Reef

If it is windy, it is a good idea to put a reef in the mainsail. This makes the sail smaller and the howling wind does not heel the boat over so alarmingly such that you think she might capsize. She would n’t of course but it feels like it.

The weather has been excellent and I have two consecutive days in the boat.

The first sail is in bright, bright sunshine with the wind coming straight offshore. We zoom up the coast from Ginowan marina to Cape Zanpa. I love sailing up the coast. I have driven the same route a thousand times but looking at it from the sea gives a very different perspective. The distance between different places is not the same.

How can distances not be the same?

When I reach Cape Zanpa I turn around and sail back. The sea is still very lumpy and there are big swells but the boat is in no way concerned. I can see that for those who do not like sitting on a boat for hours with not much to do, sailing could be tedious.

The next day the wind is stronger and the weather not quite so glorious. I decide to put in a reef. Doing this single handed is quite an art but I am getting better at it. You must raise the mainsail and then lower it again such that you can pull the reefing lines that are attached to the sail. These lines pull the sail down just the right distance and you cleat them off onto the boom. You then raise the sail again but it cannot go as high as before as it is held down by the reefing lines. You can only do this if the boat is headed straight into the wind. If there are two people, it is relatively easy but with just one there are a lot of things that can go wrong!

With a reef in the mainsail I head off for the Sand Islands that lie some miles South West of Ginowan. https://www.google.com/maps/@26.2537824,127.5600406,8508m/data=!3m1!1e3

Naturally, when I get out to sea the wind is nowhere near as strong as I had anticipated. No worries, as she charges across well with the reef. It is a wonderful sail.

My feet and ankles have gone a strange color. Maybe I should wash them more

We make it to the Sand Islands and, as is traditional, turn around and sail back.

Poor photo of one of the Sand Islands.

As we get closer to Okinawa, the wind drops and I succeed in shaking out the reef all by myself. All of this is great practice for when you might have to do it in difficult conditions. The weather also improves and it is a beautiful evening as we glide back to the marina.

Sorry, this post is about as dull as spending 6 hours a day on a sailing boat but, er, that what it describes.

Here is an equally dull movie. Sorry!

Snore full screen high definition

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4 Responses to Reef

  1. calderi says:

    Have you tried heaving to ? Allegedly helps to steady things up to reef. Loosen mainsheet, back foresail, fix tiller so boat is trying to go about.
    A harness and lifeline good when stumbling about. Some wear them 24 hours.

  2. Alan says:

    Looks to have been a pleasant trip. Puzzled by the bare legs and feet coupled with the woolly hat – danger of cranial over-heating? Have you tried putting a line out whilst you’re out on the water? Used to be practically mandatory on the West Loch and there’s always a chance of getting something for supper. Apparently the Indian Mackerel is common in Okinawan waters.
    Any news on the vaccination front?

    • Hi Alan, Just back from amazing trip to Nagano, a wonderful region! Hat is only to keep the sun off. Wide brimmed hats frequently blow off into the sea, like the Tilley hat I bought in MK. No vaccination yet. They have run out of vaccination fluid. I, Arisa, have to phone again on 10th to fix an appointment. Are you twice jabbed?

  3. Alan says:

    That explains the dome heater – too me a while to get how to stop my Tilley blowing away, much easier to do than on dry land! Pity about the vaccination situation. Japan does seems to be having problems – my friends in Nara also report difficulty in getting vaccination appointments despite the country apparently having reasonable stocks available in the country. My second jab was on 8th April, Eliane’s on the 10th so on we go to jab three sometime in November?
    Will there be a report on the Nagano trip? What drew you there? Zenko-ji obviously but what else?

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