It was nice to be back on the water. I slept on the boat overnight. Luckily my sleeping bag was up to the job at 6 deg. Celsius inside temperature. My greatest joy came when I was putting up my mainsail. It was always a concern that my mainsail had no reefing points and I could face some trouble in strong winds. But then I noticed a little hole on the boom that said oil. And I thought "what for"; and a smile was drawn on my face! I had a furling mainsail! At this point you're probably thinking "Jesus, what an amateur this guy must be not having noticed that in 3 years of owning the boat!". And to some extent you would be right, but I assure you this looks like a pretty standard boom and the furling mechanism is a really basic one: the mainsail rolls around the boom, not inside as most modern mainsail furling systems. So not apparent at all (although, an amateur, I will not deny that I am). And the next question was: "what happens with the kicking strap (boom vang)" if the main rolls around the boom? To this I have not yet found an answer and I do invite your views. My hunch is that there's no kicking strap when the main is reefed (i.e. rolled round the boom). A contraption to this end could possibly be devised - for now I am thinking of attaching the kicker to the boom end (aft) but that doesn't sound too safe. I guess I could manage without a kicker however if need be.
And that concludes my first post back at sea (well, a river in fact but a tidal one so full of seawater).