If the main filled, shouldn't that have caused her to round up, rather than fall off? Was the jib already flying? Was a motor running to keep water over the rudder?
I'm not doubting the story. Just curious. Mental picture practice.
The engine was running on idle just to keep her into the wind. The main sheet and boom vang were completely off so that the main could spill to either side to allow for steering. The jib was on the deck. The main went up, caught the wind and we went slightly to port, putting us on a starboard tack (still with the loose sheet and vang).
Now, in all the years I've single handed her, I've never had a bit of trouble bringing her back to the wind with the engine on idle. Never ever. Especially not in the 7-10 winds we were having at the time. Even the few times I've sailed with the Admiral at the tiller, she's never had a problem keeping the boat into the wind for hoisting.
It boggled my mind as well.
S/V Free Spirit
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