Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Solomons at Zahniser's YC - At a dock, the mainsail breaks

There goes our sail - how do they roll up the sail so neatly!
We weighed anchor in good time this morning and started out towards Annapolis in good cheer. We had 10 kts of wind on the nose but the seas were supposed to be less than 1 ft, not a bad day. Once out of the harbor, we raised the mainsail and I heard a "pop" but didn't thing anything of it at the time. So we're headed out around the point and I looked up and noticed the mainsail is not all the way to the top of the mast. It's positively sagging. Well this is not good. Getting a better look at it I could see that the main halyard had parted company with the mainsail. Now I had a non-functional mainsail. We turned around and headed back to Solomons where there were a number of places that might be available to give us aid.

Zahniser's YC is a very nice marina with the best WiFi we've ever encountered, 45 Mbps
The first place we thought of was Zahniser's Yacht Center, a popular working yard in the Solomons. In talking to the service manager I learned that they were backed up for the next three and half weeks! He referred me to Quantum Sail Design which was in the same marina as Zahniser's. They were fantastic! They immediately came out and took down the sail and said they could have it repaired within four hours and at the same time also fix the bottom and the clew of the sail which haven't been touched for 12 years, they were a little weather beaten.

Up the mast to retrieve the halyard, not me
The halyard had separated from the mainsail and was somewhere in the mast. When they came back with the repaired sail, one when up the mast and fished out the halyard, we were worried that it had dropped all the way down to the base of the mast, a big job to find if it did. The other guy did all the work hoisting him up the mast on a spare halyard I had while I played out the safety line.  All the wear points now look as good as new!

For the repair we had come into Zahniser's YC and could have left without being charged a dockage fee if we left before 5:00 but we decided to stay overnight anyway, enough excitement for one day. The delay has reset our plans so there's no certainty when we'll get back to PYC. We'll let the weather dictate that. Meanwhile, things could have turned out much worse. We could have lost the top halyard out in the Chesapeake or anywhere else with a big sea, yesterday for example. To have such a problem and to get it repaired so quickly is almost unheard of in boating. We are grateful for that.

For now we plan on Annapolis on Thursday, Chesapeake City on Friday and Saturday for a layover day since all day rain is predicted with 25 kts winds. You do not want to be out on the Delaware Bay in 25 kt winds!! Sunday looks fine for setting out down the bay.