....after the boatyard came out and pulled me off the ground (hard to believe with 3.5 draft), they had turned me the wrong way and I had to go all the way back to the harbor to turn back around in the right direction and the chop was even worse at 4ft. into my stern (chop in the channel is a very short distance apart. Not like ocean swell It even comes at different intervals, a broken rythum). I was raising the mainsail a little at a time because their were work boats wanting the same space and I was having to stay on top of the steering in that chop, but I felt some tension in the main and it wasn't going up like it should. I got it 3/4s up and was tacking out as such.
I figured as busy as I was sharing the exit channel, I'd deal with the main when I turned South into the inter-coastal...and down wind. When I got there and did that I did notice that the bottom end of the reefing line had gotten wrapped around one of the cleats at the bottom of the mast, but there was another problem that I hadn't noticed. The other end of the reefing line somehow got rapped around the main and when I applied preasure with the winch....I tore out my lazy jacks et.al. so the main went and other line went everywhere. I might have been able to straighten all this out except of course, for all the freighters, barges and 3 to 4ft. chop...now hitting me at my rear quarter. "Rock and Roll".
Just very weird circumstance that every 30 seconds I'd get hit by several waves, 3 to 4', only about the same distance apart. I think 15' at 15 seconds would be easier...I used to work in heavier weather than that, but it was 150 miles out in the Gulf.
In this agitated and fast life we live we sometimes forget about some pretty simple things: It’s the sea and wind that dictate the rules on a sailingboat. If you were getting trouble, you should have waited for better conditions. Don't take me wrong, I have done the same...30 years ago:
I was out on my old traditional wooden boat and after some days of sailing I was making to port. No radio, no telephone, just some chats and a compass. I had also an old outboard diesel engine that I used rarely. The friend that was with me was desperate to make a phone call (I can no remember why) and we were going very slowly with very weak winds on a very choppy sea. He wanted me to put the engine on to make to land as fast as we can and finally, tired from hearing him complaining I had done so....Of course, on that agitated sea, the engine was in and out of water all the time and finally it broke. We have taken 8 hours to make it to port...going up and down on the strong river tide (I was entering the Tejo estuary).
I got my lesson that day and to make it permanent, I sailed the rest of my vacations without an engine