Friday, 29 April 2011

Bad luck comes in three's... :o)

So on Easter Monday, with a late afternoon tide, smallest little'un and I decided to make a break for it and see of we could slip in a couple of hours sailing before we had to go back to school/work...

Weather had changed significantly from the Friday, and we now had (and still have) a gusty northerly wind, but it was "new" enough to still be pushing warm'ish air so was a nice afternoon; after a week of it it's now decidedly chillier..

Either way - took the decision to take in a reef on the main, and we headed off towards the channel where just as I turned to head past the cardinal at the end of the Northney channel the boom came over and gave me a good clonk! Glad I was wearing my hat, but little'un was quite surprised at some of the things her Dad said!

Got to the entrance to Northney, about half way down the Northney channel, when just as we were going past, the jib collapsed gracefully onto the foredeck - huh?!! Bu**ery and damnation, the jib halyard had given away at the whipping point I did in the winter... smiley emoticons Bad luck #1

Little'un gathered the jib and stuffed it down the foredeck hatch while I got the engine going - sailing over for the day, and we headed back to the mooring...

Once on the mooring I took a good look at the jib halyard and could just see a couple of inches still sticking out of the mast - if it disappeared I'd have the devils own job on my hands as it would mean dropping the mast and then rolling a weight with a mousing line attached down the mast so as to be able to re-thread the halyard. The fact that there was still some showing was, potentially, good news...

So first off to dowse the main sail and as I'd reefed this involved un-reefing it first, before flaking it down... I'd just deployed the handle when I had to turn round to ease the main halyard, turned back just in time to see the handle bounce once and fall over the side... smiley emoticons bu**ery!! Bad luck #2

Tried to catch it as it went over the side and tripped on the hatch cover, which also bu**ered off over the side!! Double bu**ery!!!! Bad luck #3

By this time I'd definitely come to the conclusion that I wasn't meant to be on the boat that day... I just looked at little'un, laughed, and said we definitely needed to go the pub when we got ashore! smiley emoticons

Recovery:

First off, I dragged the tender round to the side, jumped in with the boat hook, and went fishing for the hatch that happily was white so I could easily see it, and had rested just under the boat in a few feet of water - recovered that and re-attached the bungee that usually keeps it attached to the boat...

Next job was slightly more difficult - taped my whisker pole to the boat hook, wired a triple fish hook to the end and went fishing for the end of the line... success.... then triple bu**ery! The end of the whisker pole slid out as I was pulling down and remained up the mast attached to the halyard! Happily it came loose so this time I taped all three poles together and had another go, as the rope was beginning to disappear into the mast and I was getting a mite depressed... happily my luck changed and I successfully hooked and recovered the rope... smiley emoticons Good news... I might have lost the reefing handle but the far more tricky issue was averted...

Distance: 2.33 miles (cumulative total over there to the left - hardly seems worthwhile adding this!)

Wind: N - Force 4 (and gusting).. Maximum speed 5.2 knots (under motor), average speed 1.7 knots...

Postscript: I've been out to the boat since and re-done the whipping, but this time I've also sewed through the two ropes for additional safety. I have also tried to get out early enough to be able to check for the handle as they're £30 new! No success so far, as despite getting down 3 hours before high tide the water is too deep - I'll have another go tomorrow - I'm not optimistic, as the mud is deep and slippery but you never know!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Round Hayling..

As I was unable to get out last weekend I was really looking forward to getting out on the water this weekend.

First though some excellent service from Home Marine at Emsworth Yacht Harbour where Bill fitted the replacement eBay tank for free. He said he guarantees all his work and clearly the spot welding hadn't sealed the tank so it was only right that he fitted the new one; top bloke, great service, thoroughly recommended. One thing I have noticed is that if anything, the motor starts more easily with the new tank - less choke needed, and for a shorter period.. clearly the fuel flow is better.

Either way - engine back on board and we were ready to go.. beautiful weather (has been all weekend here in the UK) but wind still south easterly & not brilliantly windy - force 2'ish - so I decided to motor to the end of the channel to maximise sailing time...

When I got there I met this lot travelling round.. HISC Round Hayling Windsurf race

Been a long time since I windsurfed round the island for fun - I think I'd need a bigger, floatier, board than I used to have as well..! Interesting to see the new designs - the new boards are shorter and much wider than the one's I used to race.. looking at the results there were a lot of DNF's (Did Not Finish) so I'm assuming that the lack of wind, coupled with tide at the entrance to Langstone Harbour, probably wreaked it's usual vengeance...

