Gosh it was hard to leave Dominica. We met so many great people. Had a great time. And every time we tried to leave, something kept us back. Once we decided to leave:
Day 1: My diving accident (more details here: http://sailingondine.com/2011/01/20/physics/)
Day 2: I stabbed myself (more details here: http://sailingondine.com/2011/01/25/martinique-at-last/)
Day 3: We blew the pad eye that holds the clew of the main sail (the corner of the main nearest the back of the boat) and had to have it repaired. This is the 2nd time this has happened. The first time we were in Long Island Sound testing out a Spinnaker in way too much wind and the results there were much worse, a good friend ended up with several stitches in his head! At least we were close to my yard: I was told they made it really secure. Just goes to show, you should check for yourself. This time, although the wind was blowing, it was only about 25 knots – maybe 30 – when it blew out. I found out (the hard way) that it was only bolted on – no nuts to go with the bolts. Thankfully our sail maker (there was damage to the main last time this happened) thought to put some canvas webbing in addition to the pad-eye or things would have been worse. No injuries or damage to the main this time. So back we went back to Dominica. I took the whole boom apart and added bolts on the other side of the pad-eye. There’s no way the clew is coming off again. And I kept the extra webbing just for security. Here’s a pic before I took it all apart showing the pad-eye removed from the boom furler.
Day 4: Perhaps because of the accident with the clew, the furler inside the boom came off and became damaged at the other end this time! This is basically where the main sail is attached to the mast. So it was kinda traumatic – as always it was blowing hard – we were in a squall when it happened. God Bless Emma-Kate for quickly figuring out what it was. But this time we said we were going to leave Dominica anyway and sailed on to Martinique. Where with a little help from a local welder I put it all back together again.
Hopefully you can see from the very bad picture (above) that the pin that holds the furler and tack of the main sail (the front bottom corner of the main sail) to the mast is broken (snapped) and the furler is warped. Lots of force out there when the wind picks up! Basically, the pin must have come out. To prevent this in the future, I changed the way the pin is secured – it now has a hold drilled through it and I’ve put a split pin through that to hold it in place.
I’m not even going to start with the other things that I have to continually repair as I’ve said it all before. I changed the oil and filters in the Starboard engine today and I need to give the generator a good servicing as well as the engine temperature light is coming on when it shouldn’t. I also fixed a nagging smelly plumbing problem today (my apologies to all of you who stayed in the starboard cabin – it’s much less smelly now!) I’ll become a blue collar worker yet.
Hopefully Emma-Kate will still feel like this about me as the transformation takes place:
And this was after she let me cut her hair! Gosh I’m a lucky guy!! (She cut mine too.)