So, Lisa & I were away on the good ship Insatiable for the weekend. After motoring the first 20 minutes or so, to charge the batteries, we decided, since we had a light breeze from behind, to hoist a spinnaker
. It was great; we put up the 1/2oz and killed the motor
and were running quite nicely at 4.5 knots, comfortable as could be.
The breeze freshened a little, so we accelerated to 5.5 - 6 knots. great stuff. It freshened a little more... 8 knots, then 8.5 knots - whee! We carried that breeze all the way to our destination
. One of the faster trips we have had, and very comfortable.
The problem, as we discovered, was getting the damn thing down! Usually, of course, you drop the kite in the lee of the main, and usually, you have more than 2 people on board to facillitate the drop. 2-up and no mainsail
... let me tell you it is quite a handful in a fresh breeze!
We did get it down, but it was extremely difficult. I'm 6'1" and weigh 250 lbs and it took all
my strength to pull it down (Lisa was steering
and easing the halyard
and brace). And really, there was probably only 12 or 13 knots of breeze blowing, but it is a big kite.
The moral is that we will be thinking twice before we set a kite without the main up, 2-up, or we will have a definite plan of a sheltered spot into which we can sail (under spinnaker) and drop it in a lee. We were lucky - if the breeze had freshened much more, we would probably have had to "prawn trawl" to get the dam thing down, and that is a good way to break a spinnaker
(they make damn fine sea anchors!).
A lesson learned (but damn; it sure was a fun ride).