Sunday, January 27, 2013

Key West - High winds and a dismasting

Not what you want to see when going out for an afternoon sail
The winds topped out today at 35 kts with 4 ft waves according to those who went out to race today. We were not among them! One of the sailboats that go out for a day sail came back and the captain lost control of his boat in the high winds, resulting in tee-boning the boat next to us, we were not touched. He eventually warpped his boat into the slip but only after a few scraping sounds on his fiberglass.

Mast split halfway down
Then we saw one of the two masted schooners that take passengers out for the day come back with the taller of this two masts split in two places! The wooden mast split at the top where the top shrouds connect and also about halfway down. This resulted in everything coming down (a gravity storm - as the mariners say). One person was carried off with a temporary cast on her leg and another was getting treatment for a foot injury. Neither incident was serious. The boom was also split. There was a sign posted saying there were no serious injuries and the ship would be repaired and will be sailing again soon!

I was in the main marina office when another sailboat came in, a 30 footer, looking for a slip for the night. They were also out racing and related that it was a wild ride! They were taking water over the side and thought caution was the better part of valor and headed in for a calm harbor.

Not just anywhere!
So there was a lot of wind - but the temperatures are still in the mid-70's and there's still Key West to explore so it's not too bad. The first day that looks somewhat calmer is Thursday but it's wild until then. We got to Key West just in time!