Thursday, August 25, 2011
"A TALL SHIP AND A STAR TO STEER HER BY"
My 38' sloop "Anita" is anchored off Moonstone cove on Catalina island. Our 2 weeks cruise is drawing to a close. We set sail for Newport Beach on the afternoon breeze tomorrow. It's been a great trip. My little "project boat" served us nicely. The 53 HP Yanmar diesel never missed a beat. Four times we got blown out of anchorages on Santa Cruz island. It's under those conditions (large swells coming in while on a lee shore) you want your engine to start and your windlass to work. I can't say enough about the 1500 pound pull Lofrans windlass I installed several months ago. With "Anita" surging and 250' of 5/16 chain out on a 35# Delta anchor (this usually happens on a pitch black night) that Lofrans windlass made short order of bringing the anchor home so we could make an escape to a safer anchorage. My Minney's outer jib and stay'sl performed well. I do need to make a better sheeting arrangement for the stay'sl boom. The Minney's Force 10 SS stove worked well as did all the sheet winches and running gear. My lazy jacks came in handy as we were close reaching into the tall cliffs near Long Point. The winds increased to about force 6. Even though we already had a reef in the main and the outer jib down it was just getting too "hairy" for this senior skipper. With my mate Marty at the wheel I sheeted the main'sl out and told Marty to round up a bit and luff the main. She complied. With a clove hitch on the bitter end of the main halyard I tossed the halyard off the winch and let her fly. The main dropped between the lazy jacks, we sheeted in the boom and were back under control in weather seldom seen in the summer off Catalina island. All in all. We had a great 2 week cruise. Future projects on "Anita" include new windows and port lights, re-finish the mast and new rigging, and continue dolling up the interior.