I went to the boatyard Monday night to get my mast set up only to find it buried behind some new arrivals which made working on it impossible. A phone call tuesday and the boatyard crew had the mast out in front the very next day. Of course I didn't get to it until Wednesday morning.
I was more than a little concerned when going over it to find the top of the forestay has been damaged by some rough handling.
Naturally I was not happy about that. I don't remember the damage being there last fall but I really can't remember and the damage might have occured during the move from the last boatyard. I took a good long look at it and decided to use it but I think I will have it replaced in the Fall. There are no broken strands but it is kinked a bit and slightly unwound. This is only the second season the stay will have been used and I am not happy to have to replace it so soon.
On a more positive note, the two new foresail halyard blocks look very nice.
I am very happy to have two workilng halyards to use this year. Now I can play with my assymetrical this summer which should be fun. The old block was really decrepid too and if the genoa was not on a roller furler and only raised once a season I would really worry about it. Now I will feel much free-er about switching out to my other 100% jib should the conditions arise.
Despite the damage to the forestay I am starting to like the crew at the new boatyard more. Knowing that I wanted to get out quickly and catch the outgoing tide (the Merrimac is notoriously rough under certain conditions and has been known to flip 30 foot boats) the yard set up my mast the day before. I forgot to install the windex and the yard crew insisted on sending a guy up on a very long forklift to install it later that evening. Wednesday was a long day of fussing and loading I was able to set up the rig and bend on the sails for an immediate departure after launch.
The morning of launch day I was up early for more packing and food shopping anxious to get to the boat and see her safely in the water on time. I am always a nervous hen during launch imagining all sorts of catatrophes. The worst catastrophe of all occured when I arrived and found Jenny missing completely.
Apparently, the boatyard anticipated a busy morning and decided to launch Jenny early and had her resting quietly at the end of the dock when I arrived.
It was a very odd feeling to suddenly have all the stress depart and see my girl resting comfortably where she belongs. Being at the end of the dock made for many long trips to load her up with groceries and last minute stuff but in the end it all got done and we were ready to go ahead of schedule.
On this trip I was playing around with video cameras and didn't use the still camera much. I have uploaded some clips of the trip on youtube. Unfortunately, I had an issue with some of the audio and rather than put in some pop music background I left most of the video without any sound at all. Anyway, here it is:
The trip out the Merrimac was a quiet stroll. The winter storms this past winter have changed the channel quite a bit but at the top of the tide it was a pretty easy motor out. Once outside of the entrance buoy we had enough wind for some light sailing across Ipswich Bay towards Cape Ann. Later in the afternoon the wind picked up and we were close hauled with some decent wind that put the rail down. Good sailing if a bit rough pounding into the 2 foot chop.
I am happy to report that the genoa is working much better this year now that it is rigged properly. It furls effortlessly and goes up and down at will. Much better than last time. A real joy to use.
We came around the northern tip of Cape Ann and anchored in front of the beach in Rockport that night.
Originally we were expecting some rainy weather and figured we might have to sit tight for a few days somewhere. The weather forecast however changed a bit and was predicting strong winds out of the east which is exactly where the Rockport harbor is open to the ocean. Early the next morning we were up and out looking for Salem or at least a better anchorage a few miles away. As it turned out, the seas were sloppy but the winds were light so after motoring out of Rockport harbor and around Thatcher's Island we found ourselves motoring with the wind in sloppy following seas for the next few hours into Salem harbor. We didn't escape the rains however and it was a rather messy trip.
For the second time in a row, when I arrived in Salem harbor, no one knew we were coming or which seasonal rental morring we were scheduled for. Two years ago I called ahead several times and let them know were were coming but when I arrived they were still unprepared and had no mooring pendant on our mooring. This time I called and emailed ahead of time letting them know when we were coming and again, no one knew what to do with us when we arrived. After circling for half an hour they sent someone out to find our mooring. It took another half an hour for them to actually find the mooring. It took another half an hour for them to find someone who could put a mooring pendant on our mooring. Clearly I am going to have to call them again and find out how I can make their lives easier and have the mooring ready when we arrive next year. Other than being totally unprepared every season Salem Water Taxi has been good to work with. Motoring around the mooring fields in the rain was not the most fun I could have been having.
With that little detail resolved, we spent a few hours, eating, cleaning up, watching the rain fall and generally relaxing and enjoying the fact that we had a arrived and all the prep work was done and now it would be fun all summer.
Oh, and I have to say, doing the dishes in the new working sink is an actual joy after having to wash them over the side for so many years. I could do dishes all day long now and never get tires. It really is that exciting.
And that is that. Jenny is home on the mooring and ready for the 2013 sailing season. I won't post blogs of every sail because I find that kind of reading to be rather dull. I have a few projects in mind that I will post - like taking care of a few new found leaks - but otherwise I expect I will only post once a month or so as some small projects get done.
Happy sailing season everyone :-)