|Ernesto and Crew Headed for Buenos Aires|
|Two Holes Caused by Chafing|
|Stig the Happy Adventurer|
Back at the boat I decided that my task of the day would be to bring down the mainsail. It had to come down eventually because I hope to hand it to Pato for a general examination and some minor repairs. Besides, I figure that the rigger's job will be easier without the mainsail on the boom.
The first task was to remove the battens, which took a bit of thinking about what the easiest and safest way would be to do it. For each batten a retaining bolt at the luff end had to be removed then the velcroed flap at the leech end had to be teased out before the batten could be pulled out. Had the wind been very light and from the bow I would have hoisted the main to the next batten, removed it, then hoisted to the next batten and repeated the process. Instead I managed to remove the pin at the “gate” on the mast below the slides then removed enough of the sail from the mast to free the next batten for removal. Thus I worked my way through the 5 battens of the sail. I stored the battens inside of the boom, taped together because inside the boom are already the battens of my spare mainsail which I forgot to remove before leaving Fremantle.
The next task was to get the sail ashore so that I could fold it properly. I roped it up into a big bundle, fetched a wheelbarrow from the club, and as luck would have it Ernesto and his crew showed up with exquisite timing and helped me get the sail off the boat and into the wheel barrow. I spread the sail out on the grassy area, examined it, photographed it, and then measured it. The sail has very close to a right angle at the tack. The measurements I got were: luff 13.4 m, foot 3.9 m, leech (measured along the roach), 13.92 m. The first reef is 1.82 m from the tack and the second reef is 3.72 m from the tack. I have often complained that the second reef isn't deep enough, but looking at the sail it appeared that the second reef left less than half of the sail remaining. (I'll have to work it out geometrically later.)
When I returned to the boat to get my camera I was able to see Ernesto and his crew off. One of his crew had taken a liking to my boat. Across the water from Ernesto's boat he asked me how many days I had been out at sea in my passage from La Paz, Mexico. I replied 112 days and he bowed to me in mock adulation. I thanked him. They had asked me to join them for dinner the night before but I had declined because I was just finishing my own dinner besides, it was 10.45 PM. Today he asked me to join them in the sail to Buenos Aires. It was only a courtesy, and I thanked him and told him that there was much work to be done on my boat. He commented on my mast steps and surprised me by saying that he had never see mast steps before. I looked around and no other boats in the marina had mast steps. He asked if he could climb my mast and before I could say Yes the skipper Ernesto prudently reminded us all that they must get underway, so there was to climbing of the mast.
The mainsail appeared to be in better condition than I had expected. The material is heavy, well stitched, and I could see the re-enforcing and re-stitching work that Carol Hosse's team at Port Townsend Sails had done on it. There are two problem areas that I know of: (1) one of the upper slides broke free, (2) there are two chafe holes near the foot. I will ask Pato to deal with this and look at the attachments of all of the slides on the sail.
While I was finishing up the sail work I caught sight of Stig at a table outside of the restaurant deeply engrossed in his computer. He was working on his blog, an activity that I know well. I asked him a couple of questions about his boat on behalf of my friend Victor in Western Australia then we had a good chat. I got a photo of him for my blog and he reciprocated by taking a photo of me for his blog. His departure is imminent, pending the weather forecast, so we shook hands and said our goodbyes. Stig is such a happy and optimistic person. I wish him the best, and I'm sure that he'll do well because he must have a wonderful karma account.