Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Marathon to Marathon

This Was Just One Of A Few Dinghy Loads Of Provisions
   So, we left Key West on Thursday.  We said our goodbyes to Rain Dog, finished all of our provisioning and stowing (whew),  and headed for Marathon.  The trip was rockier than predicted (surprise, surprise) and, as is characteristic of these waters, we couldn't tie up to our mooring ball without some sort of hitch.  This time it was our genoa (For those of you non-sailors, this is the large sail at the bow of our boat).


   Other than the day's sail being more "rolly" than preferred, our trip hadn't been too bad.  We had made it all the way to the beginning of our turn to the marina when our genoa decided to misbehave.  As we were furling it (rolling it in), Bill turned the winch handle as I led.  All of the sudden, the line stopped turning on the winch.  Bill pulled harder.  He succeeded in making the winch squeak quite a bit but, the lines on the genoa wouldn't budge.  Stuck!  The lines themselves weren't stuck but, since the jam was in the furling mechanism and it wouldn't furl any more, the lines weren't moving either. Great.  Just when we needed to not sail, the boat wasn't cooperating. 

   We couldn't just sail into to marina because the entrance was too narrow and we would be coming in waaay too fast.  We had to motor to the mooring ball.  We tried to troubleshoot.  Trying to switch and furl the sail in on the other side did nothing.  We tried letting out the sail completely and then bringing it back in again.  Nope.  Still stuck in the same place. The only thing left to do was to take the entire sail down.  So, with me at the helm, Bill made his way up to the bow and pulled down the sail, folding as he went so that we didn't lose it to the wind or waves. Once the sail was tacked down to the deck, I could climb over it to get to the bowsprit (holding the boat hook) and grab onto the mooring ball as we made our way into the marina.

Pulling Up To The Marina Office (Notice The Tiki Hut)
   Once secured to the ball and checked in, we set to fixing our sail issue.  It seems that the line in the furling mechanism had jammed.  Bill smoothed out the line and we were able to hoist the sail and furl it in like normal.  One more problem averted.

One Of The Two Very Full Dinghy Docks
       Now, safe and sound on the ball, we are waiting out the weather. There are several other Bahamas-bound boats here that we have been talking with. So far, the cumulative thought is that next Tuesday will be the start of a weather window that will allow us to make it to Bimini and then on to the Berry Islands. While we're waiting, we'll check out the town a bit more, work on our project list, and hang out with our new boater friends.  In fact, tomorrow, we're planning on taking a day trip by bus with a few couples to Key West.  Yes, we just left there but, there were certainly things that we didn't get a chance to do or see and, since Brian and Erika (Rain Dog) are still there, we'll try to catch up with them. 

Boat From My Hometown
      The marina offers quite a few amenities here.  The people are some of the most welcoming and easy going we've met.  We found a local (and cheap) breakfast spot that we wouldn't mind visiting again and we are even moored right across from a trawler that hails from my little bitty hometown.  What are the odds?  So, we may not like the fact that we have to cool our heels here for a while but, we figure if we have to be waiting somewhere, this isn't a bad place to be.

   Please let us know what you think. Feel free to ask questions and leave nice comments. (If no one has commented yet, there will be a "No Comments" link near the bottom of the post. If someone has already commented, there will be a number and the word "comments" beside it. Just click whichever of these is there, click, "add comment" when the window opens, and type away.)

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Please let us know what you think. Feel free to ask questions and leave nice comments.