Tuesday, 27 December 2011

That was the year that was... 2011

Last year I did a review of my 2010, I enjoyed putting it together so much I decided to do the same for my 2011...  it's a good excuse to review and read all the posts, video and pictures from this years logs....and brings next summers sailing a little closer! smiley emoticons

Like a spider dipped in blue ink and left to wander all over Google Earth - here's where Papillon went this year - click again for slightly bigger views of the pictures in this post:


...and this time with the two trips out to the Nab - one successful, one not!



...so many times up and down the harbour she almost knows her own way now...

...and the following in "Ami-Ly" as part of the training for the Round the Island we finally finished late in the season!


~~~~~~~~~


Number of visits down to the boat: 17 (one less than last year) but once again if you count all the times I visited in the mornings/evenings while she was on shore (usually two to three times a week), and the days I worked on her pre-season - easily triple that...smiley emoticons

Total distance sailed: 193.41 miles; this compares with 154.23 miles in 2010, and 125 miles in 2009... another increase - indicative of the fact that I'm more confident, and as a result taking her further..  that will carry on 2012 - my target for next summer is Cowes...

Nights on board: 0 - I had plans to make her more comfortable for 2011 (new cabin cushions etc.) which never reached fruition but that aside she's already comfortable enough, I just never got round to staying overnight..!

Crew on occasion: 1 daughter - youngest - she's good company but says sailing is "boring"... smiley emoticons

Cruising range: The mooring in the west, Printead/Thorney in the East and the Nab Tower to the south... my mooring is also as far north as I can go..

Biggest Cruise: The Nab Tower (29 miles in one day!)...

Best Cruise: So hard, as 2011 was brilliant - but probably down to a choice of two the trip to the Nab was monumental (there'll be others out there laughing at this, but it was a big deal for me!), but also the last cruise of the season up the Thorney Channel; just the right amount of breeze, some sunshine, and your own boat..

Worst cruise: Goes to Easter Monday - what a disaster! smiley emoticons

Oddest cruise: Round the Island race - not on Papillon but it was still one weird day...  on Papillon it would have to be Easter Monday again!

Best anchorages: None... didn't anchor this year...  really need to do something about that, I've never anchored in all the years I've had her!

Best mooring: My own.. smiley emoticons

Worst mooring: None... they're all good when you need a cup of tea!

Plans for next year: Cowes and the Folly (on my own boat!) - there was talk after the Round the Island of taking Ami-Ly over to Cherbourg - that'd be good!

2011 sailing mileage:
  • 2nd April : 7.9 miles - force 1 or 2 gusting 4
  • 10th April : 7.24 miles - force 1 or 2 SSW going SSE - tack, tack, tack
  • 22nd April : 10.26 miles - force 1 or 2 SE - Round Hayling Windsurf race day
  • 25th April : 2.33 miles - force 4 N - Bad luck comes in 3's!
  • 9th May : 3.2 miles - force 4 (and gusting) SSW - shear pin!
  • 15th May : 8.16 miles - force 4 gusting 6 NW - Double reefs
  • 16th May : 40.8 miles (not included in the total) - race training on "Ami-Ly" in the Solent
  • 2nd June : 10.02 miles - SE Force 2 (occasionally gusting 3) - Heaving to practice
  • 10th June : 27.99 miles - between SW & NW Force 0 to Force 4 (occasionally gusting 5) - Nab Tower ... almost
  • 30th June : 13.46 miles - W - mostly Force 4 - Thorney Channel
  • 3rd July : 10.52 miles - S/SSW - low Force 4 - NW Pilsey
  • 9th August : 28.99 miles - NNW/NW - Force 4 ending Force 3 - Nab Tower Redux
  • 14th August : 12.86 miles - SWW - Force 3 ending Force 4 - West Pole Beacon jaunt
  • 21st August : 11.95 miles - WSW - Force 4 gusting 5 - East Head meander
  • 29th August : 9.12 miles - NW to WNW - Force 3 gusting 4 - Maricel spotted..
