A work cancellation, a postponement of family plans and two clear days opened up before me. I set to work readying OB, pausing only for a dental visit and the extraction of a surprisingly recalcitrant molar.
The last coat of varnish applied and an anxious wait for it to dry sufficiently. When it was just hard I put everything together, rigged the sails on their new yards, screwed on the fixtures that I’d removed for varnishing and we were ready. But the day was done and with half an hour’s light left it wasn’t worth launching. At least the varnish would have more time to dry.
Wednesday dawned dull and chill with spitting rain and a light easterly. Some finishing touches and I wheeled OB down to the beach wondering if I’d remember how she worked after so long but there was no need to worry she was the same as ever only with a larger sail area and hence greater speed. We were doing 3 knots in a wind so light that with the old set up I’d have been reaching for the oars.
Due to the weather I’d planned nothing more than a quick spin. A practice on all points of sail, a heaving-to, a trial reefing but once I pointed her bows out to sea the natural thing was to continue towards the horizon listening to the lively run of water down her sides.
I did eventually stop for trials, heaving-to with the mizzen tightly sheeted and the rudder hard over. I put a reef in the main and continued sailing still making good speed then hove-to again for another reef, but here the gooseneck that supports the boom broke. It was off the previous rig and I knew that it was a bit dodgy, it’s as well that it broke now and not when cruising. I shook out the first reef and tied the boom to the mast and turned for home, a three-mile broad reach.
The boat is heavier on the beach but I can still manage single-handed—I’ll have to see how she is with all the camping gear on board. But whatever, I’m now heartily looking forward to getting away for a night, or a few days, or the whole summer…