The REST of the Story
So where we left off was, pulling out of our peaceful 2nd night's anchorage in Charlotte Harbor. At that moment, all was right with the world. We actually had managed to get a decent amount of sleep, even with the drift alarm going off here and there and just the unease of doing what we had never done before.
It's hard to put into words sometimes how this experience feels. Oh, I can report what happened and where we were and what the weather and sea conditions were, but it's the HEART of it, how it feels, that I sometimes struggle with. How do you describe the thrills, the worries, the thoughts and feelings we have as we embark on each day's and night's adventures?
I thought this time, I would do a "He said, " "She said, " and "Google says," Robert provided me with the timeline of events in case I forgot something by the time I actually put this together. So I have his words, and I know what I was thinking- and feeling- which was a lot of panic, only offset, and managed by Robert's complete calm.
I think this will be fun......right? Here Goes...
A lazy jack system on your sailboat – a classic case of form vs. function. Some say it’s uncool. Some say it’s the usefulness that matters. Up to you to decide.
Lazy jacks are rigging lines that are fitted to the upper section
of the mast and come down towards the back and middle of the boom. A properly installed system of lazy jacks are meant to help guide the sail down as it’s being doused or reefed to make the job easier. Using lazy jacks is a great idea for singlehanded
sailors, those who are short on crew or for a lazy crew that just wants the job to be easier! Some lazy jack systems are fixed while others can be detached from the boom and stowed against the mast. What they are is basically a guiding system to keep the sail
over the boom as it’s coming down rather than having it fall over into the cockpit cluttering everything up. Lazy jacks are most common in Bermuda rigged sloop sailboats but can also be found or more traditional gaff rigs.
Lazy jack systems can be bought off-the-shelf or custom made. Neither is necessarily the best way to go about it. It all depends on your boat, your needs and how you want the system installed. Of course, if you have time to work on it, doing the job yourself is the most inexpensive way of installing a lazyjacks system. Plus, another benefit of making them yourself is that you can build the system specially designed for your boat, to fit perfectly and work better than off-the-shelf systems. You can likely put a lot more thought into building materials and end up with a system that not only works better, but also lasts a lot longer.
- If you're driving a boat at night, you usually want to preserve your night vision, so you will have no lights on, or a red light, or use a spotlight occasionally if you're looking for objects in the water.
- Headlights are great for lighting the road directly in front of you, but in a boat, you want to see around you, not just in front of you.
- Boats move up and down in the water, which would make stationary headlights annoying and pretty useless.
- Boats have navigation lights that indicate their direction, if they are on anchor, or if they are towing anything. The front of a boat (the bow) has a green light on the right side, and a red light on the left side, and the back of a boat (the stern) has a white light. Having headlights would make it hard to identify these lights, and therefore which direction the boat was headed.
When we were about 100 yards from the marina at about 0430 Monday morning, the engine died and wouldn’t restart. We still had the mainsail up and with forward momentum, we were able to get to the north side of the Manatee river that looked like a good anchorage to drop anchor for a few hours. I figured worst case scenario, I would call the towboat in a few hours. Paula went down below for some shuteye and I thought I would stay up in the cockpit to make sure we didn’t drift. I woke up about 3 hours later. I went below to look to see if there was anything that I could do to get the engine going. First thing was to check the fuel filters for clogging. The racor water separator/filter near the engine looked fine so I pulled the inline filter right before the lift pump. I tried blowing through it and the filter was plugged tight. I looked through my spare parts and there were no replacements on the boat! DAMN! Not good! I guess I will have to get a little medieval on the filter. I used a Phillips screwdriver and stuck it into the inlet end and pushed hard enough to release the internal bypass spring. It must have rusted shut. I pushed it multiple times and then was able to blow through it! Success! I reinstalled the offending filter and Paula went up to the cockpit to crank the engine. After a few starts and stalls, the engine started and hummed along like every other 3 cylinder diesel out there! I proceeded to the bow to pull up the anchor. The bottom was really muddy and the anchor was pretty fast to the bottom. I got it loose with Paula backing the boat around to help pull it loose. Note to self: need a windlass! We got the rest of the way back to our slip with no other issues. All in all a very successful journey of about 150NM as the crow flies…….probably closer to 200nm with tacking and sailing off the wind. Made a few notes of repairs and maintenance items for the coming weekend so she is ready for another weekend!