Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Soper's Hole

We arrived in Soper’s with new projects on our list after just the 25 mile jaunt from Bitter End to West End, Tortola.  Shocker, I know.

During the trip from Bitter End, we heard a loud bang from the boom and we had “insta-main” – which, if you are unfamiliar with this term, is where you look up to the main you had reefed since it was gusting up to 25kts, and instead the whole mainsail has unfurled and you are heeled over with the toe rail in the water. 

Since we were on a broad reach, Baxter ran to the mast and the bolt that went from the mast to the main furler had bent and the pin had sheared off.  He caught it in time, but in order to fix it he needed the sail to stay full – on a port tack.  Well, not a big deal unless you’re on a broad reach and the wind is twitchy and wants to come from behind you.  Still no problem, I took the helm and kept us between a beam reach and 100 degrees off.  The problem is, we were heading towards Peter Island and we only had 1.5nm to get the problem fixed before we had to tack or hit land.  We furled in the jib and eased the main to slow down and buy some time.  I kept edging off the wind slightly…100, 105, 110 trying hard to keep it less than 120 off.  Baxter being the master-of-all tasks in front of him, fixed it just in time. 
The other issue which is now on our list is a continuous “knocking” from the rudder post.  There is not much of a fix or emergency solution if your rudder falls off, except throw out an anchor and hope someone can give you a tow…remember we are in a foreign country and it’s not as easy as calling the Coast Guard or Sea Tow.  We have noticed the knocking before and it seems to only be in following seas.  Baxter made sure the rudder post wasn’t about to break but that was about all we could do at that moment.  More research is required before this will be resolved.

We picked up a mooring in Soper’s Hole and chatted with friends to get the latest scoop on where others are heading and the fun they are having.

Soon enough, Steve and Tom on Chandara pulled into the mooring field and I dinghied over to help them pull up the pennant.  Baxter was onshore working on a conference call and had cold beer ready as soon as Chandara was tied up.  We had a great time catching up and sharing passage stories. 

The day pretty much sums up the cruising life…endless projects that keep you busy and frustrated but great friends and experiences that keep you interested and willing to make it work.

1 comment:

Skylark's Voyage said...

We can relate to your comment about endless projects. What's the saying? Cruising means working on endless boat projects in exotic places. We hate that our paths will be crossing; we're getting ready to leave the USVI just as you're getting here. We miss you guys! s/v Skylark

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