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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Spinnaker Heaven!... for about 10 minutes

It's been three nights now since we departed Bora Bora, being illegal aliens for 16 days while waiting out weather.
We're headed to a small island in the Cooks called Suwarrow (pronounced SU-VER-OV by some, and SWARROW by others).

But the old seaman's farewell adage "Fair winds and following seas" is a quandary.
The 'fair winds' part we get; the 'following seas' part is baffling.
We despise that point of sail.
Following seas mean a ride on a mighty elephant sod out of its mind, weaving dramatically from side to side, inserting high rise hiccups periodically and leaning WAY over to one side - and then to the other - as if it eventually might just topple over altogether in a heap of drunken lethargy.

Jim had re-rigged our spinnaker halyard (thanks to suggestions from our fellow Tartan TOCK sailor's online group) and we were very happy with the result. So as a remedy for our current state, we hoisted our asymmetrical spinnaker on the starboard side, mirroring the genoa on the port. It was time to dance a jig! We picked up a knot and a half of speed and Hotspur settled nicely! Hot doggy!! This would cut off an entire day of our passage if the wind kept up!

But our jubilee was short lived. While Jim applied mylar tubing to a possible chafe zone on the sheet, I danced my way aft to chase off (for the ump-teenth time) a determined Boobie bird warming his feathered fanny on the solar panels. I was waving my arms and jumping and shouting when out of the corner of my eye I saw colors shimmy in the sky. My brain registered a Deja vu in time to see our fabulous spinnaker snake it's way through the air and plunge head first into the sea, waving stupidly like an festive party streamer. (Jim says the spinnaker has spent more time in the water than out... but really, I think that's just his cup-half-empty talking.) Abandoning the Boobie,Jim and I were able to retrieve the sail - sock and all. We discovered that the large U-bolt at the mast broke off. The bolt was probably original (thus 38 years old) and was likely rusting underneath a coat (or 2 or 3) of paint. So, once again we have a salty spinny detached from its salty sock, both drying on deck.

Just like the Hulk and David Banner, Captain Crankypants replaced my sweet and logical husband. Snarling and swearing, the captain grabbed a boat hook and started towards the only thing he that might take his brooding mind off the spinnaker... the wide-eyed Boobie. The Boobie, beak open and backing away, must have known this was no longer time to test the limit... for it had been reached. Something in the eyes of the deranged captain scared the squatter and he flew the coop - never to return. Smart bird for a genuine bird brain.

And Carolyne, knowing that Jim and I suffered a rather crappy morning, cheered us both up quite nicely with a savory comfort meal of homemade fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy. And dang... that girl can cook - and what's more I didn't have to!! And the rest of the day was joyous. There really is nothing like a good meal to boost a crew's morale!

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1 comment:

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