Sunday, June 29, 2014

Disaster Report

Yesterday was quite a trial for the combination of skipper, boat and conditions. 

I am back in Berkeley trying to fix stuff.

When I got on the boat right before the start, the wireless  instruments were dead. They had worked for weeks with only one minor glitch. Now the box looks completely dead after I have checked all connections and fuses.  I cable tied a handheld GPS in the cockpit and left the dock.  Could not see AIS outside anymore. Turned out fog did not look like as issue. 

At the start, the main track broke away from the base of the mast. The StrongTrack slid down to the boom causing an ugly belly in the main. Did not have time to try to go forward and mess with the Cunningham. 

My tacks were very sloppy and I lost ground on every one.  I was getting overrides almost every tack on the Yankee winches. It would take a minute or so to clear them while counting my fingers. The two jibs and hand steering are a hand full and I quickly started tiring. 

I was in last as I approached the Gate, but still near Gary on Elizabeth Ann.  I had tacked up the Marin side and then across near Chrissy Field. Gary went this way as well.  I lined up a tack as close to the South Tower as possible. We were near max flood and a predicted 4 knot current.  I was planning on getting around the South Tower and going behind Mile Rock where there might be a back ebb. At one point I was beating hard with the rail in the water and the boat doing .9 knots. The wind had shifted to the south west over night. I was getting seriously headed and shoved into the center of the Gate. I tried to tack back south and then back west a couple times. The boat would come through the eye and then stall. Putting the tiller back across did no good the boat swept back to 100 degrees off the wind before I had enough sail power to start forward again and come back up. This happened two or three times. On my last attempt to windward the boat spun out and I was headed downwind with sails in tight. Tried throwing off the sheets. Got the Yankee in on the roller after struggle and barreling downwind for the St. Francis. The staysail had wrapped and it's sheet tangled on the pin rail. Could not balance the boat enough to get the Monitor to steer downwind with tangled sail. Ran forward and staysail would only come down a few feet. Then I would run back to keep from gybing.  Noticed stay sail had about a 4 foot rip parallel to the leach. 

Totally exhausted at this point, at this point I fell off towards Alcatraz. Gary had made it through the Gate fine on the same general path. Wind finally dropped enough to get stay sail unjammed and down. Fell off further towards Berkeley and called Corine and Lucie.   At this point. It seemed like a pleasant Saturday afternoon sail. 

Ben, Corine and my friend Bill met me at BYC.  Slept for 12 hours. 

Corine has fixed the staysail. I have contacted the sail track and electronics manufacture and awaiting information. Thinking about shoving off again but have missed afternoon slack/ebb. 

Would like to leave with boat in order since competition is not an issue. Paul Kaman was trying to sell me on the Pac Cup and Ben just about shoved him off the dock.   Mexico is an option, though Corine may not be that welcome after today's futbol match

Time will tell. 

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