November 6, 2009

Ungratifying Ways to Spend Money

During a trip to Vegas a few years ago, my friend Richard wanted to experience the thrill of high-stakes gambling at the blackjack table.  He went to the hi-rollers' table, plunked down his $40 ante, and got dealt. He took a card, went over, and his $40 was gone.  He didn't even get a taste of the game.

I had a similar experience the other day when we hit a windless patch just two miles from the finish line in Cabo. We had been sailing 8-12 knots most of the night, so it was especially frustrating spending over an hour trying to squeeze out the final two miles. When the wind gets that light, it tends to switch directions randomly. We had something like that happen. With a fully-battened mainsail, the battens curve the sail in one direction or the other.  It never just hangs limp, even with no wind. This is generally a good thing in light air but sometimes the battens need a little help getting the sail to curve the other way if the wind is not strong enough to do it. We tried to pop the battens to the other side by pulling on the boom. No luck.  Then I tried pushing on the sail near the luff:

Yeah—bad idea. My hand broke through the Kevlar-and-Mylar sail material like a rotted-out bedsheet. Talk about ungratifying ways to spend money....

The upside is that we were only about a mile from the finish when it happened. The downsides are 1) That Paul needs this sail fixed ASAP because he's sailing up the Sea of Cortez and needs to leave on Monday; and 2) There are apparently NO sail repair services in Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo. Our best option might be sending the sail to a loft in La Paz. Hopefully they can repair it in time.

No comments:

Post a Comment