Tuesday, October 13, 2015

“Know when to fold 'em...”

I am not a big Kenny Rogers fan. Indeed, that whole genre of music usually makes my teeth hurt. But when a man is right about something (and his song gets stuck in your head) he should get some credit.

The forecast was for winds gusting to 20 with a small craft advisory. Not great but nothing to make a story out of either. Friends are out there even as I write, and the plan was to meet them at the anchorage at Ft. Monroe. It is only 30 miles or so, being hard on the wind for a few hours would not be that big a deal. And, truth to tell, as much fun as it has been to be here, spending time with good friends and hiding out from a hurricane, I am suffering a killer case of restless. Places south and warm, with sparkling water and sand bottoms for the Mantus, are whispering “come hither” in my ear. Yet they are still weeks away at sailboat speeds. Time to get a move on.

We looked at the cards and anted up, getting the deck set for being under way. We even raised a bit, recruiting help, playing out extra lines, and waking up the Beast.

Winds up to 20 had Kintala hard against the lines keeping her off the dock. There would be no just casting off and motoring away. After some discussion it seemed reasonable to drop the dock side lines, run a second spring to keep the boat from surging forward in the wind, pull in the off dock lines, get some quick release lines around the pilings for and aft, drop the spring, drop the lines, power forward and GO! An enthusiastic starboard turn would be needed to miss the next set of pilings, then we would be on our way.

We got right to the point of tossing the spring, sucking in the lines, and GOING. Then we stopped. The pilings forward that we needed to miss loomed large. The winds were a bit higher than we liked. We were running out of hands to handle lines and drive the boat. And just getting to where we were had taken more than an hour and required some serious pull using the jib winch to pull against the wind. The whole set-up felt wrong.

I've bounced off of piers before. Deb suggested that maybe we should have waited a bit more. Know when to fold 'em.

I tossed our cards onto the table.

A couple of extra lines thrown around the windward pilings would ensure the hull stayed clear of the dock. A bow line went the other way to keep the other side of the hull off the pilings and aid the spring. With the spring snugged up the crew of Rover went back to their own tasks. (Thanks Guys! It was a good try.)
An attempted selfie with the crew of Rover but it appears my phone camera
is going wonky. It took a bunch of really bad pics in the last two days.

The dock is about 10 feet away so we are boat bound. If the winds ease as forecast late this afternoon Kintala will make her way out to the anchorage and spend the night on the hook. Tomorrow is another day, less wind but from a better direction. Should the winds stay where they are, we will stay where we are.

In the mean time the boat is secure, provisioned up, and ready whenever the weather deals a playable hand.

A pic from our genoa restitching project. This is how the boat looks in sew mode.

Yesterday's beautiful sunset taken from a badly misbehaving phone camera.


Robert Salnick said...

I can't believe you restitched a sail in your saloon - a Genoa yet! It was a big enough deal for us to reshape our mizze in our living room!

Mike Boyd said...

It has been great having you guys around for a bit, but I completely understand the pull of warmer waters...wish we ready to go too. Hopefully in a couple more weeks we'll have a shiny new hardtop installed and be on our way chasing you south. Will stop by in the morning and lend a helping hand if you need one.