First day of work

Today was the day when the true scale of my mission began to sink in. I spent the morning doing what I should have done on Saturday, and tried to get the sails off the masts. Things didn’t start well when the genoa wouldn’t come down completely, with the slider sticking about 3m above the deck. Investigation revealed a kink in the foil so there was nothing I could do but bundle up the sail on the foredeck leaving a bit of it still up for the riggers to sort out.

Next I got the mainsail off, and ended up with the most enormous pile of canvas I’ve ever seen spread up over the deck. It was huge! I just about managed to roll it up and squish it all down into a reasonable bundle, but it’s quite a handful and I can see myself struggling to get it down in a blow. It must be about twice the size of Flogg’s main, and if I’m going to manage it on my own I reckon I’ll need to look into installing full battens and some kind of stack-pack system to stow it easily. Yet more expense, but I might as well as I chucked one of the old battens into the canal by mistake. Luckily the mizzen sail came off easily enough, so that shouldn’t be too much of a worry but it would probably be worth having it fully-battened as well.

After lunch the dockmaster from Pier 17 turned up in his little boat with the rigger to help get Odyssey out of the canal. They soon had the lines off and with Captain Lyle at the wheel we reversed elegantly all the way down the narrow canal. A most impressive piece of manouevering, and Lyle showed me the trick of watching the bow to see the moment it went out of line, then turning the wheel in the same direction just enough to feel it bite before centering it again, resulting in a remarkably straight line.

They tied Odyssey up at the marina and left me to disconnect all the wires going up the masts and get the split pins out of the rigging screws in preparation for the masts coming off tomorrow. It was incredibly hot by now and I discovered that working in this climate is not easy, especially on deck with the sun beating down relentlessly. It was just as hot inside as well but at least there was shade down below.

Back home at 6 I realised that I now face a month of hard work, so will have to be up early every morning to get most of it done before the heat of the afternoon when the beach is the only place for sensible people to be.

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