Saturday, November 24, 2012

Everyday Jacklines

It was a little breezy today--sustained at 20 knots with gusts to 30 knots. The water and air were cool, both perhaps 45F. A beautiful day for some brisk solo sailing.

I started out with full sail, but within 15 minutes a reef seemed smart. 30 minutes later a second reef seemed smart, along with a little jib rolled in as well. No worries; even though I reef at the mast, the jack lines are always rigged and the auto helm was holding course nicely. Just a time to be causious. The bow was going through as many waves as over them and the motion was a bit crazy, but that's what fall sailing is about.

I noticed I had left the boat hook bouncing around on the deck; I never tie it down and it has bounced there for over 2000 miles. But it was getting washed around more than normal. It had been tossed from the tramp up on to the seats in front of the salon. Its bent, but its a friend. But I have a spare on board, found on along beach somewhere.

I noticed the spinnaker bridle had somehow worked loose--last time it was used a guest secured it, or rather didn't--and there was some question in my mind as to whether it could get under the boat and into the prop or rudders later. I figured I needed to go get it. Except that 45F water is washing ankle-deep across the tramp every 10 seconds, everything is soaked with sheets of spray, right up to the dodger, the tramp is a wide expanse free of handholds, and I was sailing alone. Bugger.

And this is why you keep jacklines rigged EVERY DAY. No problem, I clipped in, walked along the side, used the jackline in one hand to ease my way across to the leeward side, and clipped in with the short leg. After securing the lines and grabbing the wayward boat hook I hauled myself to windward with the tether and retreated to the cockpit.

I tacked and broad reached home, faster, with less motion... and no concerns.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. Although we don't have our jacklines on right now, it is only because we are pretty much stationary. They get rigged and stay rigged when we are in traveling mode.