Anarchist BJ is in the midst of a long-distance cruise with the fam. Sometimes things go wrong…
In hindsight we agreed that to date, it was the most terrifying thing we’ve dealt with on the boat so far. Something in fact that most people hope never to deal with.
Everything started out according to plan. We took some Stugeron Thursday night and went to bed, no seasickness for us! The alarm went off at some ridiculous hour when it was still dark. Maybe a second alarm went off, or it was a snooze…this part was a bit blurry…but we got up, hauled anchor and were on our way by about 0430. In the pitch black we were motoring, picking our way out of the channel into North Sound on Virgin Gorda then heading East towards the Anageda Passage. We slipped out some reefed main and decided to motor sail until we could SEE the sails. The wind was cooperating, the waves weren’t too bad.
Around six in the morning the glow of sunrise has started to take the edge of the stygian black of the deep hours of the night and we decided we could see well enough to start sailing. Out came the headsail and we started to trim it then BANG! We heard a loud bang and crash and things felt wrong. It wasn’t quite light yet, but we quickly spotted our backstay whipping around in the air over our heads and our radar lying on the deck over the life lines. Major rig failure – one of the worst things to happen at sea with the sails up! Read on.