Friday, March 21, 2014

Safety measures

We finally used the new asymmetrical spinnaker we bought over 6 months ago. The spinnaker was just one of a number of purchases we have made that were somewhat "unplanned." From my perspective, that meant that I wasn't considering them in the costs of the boat and was surprised and unhappy to find out that we had to spend the money.

I think Matt, on the other hand, has all along harbored a secret mental list from which he reveals new projects just slowly enough to prevent a nervous breakdown on my part. Because mental healthcare is expensive. We always need  a fill-in-the-blank item "for safety" because that's the easiest way to convince me to spend money on boat things in the face of mounting costs. My philosophy generally is to keep it simple and to get by without if we can.
Safety is why we bought radar (to see approaching storms so we can avoid them), the new spinnaker (to sail fast enough to avoid bad weather), deck lights (to be able to adequately see the deck at night while underway), a satellite phone and myriad other smaller purchases that are more obviously safety-related (motion detection lights/alarms, pepper spray). Now that the purchases are made and the pain of spending the money is a distant memory, I can appreciate the safety aspects of our purchases. There just better not be too many more.

As we were leaving Long Island to head back to George Town, the wind dropped to under 10 knots and our heavy boat slowed from a tolerable 5 knots to 4, then 3, then 2-something. Another boat was steadily gaining on us and I said (a few times), "Maybe we should put the new spinnaker up" (easy for me to say as Matt would be doing the heavy lifting, literally and figuratively). Finally, Matt reluctantly gave in and put up the spinnaker. As soon as the sail filled with air, our speed went from under 3 knots to over 6. We pulled away from the 2 boats that were about to pass us and they never got close again. We were flying and it was exhilarating.
We haven't used the spinnaker for safety yet but did put it up, nothing broke or ripped, and it worked better than expected.

After a few days in George Town enjoying volleyball and the company of friends, we are headed north towards Nassau to meet our good friends from Michigan. We're looking forward to seeing them and they're probably looking forward to some warm weather.

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