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spinnaker halyard secured to the bow to
hold up the rig. I was 68, so I wasn’t the
fastest guy in the world, but I’d reacted
quickly enough to make it back to the
mast to tighten up the halyard. Just then,
the headsail abruptly caught the wind,
and the mast came crashing down onto
I was shaken but all right. My first
thought was to call for assistance, but
radios, unfortunately, don’t work very well
when the antenna at the top of the mast
is in the water. Now it was time to assess
what shape I was in, then figure out what
to do next.
The Grampian has a deck-stepped
mast that had twisted and torn out the
forward port chainplate. The rig had
rolled off the deck and was partially in
the water on the lee side of the boat, as
were the sails.
I knew I wasn’t in immediate dan-
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ger. The boat’s hull was sound, I had
plenty of food and water, and I was only
about seven miles offshore. So I said a
little prayer, had a peanut butter-and-jelly
Turn Your Rough
sandwich with some milk, then tried the
Driveway into a
cellphone. No signal.
Although it was now daylight, there
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I secured the rig to the hull as best I
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show almost no wear after splitting
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dinghy. I’d put out a bow anchor when the
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mast first fell, and this caused the boat to
pitch violently. With difficulty I raised
the anchor, and the boat seemed to ride
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better with just the small dinghy anchor
I deployed over the side. But with the
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rig in the water and the sails dragging, I
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