|Headstay in hand, calling the rigger|
Things we going well on our first night out on the west coast. Sea's were a bit rough but we were both getting good sleeps (4 hour shifts) and we were sailing downwind with the hydrovane.
At about 2 in the morning the wind dropped so I furled up the jib and started motoring. Without the pressure in the sails it was pretty rolly and by 5 am the wind had picked up enough for Karina to try sailing on her watch. She got the headsail partially furled out but then it got stuck. She called me up and we went on the foredeck to have a look. Something didn't look right. I figured the foil (which holds the sail in a track) had dropped down on the stay and things we jammed up. We furled the sail back up, threw a second halyard forward for good measure and left it until daylight.
Picture one of the largest west coast rivers flowing out into a big open spance of the pacific ocean that has thousands of miles of fetch for waves to build and build flowing east. The two meet and have a party (not the good kind). Add that to the fact that its one of the busier freighter ports on the coast and you understand why it is feared (and avoided) by most sailors doing their first trip down the coast.
Luckily for us all was calm and we only had a 300 ft dredger take a run at us so we were able to arrive in Astoria safe and sound.
We lowered the stay onto the dock and found the reason our stay came free. The sta lock mechanical fitting had unscrewed at the top.
|Gary way up with no headstay to hold things up|
Back at the bottom of the stay we realized it was much longer than it should be. 3 screws and 4 bolts later we had the furler unit apart and realized our problem. The mechanical fitting on the bottom had also come free. In addition it was missing a very important 10 cent washer (which Harken demands you put in) that keeps the foil from undoing the mechanical fitting should it ever come lose and bottom out. The good news is we know why everything came undone and will be able to fix it completely when we find a good rigger in San Francisco.
All in all a good few days.
I must get to bed for our 3 am departure to get back out the bar so the story of Astoria will need to wait for now.