Jib Number 3: Batten the Hatches

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 15 Sep 2007 00:46
Noon Position: 43 14.9 N 064 46.7 W
Course: Southwest Speed: 4.3 knots
Wind: Southeast 10 knots
Distance sailed: 60 miles
Ave Speed: 2.5 knots

Yesterday was an almost perfect day at sea, right up to the moment when I
was trimming the jib sheet and noticed the leech had a bit more curl in it
then normal. I went to adjust the barber hauler to see if I could reduce it
and looking up noticed that the third seem from the top was rent from luff
to leech. Oh bother! This was at about 6 p.m., I immediately furled the
jib and considered what next. The forecast was for light winds overnight, I
had one more job up my sleeve but it was only lightweight and very unlikely
to get me all the way back to Annapolis without coming to grief as well. My
primary jib had been wrecked back in Newfoundland and I suspect is beyond
economical repair, I really had to repair my number 2 jib if I hope to get
back to Annapolis sometime this side of Christmas. At sunset the winds were
pretty light, and there was plenty of light left with which to see, so I
grabbed the opportunity to drop jib no. 2 and hoist the large light
headsail. (My headsail is set on a roller furler which means the sail can
only be changed in light winds.) Setting the light headsail actually turned
out rather fortuitous as last night was a real drifter and perfect for this
sail. In fact by 5 a.m. this morning there was no wind at all, just a very
slight swell, which led me to handing sail altogether.
By 9.30 a.m. back on deck I could feel a very faint breeze from the east so
immediately set both sails wing on wing and allowed the wind vane to do a
great job of keeping Sylph on course while I had a leisurely breakfast and
then got on with repairing no. 2 jib, one stitch at a time with sewing
needle and thread, grateful that it was a relatively short seam that had
given way. At around midday I checked the weather forecast and my need to
get the jib repaired and re-hoisted suddenly became more urgent, a gale is
due to pass through my area tomorrow evening with winds building up from
tonight, I needed to get the no. 2 jib repaired and hoisted before the winds
started to pick up. So all say has been spent sewing and I am pleased to
say that I have finished repairing no 2. jib and it is once more set and is
currently drawing us along very nicely. There is no sign of the wind
picking up yet, oh well I can wait, who knows . . . but the met. guys are
rarely wrong when it comes to things as obvious as gales.

Here are some definitions to help the landlubbers:
Luff - front edge of a sail
Leech - rear edge of a sail
Foot - guess which edge
Handing sail - dropping sail