Yesterday we went to the Fedex place first thing in the morning to pick up the furling unit sent to replace our broken furling drum. We had to take a bus over to St. Georges (the main city in Grenada) to get to Fedex. Once there, the guy asked if I had the proper paperwork – which I did. He then got out the receipt and said unfortunately I would have to go back to Prickly Bay to get customs to fill out a form. Oh great. I started to walk out the door and saw the nearby yacht club – which I knew had a customs office. So, I walked over there and went to customs and explained I had a part arriving. He got me a form, signed off and stamped it, and sent me back. That was easy! So, I went back and paid a small $35 EC fee on my “duty free” part (there’s always some kind of fee down here). I happily had the package and headed back to the boat.
I won’t go into all the details here. But, with the help of my new friend Gord from Ascension, we started the operation to get the old unit off. We were going to need to take the sail off we thought to lessen the weight so we could get the drum off. So, we re-anchored near the eastern shore of the anchorage. When we unfurled the sail and attempted to lower the sail, it wouldn’t come down. That was not a good thing. We looked up and Gord spotted that two of the several pieces of metal that make the “slide” for holding the luff of the sail into the furling unit (called extrusions) were not connected properly. The screws connecting the parts apparently had come out. As a result, the sail luff was getting caught in the now uneven slide, and had been chewed up in the sailing since it had happened. So, we were going to have to take the whole forestay down.
It ended up taking several hours as we puzzled out the best way to get it down. We actually talked to the local marina and boatyards, but neither had a good spot available at the moment to park Tahina so we could use a dock to get the sail down. But, we ultimately decided to do it at anchor, laying it on Tahina’s deck, with the help of a dinghy and a third set of hands. Before sunset we had it down on the deck, but still couldn’t get the sail off. Looking at the extrusion, it appeared we were going to have to get it replaced/repaired. And, the sail is going to need repairs! Ugh. So, today (Wednesday), I’m going to the sail rigging shop to see if they have the time and parts needed to get this job done quickly.
We need to get out of here by the end of the week or we’re going to really have to rush to meet our guests in Aruba on the 9th of February.
I owe a big debt of gratitude (at least lots of drinks and food) to GB of Djarrka and Gord of Ascension.