The delicate art of Parasailor deployment may take longer than expected

163nm covered in 24 hours
Position at 1200UTC was 22.14N 21.34W

Parasailor Day. The initial plan was to deploy the sparkling new Parasailor spinnaker after lunch, a task that would take about 1/2 hour including the time required to rig the sheets. Having seen it done 5 days previously, what could possibly go wrong?

Three hours later, the four of us (including the skipper) who attempted the task managed to put the Parasailor back into its locker and then return exhausted to the saloon for a cup of restorative tea. What happened?

Not 100% sure, but we managed to get a wine glass shaped Parasailor after spending an hour making sure (we thought) that the lines and sail inside the sock were not twisted! Then, when the twist refused to unfurl on its’ own, the halyard started to drop and the sail headed into the sea. A frantic scream for help from Clare ensured that I was forward in world record time to assist Steve in grabbing and collapsing the sail while Clare pulled in the remainder out of the drink.

Another hour was spent attempting to raise the sock again while feeding the soggy sail back into it. However the green edges and red edges were twisted beyond redemption and we decided finally to drop the sail and sort it out tomorrow. The sun set 30mins later!

There is no substitute for practical experience. We saw our Parasailor deployed by Thomas in Las Palmas, but even he said it would take at least 3 deployments before any crew could do it from memory. We obviously messed up but we don’t know where. It would have been sensible to spend a day in Las Palmas just practicing the delicate art of Parasailor deployment but we just didn’t have the time. Still, practice makes perfect!

Mark, Clare, Sallyanne, Steve and Peter