October 13, 2012 by Last Star blog
Good day sunshine
We picked up Armin in Bellehaven, we got there a bit early and topped off our fuel and dumped our trash. The marina was a bit rustic to say the least but the only place for fuel in the area. After a quick lunch at the dock we pushed off quite nicely with out banging into anything for a change.
Armin wanted to get some sails out so with the failing wind and no certain destination (the two hour slip to noon would make Ocracoke impossible) we could go anywhere the wind wanted to take us. We tried the head-sail but after a few minutes we realized the wind was falling even more as we were doing about 2 knots. The water was really flattening out again. The Last Star came with an asymmetrical spinnaker (supposed root of the word is from a sailing vessel called “sphinx” that flew a huge head sail the size of an “acre” so the term spinnaker came from it…) that was tucked in a bag in Armin’s V-berth, I called it his roommate. I asked him if he wanted to haul it out and try it. I pulled this thing from its bag once in my backyard, watched a video on you-tube on it so I felt uniquely qualified to try it out–what could possibly go wrong.
So I go below and drag out the “body”, it’s a beast. I lug this thing up front and we dump it out. Now my vague recollection of the you-tube video starts to kick in so I figure first thing is we gotta haul this thing up the mast–how else can you fly the sail unless it’s up the mast right.
Yep, that giant 55 foot nylon condom is containing the beast (for now). I’m currently trying to figure out what to do with all these damn ropes and lines.
After I dope out the lines at the front there is a rat’s nest of lines at the base of the mast too…so much to remember.
This is Patricia’s contribution to the effort….
OK, now it’s ready to go, just get this damn kevlar ring to slide up the line and “release the kracken!!”
And voila, it’s done. A thing of beauty and the two sailors who mastered it.
This photo does not do it justice for the sheer size of it. I’ve included another for scale but I figured a banana would not prove useful so I used Patricia instead of a banana.
This sail is the bomb for running with the wind. It is relatively easy to handle, it pulled us along at +5 knots for the rest of the afternoon. It is coined the “nylon diesel” and it runs for free and is amazingly quiet and doesn’t stink. Getting it down was a bit trickier as when we pulled it down the wind had freshened a bit. We were unaware as we were running with the wind. In addition we had jibed (gybed) it and the lowering shroud or nylon condom was now on the wrong side of the head-sail. I learned a lot on how to actually rig it taking it down as I had made about 3 mistakes in rigging it. Next time it will go better. Glad my brother-in-law was along to help and ask to pull out the nylon diesel.