  • 24th September : 10.36 miles - S to SE - Force 1 gusting 2 - Stoke Point meandering..
  • 2nd October : 6.16 miles - S - Force 2 - Emsworth Beacon amble..
  • 7th October : 75 miles (not included in the total) - Round the Island on "Ami-Ly"
  • 16th October : 12.89 miles - SW/SWW - Force 2 gusting 3 - Prinstead Channel testing self steering.

Year total: 193.41 miles

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas to anyone who pops in here hoping for moments of maritime marvel...  trust there are plenty of sailing goodies under the tree, and don't drink too much - spring is on it's way and there's a work list to get through first 

Friday, 16 December 2011

Enjoying my moment of glory..

..while I can...  look at that position!



...ah well - normal service will be resumed when I hit that low at about 2 in the morning...

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Not much going on....

..but that's the nature of the beast...

...the downside is that it's now got cold so painting, gluing, and all the rest of it will take far, far, longer - the upside is that the boat is ashore and this week alone was reason enough to welcome that....  ...this is from Bramblemet on Thursday..


Yup... force 9 gusting 10...


...I can only thank goodness I wasn't on the mooring, but it was still windy enough to blow the damn Windex off the top of the mast!

..stay tuned - I hope to get down to the boat on Sunday to finish the tender and wire up the amplifier so will post after that's done, and I also have a summary of 2011 to post...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Misty Emsworth...

Just beautiful...


Taken on my cycle ride to work yesterday morning (22nd)...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

I've finished! Transat Jacques Vabre...

...well....... in the virtual race anyway....
 

14,345th out of 40,000+ entries...

....it's curiously addictive - I've been playing for almost 3 weeks now so it's not surprising I suppose... 

For this race I was sailing a virtual IMOCA 60 monohull (you had the option for the multi-hull classes if you wanted) and even in "virtuality" the speeds are quite exciting - I exited the channel doing 20 knots plus...! Just as well though as I lost two days at the beginning of the race as I forgot it had started, and when I logged on I found out I was in Dartmouth!!

All in all I picked up just over 10,000 places between then and the end so I'm more than happy...

Whole track, that's me in pink - the red line is the direct route, the orange track is one of the real boats (Safran).. the red dots are other boats still finishing...


..good fun - recommended even if it doesn't beat real sailing...!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Tender.....

With the weather still not slowing down on the sun and warmth front, I thought I'd take the opportunity to get the first coat of paint in the tender this weekend... the instructions on the paint said it would only dry if it was over 10'C and it isn't going to be like that for very much longer, and I really couldn't be fagged to put my back out getting it on top of the car in order to paint it at home...

She looks a right state at the moment - partially on purpose - I take the view that the tattier she looks the more unlikely she is to be purloined, but I draw the line at raw GRP as it needs to be protected..

Having taken advice I decided to go with garage floor paint for the inner surfaces - it's known to be very hard wearing , and it's also resistant to water, oil and all the other nasty's that have a tendency to be tramped through the dinghy during the summer..

Told you she looked a bit rough!


First coat is now on... still wet, hence the shine, second coat hopefully this weekend...


Progress is always good... separately, I've ordered a 12v stereo amplifier this weekend...

...which will form the basis of a more permanent stereo system for Papillon - the battery powered speakers are OK but they're a bit tiny/weak, and they chew up AAA's...



I love music when sailing so this will be the basis of a more powerful system (and no it doesn't mean drum and bass in Chichester Harbour on a Sunday afternoon!) - I'll post further at fitting time, but they sell these for motorbikes and the like, and she's costing less than £10 (and that includes postage from Hong Kong!) so it has to be a worthwhile experiment...

...I'm also hopeful that I may be on to a tiller extension - time will tell....

Jobs update:

2. Repaint inside of tender.. First coat on - one more to go..
6. Amplifier/speakers to play the MP3 player through Amplifier ordered...
8. Tiller extension On to something - fingers crossed...

Monday, 7 November 2011

Keels & moorings....

