You know it’s a windy day when you are happy that you kept the 3rd reef in when leaving the mooring.
That’s what John, Peter D., Doug and I experienced today during our practice sail.
We had met at the wharf at 1pm and taken the inflatable out to the boat. After reviewing all parts of the boat, such as emergency gear, navigation equipment, spare parts, tools, through-hulls, we put our foul weather gear on, life vests and harness and clipped in. We had gotten to the boat in t-shirt and shorts and over 70F (20C); however, the wind had just now shifted North, increased to easily above 20kn and dropped to about 50F (10C). Rain was poring and the waves further out looked quite like on offshore experience… we were happy to wear all our gear to keep somewhat warm and dry.
While on the mooring, we installed the new preventers on the boom and went through three reefs to practice the maneuvers and make sure we had all the equipment needed on board. After that, we left the mooring, unfurled about half of the genoa, tested the new preventer in some serious waves and then tried a couple of man-over-board drills.
Given the rough state of the sea, we used lobster buoys as a reference and tried to find ways to turn and stop the boat close to them. Given the significant wear on the rig and sails and our by now pretty cold hands, we went back in after a couple of drills.
While we did not manage to practice as many man-over -board drills as we had hoped, we still had a very successful day:
– all are familiar with the boat again
– we installed and test the new preventer set-up
– we determined the best location for the snatch-blog for the preventer lines
– we confirmed the best attachment point and knots for the 3rd reef
– we found the carabiners needed for the 3rd reef
Most of our crew for leg 2 (Azores to France) is now ready for the journey. We will get Sean up to speed on the Azores and Nick will have had plenty of time to get ready during the trip from the US to the Azores.
Next weekend, the crew of leg 1 will go through the same exercise.
A couple of the pictures that Doug took: