29. Sail Damage

The western Mediterranean has been subject to some bad weather during the past few days with lightning storms, lots of rain and generally a lot of wind. The wind is coming from the right direction for our sail towards the Strait of Gibraltar but there is more of it than what we need. Certainly more than my 11 year old sails need. I was hoping that they would take me to the Canaries where I will have brand new sails delivered by North Sails. But my genoa (a large jib or the sail in front of the mast if you like) decided to pack it in just south of Ibiza. With well over a 1000 Nm to go to the Canaries, there was no way that I was going to get there in a reasonable time without a genoa so I had to find a sailmaker that could fix the sail.

Damaged sail. The stain at the bottom corner of the sail is actually sand from Sahara after a rain shower

We (my youngest son Daniel joined me onboard in Palma de Mallorca) limped back to a bay on the south coast of Ibiza to recover what was left of the sail. We were greeted by Peter from England who came over from a neighbouring boat. Peter offered to help us take down the sail and suggested that we follow him to his home port in Dénia some 50 Nm or so away on the Spanish mainland where he knows a sailmaker. On top of this he invited us to a barbeque with him and his wife, Helen, on their beautiful Jeanneau 54, Wysiwyg. (What You See Is What You Get, for those that can’t remember the early days of personal computers). Just another example of the support fellow cruisers offer each other.

Beers after recovering the sail.
Barbecue on Wysiwyg with Peter and Helen
Caipirinhas with Daniel in Ibiza

We are now in Marina de Dénia. Tied to a dock for the first time in almost four months. The sail is unfortunately damaged beyond repair so we will have to buy a new one. Quite frustrating when I already have new sails on order. Maurizio at Med Sails in Dénia managed to dig out an almost new genoa that he will make some alterations to so that it fits Saoirse. Not a cheap option but certainly a lot cheaper than the sails that I have on order. And it will serve as a good spare and potentially also offer us the possibility of flying two genoas instead of a main sail and a genoa across the Atlantic.

We hope to be able to get going again in a few days when the weather has settled and the sail is ready. Hopefully Calin and Ioana from our buddy boat, White Star, will be ready with their electrical installation at the same time so we can continue together. In the meantime we are enjoying the comforts offered in this top class marina.

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