Last year [click here], in an effort to delay the inevitable effects of seawater on metal I had given the bilge keels (which are made of uncoated/non-encapsulated steel plate) a coating of Hammerite (other rust inhibitors are undoubtedly available, but I haven't used them so no idea if they work or not.. ). Either way I'd read somewhere that providing the coating is re-applied the effect could be very beneficial...

You can see the "after" pictures in the post I referenced above, but having taken her out this year I was more than interested to see what the effects would be - overall I would have to say that I was very happy with the benefits...  these are the original keels, so they're forty plus years old - pretty good condition I'd say, and the "nibllings" at the bottom will have been from various groundings over those years - if you settled into Chichester mud twice a day for 7 months of the year you'd look a bit nibbled as well!

So, before shots first...


Port side:

Better of the two sides as this is the "light" side - no not Darth Vader - just that this side is opposite to the one I normally store the outboard on, so it settles last .....


Starboard:

Dark side, no, heavy side...  Pap has her galley on this side with sink etc. - it's also handy as the side for laying the outboard on when it's not in the well so she usually lists to this side, and as a result settles first on this side... even so - the Hammerite has stood up well..  only the very bottom worn away....


This weekend just gone - with the whole of the winters weather ahead, and having just washed her off I was keen to get another coat on pronto..  happily, the weather was sunny and I did just that - so here are the new after shots..





Much better...  I covered practically the whole of the keel on the inside as I couldn't see the point of not using the whole pot!

Separately I also had an interesting 30 minutes recovering the mooring from "my" buoy...  I replaced the shackles earlier this summer (about a month ago??) after a bit of a scare when one of the other boats managed to break free of its mooring - so the shackle holding swivel to buoy came away fairly easily after a bit of swearing at it... but I'd left the original there as it was rusted solid - yesterday I hacksawed it off (after having to return to shore to get new hacksaw blade.... ) ready for next season when I can renew all component parts (though the current one's look OK). Chain and pick up buoy are currently hanging in the garage having been pressure washed and WD40'd within an inch of their lives...  either way - even without sails it was a lovely morning to be afloat for half an hour or so...

Good progress....

Job list update (see tab at top of page for full list):


18. Recover mooring Completed
19. Re-Hammerite keels Completed

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Lift out completed - first jobs done..

"Papillon" is safely out and sitting on her trailer in the club yard...

Went OK - went very OK if I'm to be honest... I have a 'thing' about raising and lowering the mast, especially since the dis-masting [click here] but with the discovery of the A frame [click here] last season many of these fears have been put to bed - though I'll admit to a slightly disturbed sleep on Saturday night as I knew I had to both drop it and raise it  on Sunday to get under Hayling bridge...

Either way, as I say it all went really well - really, really, well. Rod came down to give me a hand, I'd already taken the boom/mainsail and jib off and set up the A frame the day before so nothing needed to be done other than to fire up the outboard to check it would run, and check the lashings for the A frame were all good... we then engaged the A frame...

Lessons learnt this year -

  1. I again used the mainsheet as my lifting/dropping mechanism (which gives me 3:1, and a cam cleat for easy locking off in the event I need to stop) but this time I used a carabine to attach the mainsheet to the bow roller - quick to undo if I need to, which came in useful later..
  2. I used the jib halyard as the fixed part of the lever and found that if I deployed the A frame at about 10 or 15 degrees - about a foot of main halyard let out - I could then use the main halyard to crank on pressure so I could un-clip the roller reefing... genius!
  3. This time round I also undid the rear stay before taking the mast down - just bungeed it to the mast to keep it out of the way...  much better than having it drift about the place....
Either way - after a little shove to get her going, the mast came down a treat and was soon sat in the crutch - time for lunch while we waited for the tide to drop enough to allow us under the bridge (5 metre tide!)

Sure enough - while we were sat there we were soon getting hassle to move as the tractor team were saying we were last and they wanted to go home - against my better judgement we had a go at going under the bridge, and just managed to squeeze under at the cost of a slightly bent aerial bracket, and some quick work by Rod to unclip the A frame to lay it flat... we could have done with another 30 minutes...

