I went to the lake to do a few things my sailboat on Sunday. I managed to finish the few jobs that I had and although there wasn't much wind I headed out for a sail before heading home.
There was just enough wind to get me moving but that was better than not going out at all. As I sailed the wind started picking up and up. The next thing I know I'm sailing a pretty steady 4 knots or so, peaking over 5 a few times. I sailed down the lake a few miles then turned around to beat it back home. I had the lake to myself other than a couple of fishing boats. The wind was holding steady and I was having a great time.
As I looked ahead I saw that something was wrong with my headsail. It was starting to bag. Badly. I realized the the halyard on the CDI furler must have loosened. No one to blame but me. I don't know what knot I tied but it wasn't good enough. I really have to practice my knot tying!
I was still making pretty good time so I was reluctant to heave to to see what the problem was. I didn't have that much further to the marina. It's like when your underwear starts slipping when you're walking down a busy street. You can't just stop to reach in your pants to pull it up. But by the time it's completely past your arse and is piling up in the crotch of you pants you start to wish that you had stopped to take care of this problem. Not that this has ever happened to me!
I finally gave up, furled up my headsail, and tried to sail home with my main only. I wasn't making much headway so I dropped that too and motored back to the marina.
It was there, much to my dismay, that I discovered that the halyard had come undone at the top! Crap! I went to the Yacht Club garage to get my "The Thrifty Sailor Halyard Retriever" that I had donated for anyone to use. It is an extendable pole for raking snow off your roof with an old wire style potato masher attached to the end. It works well with regular halyards but the CDI internal halyard is much smaller and would not catch. I tried electrical tape wound around it sticky side out, standing on my tippy toes, I even had my tongue out but nothing worked. I packed up for the night deciding to come back the next day with help to lay down my mast.
I headed out the next day with my friend Buzz to help me. Before we went I had talked to an old fisherman "Wise Old Walter". He told me to try taping a fish hook to the end of my retriever. In these parts it's hard to beat a red & white so that's what we went with.
I'm 6 ft tall but Buzz is a bit taller so he worked the rig this time. After some bobbin' and weavin' and laughing it worked! He snagged it.
We put the headsail back on, tied with a modified bowline knot, and went for a great evening sail.
I don't know how Wise Old Walter knew this trick but I'm glad that he did.
Maybe that's how old fisherman hold up their underwear.
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