We pulled out at sunrise on the morning of the 8th of November. Having never left this late in the year before, we were now past the fall time change, and were leaving an hour earlier than we usually do. That put us on the dock at Great Bridge between Marianna and Quicksilver by 11am, a new record. However, we were not in any hurry. Windward and Sea Mist had decided to take the Dismal Swamp route, which requires an extra day. We would take that day at Great Bridge, so we spent the time running errands at the myriad of stores nearby and then enjoying each others company.
It was a simple request that made our life more complicated. A fellow sailor had installed a new furling main sail that wasn’t furling quite right. He wanted to look at ours for comparison, but in the process discovered a problem with our sail that needed immediate attention. The webbing that attached the tack (the corner at the bottom of the mast) to the furling mechanism had almost worn through. It would not take much stress for it to completely fail.
As is par for the course, we discovered this on a Saturday night. We were planning on leaving Hampton early Monday morning, so the chance of getting it repaired before we left seemed slim at best. And the reason we were waiting another day was because the winds were supposed to be up the next day. So, how would we be able to drop the mainsail, get it repaired and hoist it back up on a windy Sunday? What kind of repair would even be required? David sent that question to Bruce at Neil Pryde in Annapolis in an e-mail Saturday afternoon, not expecting an answer before Monday.
We took care of some smaller boat projects while we waited in Hampton. Dave installed a remote switch that was compatible with our new inverter. It was a relatively easy job to install it where the previous one had been.
And, of course, we did the normal routine maintenance: changed the oil, had a diver change the zinc, and Cathy continued to work on waxing the upper deck (will this ever be finished?)
Hampton – Parting Shots
We joked with Pat and Fred and the rest of the flotilla that Hampton had thrown a parade honor of their arrival. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Hampton University was having their Homecoming that day as well.