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post #11 of Old 02-10-2008
On the hard
CharlieCobra's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bellingham, WA.
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dodger, fun stuff ain't it? I wrote on here about a knockdown I took on Oh Joy. One of my Son's and I went out in 10-15 for some spirited sailing with all the white sails up on a beam reach in Southerlies. Oh Joy is a 1961 Knutson Yawl, 39'4" LOA, 10' Beam, 14K#'s and a full keel with spruce sticks. We have blasted along towards the San Juan de Fuca at 7 knots for about 25 miles when we noticed rain about 10 miles off to the West. I knew a cold front was coming but the forecast was for 15-20 from the West after the change. Seeing it was 3PM and sunset was at 4:30 (PNW) I figured it was time to run for home. The winds clocked around to the West and stayed at about 10 so we beat off for room to fly the chute. I have an Assym with an ATN tracker and sock and was getting everything squared away and ready for hoist while Jay drove. Just as I was reaching for the scoop line a monstrous puff (30 knots or so) hit and the scoop line pulled loose from the cleat. Instantly, the chute self deployed and the boat laid over with me on the foredeck. I stepped from the deck to the side of the staysail boom and looked back at Jay who was laying on the low side trying to steer. I looked to see if water was coming in the house, as it was open, or the cockpit. Not a drop in either and us with the spreaders in the water for both sticks along with the sails. She shook herself off and sprinted around to the wind and I stepped down from the boom I was standing on to the deck as the chute was pinned to the shrouds. As she started falling off again, I blew the halyard and dumped the chute in the water. Now there's a lot of lines on the chute so while Jay kept her pinned to the wind, I ran around unhooking everything. While we started pulling the chute aboard the rain and the cold hit. By the time we got everything squared away, the Main down and the staysail up, the temp had dropped to 38 F, the wind came up to 50 knots and we were soaked. We fell off downwind to Flounder Bay under staysail alone running 8.5 knots and freezing. I showed Jay how to surf the waves coming off the quarter and we made it back in a little over three hours. Other than catching pneumonia, it was a great sail. Chute scoops are great, until that line gets away from ya.
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