm. We unfurled, no small task in the breeze, we furled. We unfurled and furled. Every batten lined up until that one, and we couldn’t figure out why. We decided to leave out the last two battens and get the sail onto the boom, then when we could raise the sail, get it furled properly onto the boom, hoping the battens would line up properly. We continued to roll up the sail, skipping the problematic batten, and when we got to the last batten pocket it was lined up perfectly! Aha! Batten number four was crooked! We couldn’t understand how a batten could roll crooked onto the mandrel without getting broken — which it was originally — and then putting a hole in the batten pocket — which it had originally. We wonder why no one noticed this before, or if we are wrong in thinking this is wrong.

In any case, we installed the last batten, so we’re only missing the 4th for now, and the sail should be good to go. Once we can raise it and take a good look we might have a better idea of what’s going on.

That done, we went inside and I baked some muffins to reward the crew. A little later we all walked into town for a few provisions, visited a shop featuring local artists and craftsmen and made our daily stop at the Bean.

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In the evening, we had a somewhat scaled down birthday dinner but no birthday apple pie. Izzy was not pleased.

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I promised Jack we’ll have a better birthday celebration later when we get to a place where we’re not so darned cold all the time!

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2 Responses to A different kind of birthday

  1. You guys look cold in the foul weather gear. Take heart, warm shorts and t-shirt weather ahead! (we turned AL’s electric heater on for 1st time today to chase off the overnight chill). You will be warmer this winter than we will in the Med.

  2. Jeff & Carla

    When you three make it over this way, I’ll make you one of my apple praline pies. Izzy will be pleased.

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