On Sunday, as a break from rewriting my mega VBA FilterIFs function into C, I went to MWYC to sail my Comet Xtra in the Sunday pursuit race. When I took the cover off and the sail out of the sail bag, I discovered that a mouse had built a nest in the sail, and eaten some holes in the luff and dismantled chunks of the zip that runs up the luff.
After inspecting the damage I managed to get rid of the mouse nest, hoist the sail and manouvre the zip fastener past the missing parts of the zip. It looked a bit ragged but since the wind was light I thought no more damage would be done by sailing, so launched the boat.
I was just about to leave the pontoon when I discovered that the mouse was hiding in the bottom of the boat.
After some encouragement mouse decided that walking the plank was preferable to staying in the boat with me, so hopped over the edge and boldly swam for the bank of the reservoir. I did not know mice could swim but this one was quite fast.
Needless to say I did not win the race, but I definitely have the best excuse: “Mouse eat my sail” ranks up there with “Dog eat my homework” as unbelievable but (very occasionally) true excuses.
No, I have not seen the mouse since it scrambled ashore.
It turns out that Hyde Sails no longer have a repair loft in the UK, and that the sails are actually made in Malaysia. But Comet Dinghies were very helpful and arranged for a new luff sleeve and zip to be sent to me, and hopefully next week I can persuade Jon Clarke at Edge Sails Coventry to replace the mouse-bitten part with the new one.