Trip to Bequia More Adventure Than Wanted

Bequia Admiralty Bay AnchorageWe intended to go back north to Bequia this week to pick up some stuff we had shipped there. We ordered a maintenance kit to fix our leaky fresh water pump, and the new laptop will be coming hopefully later in the week. On Monday we left Tobago Cays and moved over to Union Island to check the Internet, get the Monday post out, get fuel for Coconut, and make some calls. The anchorage off the reef there is actually pretty nice, so we decided to stay the night.

The next morning (yesterday), decided we would leave. But, it was kind of rainy when we got up and the Internet was behaving better. So, we stayed until almost lunch time. It was still a bit squally and the winds were a tad strong (about 20 knots), but we were going to go slow to make more fresh water with our water maker.

We put up the mainsail with two reefs (greatly reduced sail), and let out two reefs worth in the genoa as well. We were going to have to be on a reach (going a bit against the wind), so the winds would be strong. It wasn’t too strong though, the strongest gusts we saw were up to 30 knots – and that only happened a couple of times. Because of the reduced sail, we were going a modest 6 knots or so most of the way.

We were about 3/4 of the way and the winds had reduced below 20 knots for some time. So I had let out the genoa sail. We were considering letting out the main. But, the edge of another squall caught us and we started speeding up. I noticed the winds getting up to the mid-twenties and told Karen we needed to reduce the genoa. In fact, the winds got up to the high twenties at that point. So, we immediately put two reefs in the genoa. Since it was raining, we went inside the cockpit, and a minute later I heard an unusual bang.

I stuck my head out to look, and noticed the genoa was all the way out again. I looked down and saw the furling line was somehow below the drum of the furler. I went up to look and realized the whole drum was lifted up a few inches. Uh oh! The squall had already passed at this point. I told Karen to fall off the wind (go downwind) and we took the pressure off the sail. I untangled the line a bit and then we rolled up the furler manually. Obviously the drum mechanism attachment had either broken, or come loose somehow (I suspect broken).

Having the furling mechanism broken on this essential sail is not good. So, we’ll have to get it repaired or replaced quickly if we want to sail. Otherwise, we’re just a motor boat. In fact, we had to motor the remaining 1.5 hours to Bequia where we dropped anchor. We grilled some cheeseburgers for dinner and made some Skype calls home during the evening. Today we plan to investigate the broken furler, extend our stay a few days in the Grenadines, check to see if the part arrived, and maybe upload more photos.

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2 Responses to Trip to Bequia More Adventure Than Wanted

  1. Chris Myles says:

    Sorry to hear about your troubles Frank.
    What furler is it? The Saint Francis website says profurl but I can’t imagine any issues unless the pin sheered.
    Hopefully it turns out to be something simple, but whatever it is, buy at least three spare parts (so you have a couple left over for the pacific).
    ps. Check out our cruising blogs search engine. I’m trying to build a collection of cruising blogs (with maps) that fellow sailors can use as a reference.

  2. madison says:

    nice pic :)))))

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