Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sandy - a tough day all around

well, yesterday was a tough day all around. while flying the 3/4oz spinnaker in 18-20 knot tailwinds and 5-8 feet mixed wind waves, we experienced the mother of all spinnaker wraps that cost us 3 hours of racing in the afternoon. it was all hands on deck when jibing the main didn't solve our problem and it was obvious somebody had to go up the mast and solve it. the sail was hanging on by the wraps at the top of the forestay and it was flying straight out like a pennant. david went up in a climbing harness plus some tethers to keep him from becoming shaken to bits. i was so proud to see the entire crew working like crazy to get the job done. eliza snapped a shot or 2 and we may post them by time we get to hawaii. we all thought we were going to lose the sail and were very sad about that, but also very conscious to not run over it when it was eventually cut loose. i can't imagine what it must have been like up there with the boat swinging so wildly. the story has a happy ending; we were able to save the sail, an unbelievable feat. remember it was streaming downwind like a pennant. from the top of the mast, david saw that it might be salvageable so he cut a line and the mess at the top drifted maybe a third of the way down the forestay. we brought him down safely and they eventually managed to catch the sail and coax it down the forestay. that took well over an hour and was an unbelievable effort by everybody. we were cleaning up the mess and setting white sails by sunset. everybody received bumps and bruises, but the sail had only one jagged tear that was fixed this morning by leslie who had recently gotten 2 hours of personal sail repair instruction from kame richards, himself. wow. what a huge effort. what an unbelievable happy ending.

unfortunately for us, once we recovered a bit, and repaired and reset the spinnaker (minus the mutilated sock) we found ourselves in very light air. from one extreme to another! we lost some valuable ground yesterday and last night. we appreciate the cheerful notes from some of you. we're not out of the game yet. we are now back to work.

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