Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sunset, War Ship & Mast Climbing

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We left Charleston Tuesday May 6 around 2 in the afternoon and motored for 24 hours, then sailed for 18 hours, arriving Beaufort, NC in the early morning on Thursday. We were exhausted following a sunset attempt to lower the main sheet in order to reduce speed to time a daylight arrival; the sail was caught on a screw which had worked its way out of the track. As the sun was setting and rollers were knocking the boat around, we dug out the device that is supposed to be easy to use to raise the Captain to the top of the mast. No choice, the sail had to come down in order to enter Beaufort inlet, and 25 knots of wind were forecast. We tried for about an hour to figure out the mastclimber, and once it was properly rigged, the seas were so rolly that Peter kept getting banged against the mast, as it swayed from side to side. So we determined to leave the sail up, sail to Beaufort, and call for help once we arrived. This ordeal took about 2 hours, and fortunately Sojourner and a US War Ship stood by, the latter unhappy with our location but apparently understanding our predicament. While Peter was trying to climb the mast, fighter jets were taking off like the proverbial bat out of hell, and landing for another take off. Very impressive, had my husband not been swinging from ropes in a rocking sea.

Fortunately, we were able to shake the sail off of the screw some time later in the evening by tacking from side to side. This having been accomplished, we sailed under headsail only and made good time to arrive in Beaufort at slacktide.

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