Ten minutes later we were in the hoist, and ten minutes after that we were on the trailer and safely stashed away - good news, I have the same spot as last year, so handy for water/power and bar...

While the mast was down in the yard I took the opportunity to put the windex back up (item 5. from the worklist already completed then!), but after I put the mast up I noticed that the aerial bracket had bent enough that the aerial now interferes with the windex (gah!) so the mast'll have to come down again at some point - no worries though, I feel comfortable enough to do it on my own now and I have some other stuff I'd like to do while the mast is down....how does it go? One step forward, and two back...

One other good thing - very pleased with the condition of the keels, the hammerite/"decorative garden project" [click here] that I tried last winter has been a success on the whole, and the bottom of the bilge keels look pretty good - so much so I plan to re-hammerite them this weekend so they don't sit rusting for the whole of the winter...

Job list update (see tab at top of page for full list):

2/. Repaint inside of tender.. Now pressure washed - need to get some paint..
4/. New mast crutch - modelled on the old one but using a thicker timber..For lift out I modified the old one by drilling a new hole lower down - this moves the cross point down, and effectively makes the crutch stiffer - I think the old one is now fine as it is...
5/. Replace windex Completed on lift out...

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Looks like I've run out of time....

....to get to that 200 mile target I set myself for this season... only 7 miles off it but "Papillon" comes out of the water this weekend (Sunday) for the winter lay up, so no time for sailing...

...I'll be going down today to take sails off,  stow the boom, and fit the mast crutch, then tomorrow Rod's coming down and we'll drop the mast so she can get under the Hayling bridge ready for coming out late tomorrow afternoon...

Going to be a busy weekend..  but here's a memory from earlier this summer to leave you with...

Monday, 17 October 2011

Prinstead perambulate..

...sometimes you can take alliteration far to far..  

...to be totally honest I wasn't expecting much when I set out; if I'm totally honest, if it wasn't for the fact that this was the penultimate opportunity for a sail this year, I'd probably have stayed at home and got on with some other stuff (of which there was a mountain) as although the weather was warm and sunny, there wasn't a breath of wind when I left the house...

..either way, hadn't been on the boat for two weeks, WindGuru was forecasting a force 1 or 2, and anyway, I had a flask of coffee and the stereo so if the promised wind doesn't blow I'd motor up to the end of the Northney channel, anchor, and watch the world go by while I flicked the fishing rod over the back... decision made...

..and what a good decision - sunny most of the afternoon (although it's getting chillier in the breeze now though) and a soldiers wind all the way down the channel until I bore away down towards Bosham, and then into the Prinstead Channel.

Going down the harbour, with the wind light, gave me the perfect opportunity to play around with some bungee self steering for the tiller - to be honest I've always found this hit and miss as Papillon is so light I can basically steer her by leaning from one side to the other. It worked OK - the wind was light so it's easiest in those conditions, but the bottom line is that you can change her entire trim by leaning from one side to the other so it's never going to work well. What I did find was that if you lash the tiller, then the moment she starts to head up as a result of a gust, leaning out further will cause her to fall away again without having to touch the tiller, I can do the same when she's under engine power. I have couple of thoughts, fit a proper tiller pilot (one day! ), fit a tiller extension (planned for winter refit) so I can shift around the cockpit more and still steer, or three - this looked an interesting idea from the Alacrity - Gladius blog - he clearly has the same problem with trim, but has solved it by putting a strong rubber/bungee on one side (presumably holding the tiller over) with a line from the other side as a counter force, fed through a block, which allows him to steer from anywhere on the boat, just by pulling, maintaining pressure, or releasing the line...  genius! Must try it....


 With the tide flowing I took the opportunity to cut the corner over Pilsey Sands - I have no depth sounder on Papillon so it's a little hit and miss (I navigate using my relative position to various buoys and cross checking on the the chart, to figure out if I'm OK) but as the tide was flowing I figured if i came to a halt I had time for some more water... On the way back, with an ebb, I took the long way round as there was no room for getting it wrong....

