Sunday Jun 6, 2010 6PM
I’m not a religious person but I’ve come to
believe there are sailing gods that must somehow be appeased. Among them are
the Wind God (aka WG) the Rain God (aka RG) and Mechanical Failure God (aka MF…G).
There are lesser sailing gods like the Wave God (who probably works for WG) and
a few others that I’m missing and a whole sailing god hierarchy, but that’s
not important here.
During our trip from Pensacola to Anclote Key all three of
these gods had a shot at us, and the conversation probably went like this:
RG: Hey WG what are you up to today?
WG: I’m watching the boat Chanticleer. It’s 10
AM and it just raised sails for its trip from Pensacola to Anclote Key. Right
now I‘m giving her about 13 kts of winds that will take her to his
RG: That’s so unlike you giving a boat the winds they
WG: Not to worry I’m waiting until the sun goes down
to have my fun.
RG: Hey WG the sun is setting on Chanticleer what do you have
WG: First I need you to create a squall line behind them. It
should look like it is moving right to left and also getting closer to them.
That will make it hard for them to out maneuver us.
RG: Ok no problem. I started the rain about 3 miles out and
now it’s about ½ mile behind them. Anything else you want me to do?
WG: Not at the moment. Look we made her take down her main.
Now watch this, as the rain goes over her I’m going to drop the winds
down to about 4 knots. That should make the boat bounce around in the waves.
RG: Look at her bounce, but wait she has put her main back
up and is trying to sail out.
WG: No problem let me give her a wind shift. See we already
have her headed northeast instead of southeast.
RG: Wait she is tacking
WG: No problem, I’ll just turn off the wind shift. See
now she’s headed for South Texas. Before she tacks back RG, I need
another shower right now that she runs into after her tack and I’ll give
here 20-25 knots of wind.
RG: You’re a mean one WG. Looks like we caught here
with all sails up. It must be too windy to drop the main she is furling the
WG: I’m not done with her yet, as soon as you move your
rain shower out of the way I’m going to turn off the winds.
RG: Look who just walked in its MF…G, Long time no see
MF…G: So what are you guys up to?
RG: We’re just messing with Chanticleer
MF…G: I had a lot of fun with her last week.
WG: Well they are out of the rain and there is no wind and they
have dropped their main and are motoring away.
MF…G: Sounds like a job for me – ‘ZAP’
RG: So what did you do?
MF…G: I just shredded their impeller they won’t
be motoring long.
Mean while back on the boat, shortly after starting the
motor I realize it didn’t sound right. The exhaust has a different sound
when the impeller isn’t moving water. Our marine diesel uses sea water to
help keep the engine cool. In a car air flows through a radiator to keep it
cool, on the boat sea water flows through a similar system to carry away the
excess heat. Without the impeller to move the water the engine overheats.
With no wind and no motor we were left to bob like a cork.
So this is what I removed. Sitting in a boat slip this is
about a 20 minute job. Bobbing and rolling in the Gulf made this an hour long job.
So once it was fixed I returned to the cockpit drenched in sweat, but we were
RG: Hey WG, it looks like the engine is fixed.
WG: No problem I’ll give them 5 minutes and then I’ll
give them 10 kts of wind, but I’ll make it out of the south so that if
they want to sail they’ll need to beat into the wind.
RG: They’re still motoring, I guess they are too beat
to do anything else.
WG: Let’s give them a break until tomorrow I see
somebody else I want to mess with.
That was it for Saturday and here is a picture of our track
for the night.
Sunday morning we were sailing again.
RG: Chanticleer is moving along nicely, looks like they are
WG: I feel an opportunity –they are just sitting down
with their sandwiches let me crank up the wind. I think I’ll add 10 -12
knots to the 13 they have.
RG: Did you see that he managed to catch his sandwich as the
WG: Beginners luck. I’ll give him 10 minutes of this
then I’ll drop it back to 13 knots or so and in the afternoon I’ll
slowly drop the winds enough so that if he continues sailing he won’t get
to Anclote Key during the day. Then there is always tonight.
RG: Good thinking there WG
About 3 PM I realized that at the rate we were going it
would 9 or 10 PM before we reached Anclote Key. Land falls at night in a new
harbor are not a good thing so on with the motor.
WG: It’s about 8:30 PM and time to have some fun with
Chanticleer again. Since they are motoring I’ll leave it up to you RG.
RG: No problem. Stephen’s asleep so first I’ll try
a little fake – lightening in the distance to see if Roberta wakes him
up. It worked. He turned on the radar and nothing within 36 miles.
RG: He’s back asleep now for the real thing. I’m
going to start a rain line behind and to the right and slowly move it their way.
Roberta has Stephen up again and has taken over. My plan is to make it look
like the rain will pass on his right, but it won’t. There will be rain
ahead of him continuing off to his right.
WG: Looks like he has turned left to avoid the rain.
RG: No problem, I’ll have the rain move the same rate
as he is and the only way for him to get back on course is to turn right and go
through the rain.
WG: It took him almost an hour but he finally did it he turned
through the rain. I’m about ready to move on to the next boat are you?
RG: Sure, wait the MF…G is back.
MF…G: You guys still playing with Chanticleer?
MF…G: I’ve got a new one I want to try.
WG: sure be my guest.
MF…G What I’m going to do is have one of the
pins on the mizzen goose neck fall out. I’m not sure what will happen.
I was on watch and heard a heavy metallic thump on deck –
it was close to where I was sitting, but I wasn’t sure where. I had to
get out the flashlight and found a 3” long pin on deck. Looking around I
realize where it came from. It’s the vertical pin that holds the boom to
the mast. It is a strange arrangement where the vertical pin has a cut out that
the horizontal pin fits through. You can see the horizontal pin in the picture
has worked free. I found the remains of a cotter pin that was used to keep the
horizontal pin in place.
The sail tie was my attempt to keep it all together for the
rest of the night.
WG: That definitely was a new one – see you later MF…G
MF…G: Goodnight all.
So that was our trip. We are no safely anchored and trying
to figure out how to appease the gods.