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  #41  
Old 03-06-2012
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Re: Scariest moment while sailing?

Wife, 4yr old son, 2yr old daughter, and myself were sailing our Catalina 22 on a lake in early Summer. It was decently windy, so my wife dropped the mainsail and we sailed on the 150 genny alone. I noticed she didnt tie the mainsail to the boom very well - just kind of wrapped a line around it once without tieing and I didnt think much of it because it seemed secure and was not flopping around too much.

All was well until a thunderstorm popped up and the winds suddenly got really strong. That mainsail came untied from the boom. The sail popped out of the mast track, the halyard got hung on something, and formed this big parachute which pulled us sideways. I wanted to turn downwind and run off so I could get everything sorted out but there was traffic downwind. Thats when the rain and bigger wind hit.....kids and wife started screaming.

Its hard to think when your kids are screaming that loud. Anyways, I got the kids down in the cabin and shut them in. Cranked the motor and motored upwind while I sorted it all out. We motored back home and the kids fell asleep - I think they were screaming more because of missed naps rather than fear
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: Scariest moment while sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by randomforumname View Post
Wife, 4yr old son, 2yr old daughter, and myself were sailing our Catalina 22 on a lake in early Summer. It was decently windy, so my wife dropped the mainsail and we sailed on the 150 genny alone. I noticed she didnt tie the mainsail to the boom very well - just kind of wrapped a line around it once without tieing and I didnt think much of it because it seemed secure and was not flopping around too much.

All was well until a thunderstorm popped up and the winds suddenly got really strong. That mainsail came untied from the boom. The sail popped out of the mast track, the halyard got hung on something, and formed this big parachute which pulled us sideways. I wanted to turn downwind and run off so I could get everything sorted out but there was traffic downwind. Thats when the rain and bigger wind hit.....kids and wife started screaming.

Its hard to think when your kids are screaming that loud. Anyways, I got the kids down in the cabin and shut them in. Cranked the motor and motored upwind while I sorted it all out. We motored back home and the kids fell asleep - I think they were screaming more because of missed naps rather than fear
Yeah, I do that too.

Sounds hairy. Glad you could get it sorted. Does your wife still sail after that?

MedSailor
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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Scariest moment while sailing?

Yea, they all still sail with me. I have to bribe them to get them out there
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Re: Scariest moment while sailing?

It was a dark and stormy night...really. 175 miles east of Tonga with 40 knots blowing against the current and a leftover SW swell making things even more miserable--can't see anything beyond the rain and spray slamming the dodger. Tilerpilot holding course, trysail up, and me on watch with hubby sleeping below. Suddenly the boat is hit by a freight train of water, and the anemometer spins to 80 knots! Seas begin quickly to build. Finally panic enough to call out Bob and heave to (fortunately we had sea room). The wind howls and really steep waves slap us around. Forecast was for 25 knots from the east-where did 80 knots from the west fit in? Visions of the Queen's Birthday storm flash through my mind. By the time a gray, rainy morning dawned things had calmed down to 25 knots from the NE, and we timidly hoisted the main, triple reefed.

I think this experience was even scarier than the night spent threading through islands around Costa Rica's Isla del Cano, when lightning all around us hit the sea about once every two minutes-all night. I had the watch that time, too-Bob slept through the thunder and hullabaloo. Geez...
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