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.
To fix this mess, will require someone to go up the mast, and grab the shackle and halyard, and pull them as the come back down. Not too tough, just go up there and right back down. I'm not doing it, no way. Joyce doesn't want to either. We considered sending Guincha up, but figured we might get turned in to the SPCA or something. Oh well, we gotta find someone to help. As it turns out, there is what they call a Radio Net her, every morning at 0800 on the VHF radio. The purpose is to get the latest news concerning the area, let people ask for things they need, sell stuff, etc. I asked for someone to climb the mast and help with a quick problem. Silence. No one said a thing. OK, be that way, something will work out, it always does. We anchored in a cool spot, near a monument on the top of a hill. There was a great stretch of beach here, and Guincha loved it too.
There are miles of white sandy beach here, and stands of Australian Pine trees that grow down close to the water. The wind makes a captivating sound as it blows through these trees, and the needles are round and not sharp at all. It makes for a really picturesque scene, with the white sand, the trees and the aqua blue clear water that the Bahamas are blessed with.
There is even a bar here, because that is what every desserted beach needs. In typical Bahamas colors too.
This place looks to have closed up a while back, too bad... they allow dogs in here too. We went across the harbor to town and got soaking wet. The harbor here is open to the sea at one end, the end that the prevailing winds come from. This means that there are some pretty good choppy waves in the harbor, and to get across it means there is going to be water everywhere. OK, so a little water. No biggie. In town we saw only a few people, it was Sunday and the place was pretty much closed down. We saw a couple of sailors, and we were directed to the Peace and Plenty Resort for a quick lunch. It was a great place, right on the harbor, and the food was reasonable and good. We split a conch hamburger, and it was great. As it turns out, a young couple was next to us, the only other people in the place really, and they were on a boat near us that we had seen. They were on a boat called Seawolf, and we laughed because our boat was once named Seawolf! Dominic and Sarah are sailing with their dog, and hence the name. Dominic said he heard me on the radio net, and couldn't get a response in on the radio. He volunteered to go up the mast, and help with the halyard-gone-bad problem. Awesome! He seemed really smart too, until that moment, and of course his mental stability was quickly called into question. The next afternoon, up he went, and down came the halyard. It is in time out right now, for running away like that. We sat and visited, talking of sailing plans and dreams. It turns out that Dominic is only slightly nuts, getting a thrill from climbing masts is not normal behavior. He and his wife are sailing the carribean and have a youtube channel. Search SV Seawolf and they should come up. Thanks again Seawolf, and good sailing to you both!


  1. What a small world....I just found their YouTube channel last night and was watching their videos....even before I knew that they had met some of my good friends!!

  2. Cool! They are really nice, and really helped us out, too. We hope you are all doing good on Catchin Rays!

  3. Stay safe! Sounds like it's been quite the adventure so far.

  4. Hmm...sounds like it might be time to get comfortable with using a Bosuns chair or harness. Going up the mast really isn't that bad...and you can get a great view of the area. ;-)


  5. Well, it's like this. I gotta real fear of heights, a phobia. I guess I could go up, if I had too. I would rather get some kind of harness, like you said, we have a chair and it seems a bit scary too. The chair is just a gravity thing, to hold you in it. A harness is a lot more secure. Anyway, I have always had a fear of heights, just about didn't make it over the repel wall in the Army, but I did it. What kind of harness should I look at getting?