Friday, April 17, 2015
Off to Georgetown Exumas, and a Really Dumb Thing
We left Big Majors and the attack pigs, and moved to Georgetown in the Exumas. We had considered doing this in two days, but in the end, decided to just do the 55 miles or so in a single day trip. This meant an early start, and a late finish. The entire run was southeast, into a southeast breeze. So we motored a good bit, and tried to keep our speed up with the headsail as best we could. We got to Georgetown and got anchored up right before dark. The halyard, or rope, that raises the mainsail will clang against the mast unless it is moved to a different spot, and we do this at the end of a sail so that we and everyone else around, doesn't have to listen to the clanging and clunking. So, I moved it, and fastened it to the boom just like I have done many times before. The last step in this process is to pull the halyard tight and put a little tension on it. Halyards thrive on tension, unlike people who avoid it. Anyway, when I pulled the halyard tight, it didn't get tight at all. Hmmm. I pulled a little more, knowing how halyards like to live their lives all tense and all. That is when it happened. I heard a strange noise, just for a few seconds, a sound that I had not heard before. Kind of a whipping noise, and then the sound of something falling onto the deck at the mast base. I ran to see what had happened, and then it hit me. The halyard was not fastened to the boom, even though I just fastened it. Weird. The sound that I heard was the sound of the halyard going up to the top of the mast, and then the excess rope falling into a pile on the deck. The halyard normally goes up the inside of the mast, to the very top. It then goes over a wheel called a sheeve I think, and then it comes back down the mast, on the outside this time, all the way to the bottom. To raise the mainsail, this halyard is then connected to the sail with a shackle and the sail can be pulled up the mast. By pulling the halyard, I had just sent the halyard and it's shackle to the top of the mast, and the extra rope had fallen down the inside of the mast, and spilled out onto the deck. Shit. We were so tired, we called it a day, and the next morning, my worse fears were confirmed.