Saturday, January 17, 2015

J/36 JAZZ Sailing Cruising Saga Continues

J/35 Jazz- sailed by Norman Curnow from United Kingdom(Palma Majorca, Spain)- The J/36 JAZZ continues her experiences three decades after she left Stonington/ Newport- it was originally Rod Johnstone’s boat for summer-fun sailing in 1983.  Her current owner from the United Kingdom, Norm Curnow shared this recent update:

“I must share something with you and fellow J/sailors around the world about my trip back from Crete, where I got caught up in a squall of  37-50 kts!!

As some of you know, I have sailed many thousands of miles in my sailing years- 100,000nm plus!!  So, I left Majorca early just as the light lit the sky, no wind, motoring about 6 kts along the north of the island.  Two to three hours out, I am now passing Dragonero.  Still no wind.  But then, there it is! Off with the engine, out with kevlar jib and already had carbon main up with full battens!  Mistral in clear air??  Maybe.  Time to roll!

JAZZ soon had her skirts up, 6-7 kts and going great, then 9-10 kts no problem.  Hello!  Looks dark over on the horizon, SE wind blowing now, then from NNE.  Going along nicely.

Onward another 5 miles.  Then, bang! The boat was healing to her gunwales under the water.  I dumped the main.  Got to get that jib in. Pulled like hell, can't move the thing.  Too much wind.  Then it starts, lumps of sail start flying, kevlar about 6 inches square.  Oh no!!  Forget the jib, save the main. Pulling it down.

The next problem. Hail as big as marbles, starts striking me on the back of hand, every strike was like breaking bones. I grab the dinghy floor that I cover my gas (petrol) tanks with; I slide down into the sole of the cockpit, still dumping the mainsheet! Modern man’s version of comfort while in Hell!

The pain is unbelievable.  I'm feeling sick, still dumping the mainsheet, got to save that main.  Thank goodness, the autopilot is steering well; dipping the boom ever so often.  This is about the worst condition I've ever been in.

I slowly get myself out of the cramped cockpit.  I roll in the jib, the only thing left was the clew-reinforced part of the sail and the luff and foot cords.  It had taken at least a third of the sail.  Main was OK, only the 4th batten poked through and disappeared in the wind.  What did I do next? Swore and cursed and motored to San Antonio 50 miles away! More on this story soon!”