March 25, 2013 – Things that go bump in the night


The loud sound of something metal hitting the deck at 6:30 in the morning roused me very quickly and a moment later I was on deck. I immediately saw the source of the noise – the gooseneck pin was lying on the deck. The gooseneck is the coupling that holds the boom to

Boom not attached to the mast

Boom not attached to the mast

the mast. A steel pin holds the end of the boom and the fitting on the mast together. The cotter pin that keeps the gooseneck pin in place had disintegrated with the result that the steel pin had fallen out. Our boom was now separated from the mast! This was definitely not a good thing!

Steel pin that landed on the deck.

Steel pin that landed on the deck.

As we had the parts to repair the problem Rick and I tried to see if we could fit the gooseneck back together. We soon discovered that it wasn’t going to be as easy as it looked and we decided to let the Moorings remedy the problem. A couple of calls back and forth with the Moorings office and about an hour later a technician from Union Island along with his two helpers showed up. About 45 minutes later Earl and his assistants had the boom reattached to the mast and we were good to go.

The anchor was up by 11:00 and we were underway. Our destination was Petit St. Vincent (PSV). With winds of 15 to 20 kn. I set the sails with a reef in both the main and the genoa and trimmed them for a close haul. After sailing a short time I could see that the wind was building and was now 20 to 25 kn. so I decided to put another reef in the main.

As nice as the accommodation is on this catamaran I really do not like the way it is set up for sailing. Perhaps I’ll go into more detail later but suffice to say at this point that sail handling pretty much can only be done by one person. So changing sail, etc. can be a bit of a slow procedure. In the middle of getting the genoa reset, one of the jib sheets that was flailing around in the wind caught the winch handle that was stored in a pocket on the mast and whipped it out to sea. Winch handles don’t float! We now only had one winch handle on board.

The sailing now was fairly exciting in 24 kn. winds and about a 6 foot swell coupled with wind driven waves. Part way across the passage to PSV I was faced with a decision: should we continue to PSV where the likelihood of buying another winch handle was small or head to Clifton Harbor on Union Island where there is a chandlery? Given the effort it takes to tack this catamaran and the fact that one tack would put us on a heading for Clifton and into calmer waters a little quicker I elected to change our destination to Clifton.


Market at Clifton Harbor, Union Is.

In the harbour we encountered a bit of a “bandit” boat boy who charged us an exorbitant fee to tie up to his mooring but by that time I was just happy to be settled and paid. We took the dinghy to town and had a successful shopping trip for some groceries and, of course, a new winch handle.

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the boat watching the kite boarders zipping back and forth in front of us.



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