Sailing In/Out of the Slip - 7/15/2006
Sailing In/Out of the Slip - 7/15/2006Report Abuse
On July 8 we had beautiful weather, although little wind for sailing until late at night. Since the motor is on the blink (a new fuel pump is on order) we SAILED FROM THE SLIP!! That’s right, the wind was light but steady out of the SW, so we sailed Kelly III directly from her slip into the open bay. Bob Allison, Mark Johnson, and Keith Otto were excellent crew as we had to warp Kelly III into a position to take advantage of the SW breeze, but once we were in position, it was an easy sail on the partially unfurled jib. We did have some work to do stepping the mast, so we could replace the masthead sheaves. With that in mind, we sailed to Presque Isle Marina to use the free gin pole there to step the mast. Unfortunately, the SW wind meant we’d have to short-tack the very tight channel into Marina Lake, so we accepted a tow from another friendly sailboat as the better part of valor.
Bob, Mark and Keith did a great job as we brought Kelly III into position to step the mast. However, I told Mark to “keep on cranking” even though he warned me there seemed to be a lot of tension. We soon heard a loud “BANG” which we discovered was the catastrophic failure of the port spreader casting on the mast. We replaced the 2 damaged masthead sheaves, jury-rigged support for the cracked aluminum casting and finally cast off into the light but favorable SW wind. I say favorable, because what was a short-tack situation coming in, was an easy run to leave Marina Lake. Only 100 yards out of the channel and into Presque Isle Bay, the wind died completely. Since we had plenty of food and drinks, and Excellent Companions, we decided to wait until the wind came back. We only had to sail about a mile back to Bay Harbor Marina, so it seemed a reasonable decision. Well, we tried my new whisker pole made from 2 sections of Schedule 40 PVC pipe, we hoisted both jibs, we tried multiple rigs and trims of all the sails, but to no avail. In fact, we were very slowly drifting toward the shoals east of the channel entrance to Marina Lake. As a precaution, we dropped anchor to stop our drift. It was after 11pm before we really got enough breeze to sail again, but the wind was changing to a southerly breeze. Easy enough to tack across the bay, but it would require our heading directly into the wind to enter Bay Harbor Marina (BHM) – with no engine! Well, it took 3 practice trys, but the fourth time was the charm! We organized ourselves, so that everyone knew exactly what their job was. I had the tiller and sailed close-hauled along the new seawall outside the Commodore Perry Yacht club to get some speed. Mark and Bob prepared themselves to fend off, then warp us in as we came close into BHM. Keith furled the jib at the proper moment so we didn’t drift backward, but kept our momentum thru the marina entrance. It looked like we knew what we were doing!! With about a knot of way still on, we unfurled the jib a few feet for a little more way, then just as quickly, furled it again as we turned upwind into the slip. Keith, Mark and Bob all were professional in the crewing and warping as we neatly came alongside – classic seamanship at its best!!
The sail into the slip was especially gratifying as the week before on Troy Cain’s Persistent, we sailed the mile or so up Whitehall Creek, Chesapeake Bay, without an engine and pulled into his slip along the seawall there. It was with a great feeling of accomplishment that our crew sailed Kelly III to her slip. The new fuel filter should be installed soon, as well as the new stainless steel replacements for both spreader castings. For some reason they think it is wise to replace them after 30 years and who am I to argue?