Track for the day is as follows - look at that - all the way into the Prinstead Channel:


The plotter tells me that this comes out as 12.89 miles, maximum speed was 4.5 knots (over the ground) and I think this could have been under either engine or sail as I had a blinding run back up the harbour; the average shows 2.6 knots, which considering this was speed over the ground (so tide effected) and also considering the slow speeds I had at the beginning of the afternoon (I sat watching the Marker post for at least 5 minutes on the way down!), would bear out my thought about the trip back... 

Distance: 12.89 miles (cumulative total in the tab at the top of the page)
Wind: SW to SWW - Force 1, building up to 2 quickly (gusting 3 towards the end...)...
Speed: Max speed was 4.5 knots, average speed was 2.6 knots....

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Round the Island ... Redux!

So yesterday the guys and I got together for another attempt at the Round the Island trip that we had all so looked forward to on the race day earlier this summer..

Brilliant day had by all, but a long one, and only four of us as one of the Dave's had to duck out due to work commitments, still the other Dave, Chris, Rod the owner/skipper and I had a fantastic trip...

Dropped the mooring in Port Solent at 7'ish, and at just after 8 we started down the Inner Swashway heading towards Cowes on the first leg.. 

I think we were at Cowes by about 10:30'ish - big beats in a strong force 5, using the entire width of the Solent, but the boat was going like a train and never felt out of control - Rod had picked up some hints and tips on sail trim and they definitely suited "Ami-Ly" - two reefs in the main though and a few rolls in the genoa...


From Cowes down the Needles we got a lucky wind shift and managed to make it almost in one beat - think we got there by about 14:30'ish...  pushed on  through Hurst Narrows (above - I never realised how narrow it was! Click on any of the pictures in this post for a bigger view by the way) and out into the Channel (as in English) proper, so as to leave the Needles (below) well to port. I can't tell you how brilliant it is to do that in a sailing boat for the first time..


We then bore away, down wind, towards St Catherine's Point for what was the most uncomfortable leg of the trip...   ...there was a big roll'y swell coming on the aft port quarter while sailing down wind - good speed but not comfortable and we were all happy to bear round St Catherine's (below) and head towards Ventnor/Bonchurch..  guess this must have been about 1600'ish...


Personally, this was my favourite leg - the sun was out, the sea had smoothed, the Island was looking beautiful, wind was steady five, the reefs were out and we were steaming.... over on the mainland (below) we could see huge sheets of rain, but the rainbows were superb...


Past Bembridge at about 1800'ish, lovely view of the new lifeboat station, (below) and dusk was coming on as we headed into the Solent...


Past Ryde as the sun was setting (below -  you can just see the church spire...)



It was dark as we entered the harbour through the small boat channel and the Spinnaker Tower was lit up like a large lit-up-thing - stunning (my picture was rubbish, an altogether better effort at the top of the post)....

We finally picked up mooring at 20:30'ish so about 13 hours after we left...  a long day but hugely satisfying and certainly worthy of the bubbles that Rod cracked open after we'd tidied up - and yes, I slept well last night!!



Partial track only I'm afraid as the log was so big that it blew the memory on my little hand held so I only have from Newtown to the end - you're missing the first part for the track from Port Solent, past Cowes to the track start... typical really as that was the bit I helmed on most...   On the map above I've used GoogleEarth to add in the missing path in red..

Distance: The track shows 56.28 miles, the missing track I added manually (in red) comes to about 19 miles so call it 75 miles in all - the vast majority of it under sail(I've not included it in my sailing miles as it wasn't on my boat...)

Wind: WNW or NW - didn't drop below a four all day, and most of the time was a 5 or 6..

Speed: Get this, and this was under sail - max speed was 8.9 knots (!) and the average for the track period was 5.7! Lots of tidal assist but we were absolutely flying from St. Catherine's round past Bembridge..