The amazing disappearing halyard!
Went out for a solo sail out of Rock Creek, Maryland into the Patapsco River last night. I've been single handing a lot since my first mate got married, but I enjoy it and there's no better way to learn your boat. Still, this was a new one for me.
I have all my lines run back to the cockpit, with the main halyard on the starboard side and the jib's on the port side. The mainsheet is also on the starboard side, inboard of the main halyard. I motored out of the creek and turned into the wind to hoist the main, then cleated the halyard down. I turned to the port side for the jib halyard and... no halyard?
I looked over the side to see if it were trailing. No halyard. I looked forward to see if it were bunched up on the deck. No halyard. I thought about it for a moment: if it's not over the side, and it's not on the deck, then it must be...
My eyes slowly looked up, up, up to the top of the mast... where the jib halyard lay nestled at the top of the main. Somehow, it had become caught on the main as it lay along the boom, and went along for the ride when it went up. Heavy sigh.
Down with the main. Go get the jib halyard and return to the cockpit. Re-raise main and then raise jib.
And my wife says there's no exercise in sailing.
The rest of the evening went smoothly, except for a bit of excitement during a jibe. As the boom came across, rather than me letting out the mainsheet gently to its broad reach position, the sheet flew out of my hand somehow and out of the cockpit. Mad scramble ensues as the boat starting rounding up while I'm retrieving the sheet, jib booming and flying free as well. Luckily there was no serious wind (only 5-8 that evening), so no harm done. The worst thing about it was that the Wednesday night racers were gathered just a quarter mile or so off my starboard bow, and I can only imagine what they must have thought of that performance.
Nice evening, though. Always fun when you single hand.
S/V Free Spirit
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