In the beginning, you learn how too work the jib, right?

When Captain John and I began our sailing ambitions in 2005 we purchased a sweet 27 ft Watkins to hone our skills on the Indian and Banana Rivers around our area. It was a quaint boat with all the essentials and in decent shape so, after much studying, Capt. John and I embark on our first day trip out on the water. We managed fine getting out of the Marina, and motored out just far enough to get the sails up. Well, all went as planned and we proceeded to play with the sails and catch the wind a bit, we actually felt our study and planning and "Dockside" practice had done us well.Time to head home then. The wind was picking up with those afternoon June clouds coming in so we made our way back home. Now time to bring her into the wind and pull down the sails. The wind was gusting pretty well about that time and of course, being in the waters just outside the Marina all our neighbors could watch us bring her in safely on our virgin journey. Suddenly as I approached the bow, the Captain lost the starboard jib line and there goes the jib sail, flapping in the wind, the clue flying over my head as if it were attacking me on purpose. As I duck and cover I hear the "Captain" scream at me above the noise of the flapping of the jib and the gusts of wind...."Grab the clue!" you have got to be kidding! This metal clue is flapping about above my head and every time I would reach up to try to grab it it must have been traveling at the speed of light! All I could do was reach and duck! Reach and DUCK! OMG!

To make matters much more interesting, our Marina friends heard us yelling at each other and one particular neighbor came out in his dingy, circled us laughing like hell, and just went right on back to his vessel without even stopping to help. He wondered just how long it would take us to either get control of the boat or kill each other. I venture to guess they were making bets on the docks as to which would take place.

Finally, Jib in hand and down on the deck, then the Main,motored on into the dock and we were finally home. Captain John and I spent a few with Captain Morgan that evening discussing how this could be prevented in the future and through our laughter;tThe "Captain" took matters into his own hands and tied those knots in the ends of the jib lines so they could never get loose again. The story is still told at the Marina.....We are legends of comedy!

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Comment by sailorgirlca on August 13, 2010 at 3:50pm
In my humble opinion.....I would attempt to master the workings of the mainsail before worrying about a jib or genoa........seens to me that the main drives more power that needs to be controlled. Try to sail with both main and genoa as much as I can but then do sometimes sail simply with either main or genoa alone......just depends on the conditions and where I would like to head......please don't ask me about all the aero-dynamics, etc.....will leave that to those more able than myself......can only share what works for me....
Comment by Lady Orca on August 13, 2010 at 8:29am
ha ha!!!! I was kissing the deck that day! :) Thanks for the encouragement, I need haven't read anything yet, LOL.......poor Captain John, I am all he has to work with.....
Comment by Steve Knight on August 13, 2010 at 1:14am
Good instincts. An injured sailor is no help to anyone. A little noise and maybe some chipped paint on the mast is a small nusiance compared to a chipped tooth or worse from getting smacked by a wild clew. Congratulations for your intrepid spirit of discovery and self reliance.
Comment by sailorgirlca on August 12, 2010 at 3:10pm
Good story...thanks for sharing. We all have our learning stories to tell and then more stories even when we think we have this sailing thing under some control. Amazing how a simple bow line or figure of eight knot can save the day I may fess up about how I missed my headed port by over 30 miles......not ready for that confession just

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