Monday, July 6, 2020

The Tale of a Sail - Part II

It is amazing how quickly things can happen if you have some leverage. 
"Can I have my correct sail?"
"I'll give you your sail back if I can have a mine"
"Be right there"

(If you missed part one of the tale of the sail click here)
Due to Covid-19 it took us three months, many phone calls, several very helpful people, and one canal crossing to get our new Code Zero cruising sail. Only to discover it was the wrong sail. Our sail was still on the other side of the Panama Canal and we were in the islands 30 miles outside of Panama City, with the someone else's sail.

We needed to go into Panama City to reprovision so we called the Sail Loft to see what could be done. Remember the length of time and the hurdles we had to jump through the first time? Apparently when the wrong sail you received is the new Code Zero for the owner of the Sail Loft's own boat they become much more motivated to make the switch. We were told that someone would be at the anchorage the following day to make the exchange.

Of course nothing is quite as simple as it seems. We waited to hear what time of day the sail would be delivered. We did not hear for a several hours the previous afternoon, and we still had not heard in the morning so Bob decided that he should go shopping (since it was men's day out) and hopefully he would be back in time to help make the exchange.

Murphy's Law came into play once again. About an hour after Bob left I got a message that someone would be at the parking lot by the dinghy dock in half an hour. Of course. If Bob and I had been smart about it we would have loaded the sail into the dinghy before he left. We had planned to, but, as we tried to collect the passports, credit cards, cash, hat, water bottle mask, shopping bags, life jackets, phone and shoes, needed for every trip to town, loading the sail was forgotten.

The "wrong" sail I had to deliver

The sail was at the front of the cockpit which meant that I had to wrestle the big heavy bag the length of the cockpit, over the compass (because it was too big to fit in the passageway) out to the transom and into the dinghy without dumping it into the water. 


I drove to the dinghy dock. Now I had a few more issues. 1) it was men's day, and I was not supposed to be on the dock. 2) there was no way I could get the sail out of the dinghy myself and 3) I didn't know who I was supposed to meet!

The ramp leading up from the dinghy dock

Upon arriving at the dinghy dock I was the only woman there. This particular dinghy dock is controlled by the AeroNaval, kind of like marine police. They make sure that everyone coming into the dinghy dock has a lifejacket, is wearing a mask, and is out on the right day. I had my lifejacket, I had my mask, I just wasn't the correct gender for that particular day! I look around for someone who looks like they might be looking for me and a sail. Nothing. I venture up the ramp and I am not stopped. I look in the parking lot and don't see anyone looking for a sail.

After about 1/2 an hour Bob returns from shopping. He started walking around to each parked vehicle to see if anyone was there. Soon he discovered someone sitting in a van, not paying any attention. It's our guy and he has the sail. He unloads the sail and turns to get back in his van and drive off.

"Wait" I say, "otra vela! other sail!" He was going to drive off and leave us with the other sail! 

Sails exchanged we head back to Rhapsody with the plan to raise the sail in a day or two to a) make sure that we now have the correct sail and 2) figure out how to rig it properly. 

And then lightning struck, quite literally. (you can read about it here) (report on repair progress to come soon)

Today we took a break from repairs and worked on raising the sail.

 It's big!

And it is the correct sail! 

Unfortunately we are stuck in the marina now and we can't take the sail out for a spin, but we are looking forward to using it in the future.

The intended purpose of the sail was to provide greater speed in crossing the Pacific. Now Mother Nature has slowed us down again.

One step forward and two steps back!

We love to hear your comments.

Andrew Holyoke said...

It’s good to know that some things work out okay. Or, to quote the guy from “The best Marigold Hotel,” “Everything will be alright in the end. If its not alright, then it must not be the end. I hope your lightning repairs are going well. It’s good to have something to do, at least?

Unknown said...

I will now cease complaining about the myriad hoops we continue to navigate to get a functional LED light into the newly delivered Hisense refrigerator. The race is on however, to see who has a fully functional appliance first (if indeed a boat can be considered an appliance). I'll let you know on Facebook when we can see what is in the refrigerator ... you let me know when you can sail out of the marina ... ready, set, GO!

Unknown said...

Beautiful sail. It's a work of art! Congratulations!