On Friday we had the nerve-wracking experience of motoring her out of Morgan Marina where she has wintered. Kudos to Morgan Marina, storing her, working on her and getting us out of there. They did a great job.
To get into the bay you have to motor up a creek that is bucolic at slack tide and almost torrent-like (OK I'm exaggerating) mid-tide. You pass under a railroad bridge and road bridge that both need to be raised. One that opens on the hour and the other that you have to hail. Between the bridges is a tight spot where more than three boats gets very crowded. I have done it half a dozen times and I always find it ass-clenchingly scary. Anyway we made it without drama and spent a pleasant first night aboard.
On Saturday, Alice and I sailed her hard and other than finding that I had set-up the furler wrong twice (yes that is actually possible) and having to fight the genoa down in 18kts, we had a cracking sail.
On Sunday we were joined by our friends Elizabeth and Richard (pictured above with the missus) for a club cruise to Keyport, a "quaint fishing village in bucolic New Jersey". After a very jolly lunch we sailed around the bay a bit.
At first there was very little wind so I had the brilliant idea of raising the cruising chute for the first time ever. This was surprisingly easy and we had a blast for about 15 minutes till the wind died and then it flapped and wrapped around the mast. It was like a giant deflated red and blue balloon from hell attacking the boat. Then the wind picked up to 15 kts. At that the point the chute went haywire.
We actually did manage to get the chute reset kinda but she was still hard to control and the anxiety level on-board was reaching "Not funny anymore". I tried to get her down. Our chute has one of those clever sleeves (like a condom as Alice constantly points out) that makes it easy to raise and lower a chute. It went up easily but for the life of me I could not get it to come down.
By this stage I was fighting for my life to control her on deck. I asked Richard to join me. He shot me a "You've got to be kidding" look. I raised an eyebrow and gave Richard some verbal encouragement to join me. Note: For the record, I can't exactly recall what I may or may not have said (Who can tell with the wind blowing like that) but I have since written him a long apology letter and I am sure that by 2014 he will have gotten over it.
Between the two us of and with Elizabeth in the sewer (OK V-berth with the hatch open) we fought her down and got things settled. The rest of the sail was a lot more relaxed after that.
Tomorrow, Memorial Day in New York.