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OMG! and other words

Mon Sep 21 2020

I am not one to normally use this rather overworked acronym but in this case it really fits the bill.
I am right now in Deas Cove, Thompson Sound, tied up to a large mussel float mooring. I am consoling myself with a mug of tea and a large slice of my sister’s ultimate fruit cake, baked to a secret recipe but reputed to contain an entire bottle of brandy . I need it. I got here an hour ago - two hours ahead of my ETA.
Remember I mentioned the pole?
Well things were going swimmingly as I surfed down the coast, passing Sound after Sound at high speed. There were in fact five. About three miles out from my destination of Thompson Sound the quick release shackle on the pole topping lift decided to release quickly. All hell broke loose. The pole dropped into the sea, only restrained by the foreguy as the genoa flogged madly and the topping lift swung in ever increasing arcs as we rolled until it wrapped itself around the top of the genoa.I frantically furled the genoa while yelling,“Don’t break, don’t break!” to the pole. Just as I got the genoa under control and prepare to race up to the foredeck the pole broke - or at least the parrot beak at the mast attachment snapped off. I retrieved the pole and lashed it to the rail and set about catching the wildly swinging topping lift. This took considerable time as the boat pitched and rolled through the rough sea but eventually I snagged it with the boat hook and led it round and round the Genoa till it was back in its rightful place.
I made it back to the cockpit and promptly threw up.
Feeling better I steered into the welcoming entrance of Thompson Sound. The wind however had other ideas. Funneled by the high peaks on either side it increased exponentially. Soon it was blowing well over 50knts and the sea was being ripped up into sheets of spray. I was doing 8 knots under a triple reefed main and could barely keep control.It was sailing on a knife edge; we were dead downwind with no margin for error. If a gust backwinded the main, the preventer would stop a crash gybe, but I would lose control and potentially blow the sail or worse. I barely made the point that led into this harbour - passing the rocks at the end with twenty metres to spare. In the lee of the point was a tiny patch of calm. I swung up into it and dropped the main, running quickly forward to lash it down and then dashing back to reverse us away from the rocks, only meters ahead. In the howling wind and rain it took me four attempts to get a line through the buoy and secure us for the night before I could collapse exhausted through the hatch.
The wind is screaming through the rigging and it is supposed to get up even more. The heater is lit and the patient pending Ultimate Wind Deflector is doing its job.
It’s good to be here.

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20 minutes ago, Aleana said:

Holy cow this is turning into a true adventure story in real-time. He should write a book afterwards (I’d buy it). I’m also with the others here who now feel this guy has more than earned a donation to the trust. Anyone know how to do that?




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Latest instalment:
Well that was not a restful night. The wind was like a fearsome beast prowling around the boat all night. It howled and screamed in the rigging, it shook the mast and banged the halyards, it shoved and rocked the boat and tried it’s best to pluck us from our mooring. I was worried the line might chafe through and break at which point we would be flung off into raging black night. To that end I prepared as best I could. I had the anchor cock-a-bill, ready to drop and the radar on all night to give me eyes in the dark. The plotter cannot be relied on. When entering the bay in daylight yesterday it showed me tracking along the rocky shore. The charts are at least one hundred meters out here and this cove is only two hundred meters wide. (If you switch to the satellite option on the tracking page you can zoom in and see the location).

I slept (badly) in my clothes, boots and coat ready. I figured in ten seconds I could be up the campanionway, starting the engine on the way, and get control of the boat if we broke adrift. Hopefully I would have enough power to turn against the wind and then feel my way ib the pitch dark with the radar and sonar (which gives me a lovely 3D rendition of the seabed around me) and anchor in a spot I had already marked on the radar. I would then run out almost all my 85 meters of chain and hope the anchor would hold.
Thankfully I didn’t need to do any of that and the mooring line, although showing signs of chafe, is still holding. I eased the line to “freshen the nip” as the saying goes and declared a hut day. The Sound outside the narrow entrance of this horseshoe cove is still a churning mass of white water and I have no inclination to go out there until it calms down.

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