April 26, 2011.
Tuesday….85 degrees, south winds 15 to 20 with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. That was the forecast. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha …….
We eeked our way out of Whitaker Creek at 0700. We raised all sail as we turned to head northeast. The wind was a little light but the beautiful clear blue skies more than made up for it. For a while. Then we reached the southern end of Goose Creek. It was looking a little crappy with ominus gray clouds here and there. We were sailing northwest, about to turn due north into Goose Creek when a 40 knot squall ran us over with all sail up. Whoa Nelly.
We immediately dumped the mainsail and we were still WAY overpowered. I had to turn and face the squall as running before it into the narrow entrance channel with all sail up was not an option. Once hard on the wind we sheeted the main tight and furled the genoa as quickly as we could as it flapped wildly in the gale force wind.
The genoa was furled in moments, the squall was past in 2 minutes but none of it was fast enough. The last 6 feet of the sacrificial covering on the genoa had torn loose along the foot of the sail. Crap. I’m a sailor damn it, I need that sail, we’ll have to fix it.
Once in Goose Creek with 20 knots directly behind us we sheeted the main tight and sailed as slowly as possible. I pulled out 10 feet of genoa and sheeted both jib sheets tight. This left the sail hanging in the center of the foredeck where I could work on it.
I got out our sewing kit and went to work. It took over an hour but I hand stitched it and had the sail usable before we left the protected confines of the creek. At Christy’s suggestion we also put a double reef in the mainsail. Hindsight being what it is, thank God she thought of it.
The rest of the day pretty much sucked as we had 20 knots or better directly behind us. We were overtaken by several more vicious small squalls with us seeing 35 knots apparent more often than not. Oh and lets not forget the biblical proportions of rain. 20% chance my ass.
The bright spot in the day was sharing an anchorage with First Edition whom we haven’t seen since February in the Jumentos.