Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Weird wind...

It being the long weekend here in the UK, I took the opportunity to capitalise on my sailing time with a quick trip out on the water bank holiday Monday.

Weather turned out to be the best day of the weekend in the end - and they're now forecasting an indian summer here in the UK (but these are the same people who forecast a "barbecue summer" last year in one of what turned out to be the wettest summers in living memory) - but the wind direction remained northerly.. Weird indeed, I can't get used to doing a run down the harbour - just doesn't seem right...

Just a short trip though - had to take the little'uns out for lunch as littlest little'un in particular was complaining about going stir crazy - though she didn't want to come sailing - some things don't change!

So - 8.31 miles (cumulative total over there to the left), wind was north by north west - practically dead northerly, but it was all over the place to be honest as it was blowing over land... wind was mostly force 2 with an occasional gust of force 3 or force 4, but not enough to worry about on my first time out with no reefs in some time! GPS tells me top speed was 5 knots but that was engine on the way home - average was 2.9 knots and I'd say that was about right for the afternoon...

Just look at those tacks to get back to the top of the harbour - good fun!

Magical day - lovely in the warm sunshine....

Saturday, 28 August 2010

West Pole Beacon

A triumphant days sailing today - first day in almost two weeks where it hasn't rained - in fact the sun came out again in parts. Biggest little'un and I grabbed the opportunity to go sailing on what has been forecast to be the best day of the holiday weekend here in the UK..

It was windy, though - a very solid force 4, gusting force 5 at times... the wind was also WNW, a definite change from the southwesterly's we've been getting up to now.

So with a couple of reefs rolled in we headed off down the harbour - can't remember the last time I sailed without reefs - I wasn't over-reacting though - there were plenty of other boats out who had also done the same!

Big tide today, so little'un and I decided that it was time for something adventurous. I'll be the first to admit that the weather is beginning to get frustrating - Papillon and I are ready for something more exciting (I'm dying to do the IoW trip I tried to do before I went on holiday, for instance) but I don't feel I'm able to while the weather has been as rubbish as it has been.... This afternoon though, with a lot more northerly in the wind, the entrance to the harbour would be considerably more manageable than it was in the last trip, so we decided to go to sea... free smileys

See following for our track (or rather part of it - I've cut off the beginning and end as you can see them from any of the other log entries), which for the first time then took me to the West Pole Beacon - chuffed isn't in it, "Papillon" lapped it up, swell and all - just a short trip, but even that was enough to bring the Nab Tower (another "target") seem much closer...



Distance: 13.86 miles (cumulative total over there to the left)
Wind: WNW - Force 4 gusting to force 5 at times.

All in all a brilliant days sailing - little'un and I had a good chat - we swapped music through the afternoon and being ever open to new musical experiences I quite liked these guys (who are her favourites at the moment) - the video made me laugh, but it's not for the faint hearted!! free smileys

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Ghosts laid to rest...

With all non-sailing activity coming to an abrupt stop last weekend due to family commitments, I decided to take the morning off on Friday and catch the early morning tide...

It wasn't what I wanted to do, ideally I wanted to take an entire day and take the opportunity to do a double tide, but the weather round here just lately has definitely taken a turn for the worse... Thursday would have been the optimal day but it turned out windy, grey and raining..

As it turned out Friday was just windy and grey..

...from the recent posts you'd think it was always sunny round here - the above is the conclusive proof it isn't..

So a fairly straight forward four hours, the wind had a touch more west in it than it usually has hence the lack of tacks in the track below to HISC (Hayling Island sailing Club) - from memory I only did one...

Once I got to HISC I picked up the last in their long row of mooring buoys for breakfast. Two Tesco's finest Pork and Leek (cooked in Papillon's new frying pan!) later, and with the thought of a mug of tea to wash it down while I decided where next to go, the bloke whose mooring I was on then returned! Bugger...

After offering apologies and explaining why I was there, I swiftly dropped the mooring and carried on, a little earlier than I'd planned. The chap wasn't annoyed though - I suspect it has happened before, those moorings are very handy!

The wind by now was strengthening; we'd started off with a force 3, but I knew the wind was due to get stronger, so I'd put a fairly chunky reef in the main (two sail sliders worth). By the time I dropped the mooring at HISC it was up to a top end four, and gusting...

With the wind direction as it was - a run down to Chichester (east) would have been great but it would have taken me for ever to get back (a beat all the way back, and in a narrow channel) so with my remaining tide I decided to lay some ghosts to rest and go and visit the site of my dis-masting earlier this summer, the Eaststoke buoy...

Happily I wasn't alone as there was another solo-sailer in a small boat out - he was very, very, good though, so I took my tips from him; tacking to stay close into the shore and out of the worst of the swell which was a feature in the main channel (wind against tide is never good in the mouth to Chichester Harbour - see here ). The entrance to the harbour is comparatively shallow, but the tide was going out, and the wind was blowing in the opposite direction - not a good recipe - it was decidedly choppy! free smilies

So - with honour restored, I turned and headed back north - once again a lovely run up harbour, with a quick dash at the end to get on the mooring before the water disappeared (neaps at the moment so not much of it). With a quick tidy up, and wash down of the decks, I was at work by 1... nice way to spend a morning!

Track as follows:



Distance: 10.62 miles (cumulative score just over there to the left)
Wind: Force 4 gusting force 5.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Mooring practice...

Just back from two weeks holiday in the Pelepenissos (Greece), so apologies for the lack of posts - sometimes laying around in the sun and drinking Greek beer has to take priority over sailing!

Brilliant sailing weather while on holiday by the way, a solid two weeks of 34'/36'C and force 3 or 4 - I lost count of the number of yachts I saw pushing along very nicely under just foresail, on turquoise waters.. if I win the lottery then maybe a sailing holiday out there would be a possibility - until then it's strictly dreaming territory

Just before I went away I'd planned to do the trip to the IoW on the 20th, I'd even taken the day off work to do it only to find out that on the day I couldn't get the damn outboard to start - with the wind in the direction it was, and with the distance planned, I simply couldn't go without the engine - it's insurance in the event of problems - so in the end I had to cancel the voyage, take the engine in to the local mechanic, and go to the pub..

Got it back today and the good (and bad) news is that they found nothing wrong - the mechanic tells me they put it in the water tank to test it and it started first time - they left it running for 30 minutes with no problems, so they gave it the once over to be sure, but nothing wrong. Bill has a couple of thoughts, but basically he's thinking a little bit of grit blocking an air inlet which may have been dislodged when I dropped the engine as I was moving it to the well - either way, the fuel's clean...

If anyone needs their o/board looking at by the way I wholeheartedly recommend these guys [click here] The check only cost me £10 which I think is amazing!

So with a return from holiday, and not been on the boat for two weeks, a visit was to Papillon was very much in order but with a whole load of other stuff to do I didn't have much time - no more than a couple of hours of tide - so I decided to try out the o/board, and then go for some mooring practice under sail...

Not much of a track is it! No more than a mile - I'm happy to say however, that the o/board behaved impeccably, and I managed to pick up a mooring perfectly while only under sail - no external assistance - well, third attempt, but the first two attempts were just playing....!

B.t.w - is it me or is this a very windy summer????? It was good top end 3 again today??!