Monday, June 05, 2006
Greg wanted one last day of experimentation and sailing, and I wasn't about to let him go out in the boat alone... we'd both end up stranded that way. He'd be stuck in the water, and I'd be stuck on the island. So we shoved off one last time and tried to tack upwind, to no avail. We pulled the sail down, and as Greg frantically attempted repairs, the wind pushed us slowly downwind from our campsite. We were approximately a quarter mile downwind, when I announced that it was time to bring our experiment to a close.
I suggested using the wind to our advantage by bringing the sail up one last time and harnessing the wind's power to at least get us to shore, allowing us to paddle back up to our campsite in the island's wind shadow, thus fighting the wind less.
We hoisted the sail, flew for five feet or so, and heard that final **SNAP**. We looked up just in time to see the sail and mast tumbling. It was the final defeat in our experiment.
Our next malfunction was a broken mast support. The mast support consisted of a wooden dowel, a couple of turnbuckles for adjustibility, and more hose clamps and bolts to hold the supports in place.
One particularly strong gust of wind ripped the turnbuckle from the dowel. We repaired the break with glue, but ended up going with another mast support made from a tree branch, lashed in place with ropes and ratchet straps.
As you can imagine, this necessitated another long arduous paddle back to shore. Fortunately, we were picked up by a pair of boaters who towed our crippled craft back to our campsite for still more repairs.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
After a hearty breakfast of beer and eggs, Greg and I were anxious to continue our experiment and to test our skill as sailors. We did a quick sail in the water immediately next to our camp site, and were soon satisfied that our boat and our skills were solid enough to venture further into the open water.
Being novice sailors, it took us a little bit of time and experimentation to learn the ropes, but we took great pleasure in the new experience... until we heart that first **CRACK**. I don't remember whether it was caused by shallow water, or by actual stress, but our leeboard mount broke. As this picture shows, the leeboard itself held up to the stress, but the frame wasn't quite as strong, flexible, or whatever.
Despite our hobbled watercraft, we were able to limp back to our campsite, which was upwind from us when the malfunction occurred, and fortunately Greg brought plenty of material for repairs. He pulled the leeboard mount and had soon fashioned a repair of glue and screws. On the downside, we had to wait for the glue to cure, so our sailing was finished for the day.
Stay tuned for our continued misadventures.
Friday, June 02, 2006
When we got to the reservoir, we spent the first two hours or so assembling the catamaran. By the time we finished the construction, got to camp, set up the tent and ate, it was time to go to bed. Additionally, the maiden voyage from the landing to the island occurred on a day with almost no wind. We were able to make our way to the island, but it was slow going. Our real test would have to wait for another day.