Beautiful afternoon to be on the water, and the channel was very busy.. when I got to "Marker" (about half way down the main channel to Emsworth) I was overtaken by a couple of older sailors in a 25 footer - absolutely over on it's beam ends which given it was only a force 2 was interesting.. went screaming past me as I tacked to go back into the main channel, I looked back and it was like he was on a giant elastic band... run aground at speed.... ouch.... no more than quarter of an hour to high tide.... Harbour Master gave him a pull off in the end and I saw them motoring down the harbour so all's well that ended well.

Distance: 10.26 miles (cumulative total over there to the left)
Wind: ESE or SE - Force 2.. Maximum speed 4.7 knots (under motor) I saw a few 2.5's & 3's under sail, average speed 2.8 knots...

Monday, 11 April 2011

Sunny afternoon... tack, tack, tack....

A lovely weekend in the UK, hottest temperatures year to date, but the tides were late so I only managed a short sail late'ish on Sunday afternoon...

Slipped the mooring at about 15:00, after filling the outboard*, and drifted off down the channel past Northney Marina. Lovely and sunny, but not much wind on the run...

Got to the end of the channel however and the wind shifted over 90' - guess it must have been sea breeze filling in, but either way I went from broad reaching to close hauled, and then seemed to stay that way for the rest of the afternoon as you can see from the track....!


This is what I laughingly call the instrument panel..

Distance: 7.24 miles (cumulative total over there to the left)
Wind: SSW - Force 1 or 2, going to SSE half way through the afternoon...
Maximum speed 5 knots (under motor but I saw a few 2.5's under sail), average speed 2.3 knots...

* My outboard dates from 1990 so she's not a spring chicken, and when I had her serviced earlier this year the mechanic told me that he'd had to do some welding on the petrol tank as there were some corrosion-caused holes. He warned me that it might not be completely fixed, and it seems he was right as she is leaking from somewhere I can't see.. In those days they made the tanks from mild steel so I think after 21 years I should expect it... the alternative is just to convert her for an external fuel tank, but last week I got luck on eBay and found a spare replacement tank at an outboard breakers in Wales for less than £30... fingers crossed it will keep her going for another 20 years....

..and just to finish off..


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

There you are...

..minding your own business and look who comes sneaking up behind you...

..this is Sid, a mate of mine going back far more years than I care to remember... back in the day we both (along with a bunch of other guys) used windsurf a lot, in fact Sid still does, it's only me who got old...

This is a Hobie Mirage Adventure Island a truly strange boat, that has this really weird flipper type pedal powered propulsion system

All I can tell you is that it definitely shifts...

...and Sid and his trimaran both fit in and on a Nissan Micra!

Was good to see him... and now thoughts turn to the coming weekend - hope I get some water time!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

First cruise... NE Pilsey...

...and we're off... no one killed, no one died, nothing broken, nothing hit... result! free smileys

Forecasts for the weekend are pretty much the same for both days but given that tomorrow is Mothers Day here in the UK I decided to grab some time on the water today...

Track is as follows - you can click on it for a bigger view..

Separately - where's my windex gone????!

Looked up the mast as I raised the sail and it's gone! So OK, it's been a little windy this week, I wonder if I might have knocked it off when I came under the bridge....??? Thoughts are turning to alternatives, the mast is not coming down until the end of the season, full stop, so thinking either a temporary mount on the push-pit for another, or the tried and trusted ribbons on the side stays.... free smileys

Distance: 7.9 miles (cumulative total over there to the left)
Wind: SW - Force 1 or 2, occasionally force 4 for periods of time... funny old day!
Maximum speed 4.8 knots (under motor I'm guessing but I saw a few 3.8's under sail), average speed 2.4 knots...

All in all though, a brilliant days sailing - smallest little'un and I had a good chat, and I was really impressed with her helming - up until now she's always been a bit worried, but today she took the helm while we were sailing as well as under motor...

Boat held together, and during the gusts we made some good speed..already looking forward to the next trip

Friday, 1 April 2011

..and rigged...

Got to love these new lighter evenings as a result of the clocks going back in the UK...

I grabbed a couple of hours on Sunday to rig the sails, but didn't manage to get it finished due to family pressures (they were sitting at the edge of the sea shore opposite me, shouting that they were cold and wanted to go for a curry - how could I refuse!)

Happily on Monday there was still tide, and a quick trip home after work allowed me a couple of hours on the water in the evening to finish off the job... boom is now re-attached, and jib is back on the roller...

As they used to say in the old days - she's in all respects ready for sea.... which hopefully will be tomorrow (Saturday) or Sunday, depending on weather..

Separately - I've had a birthday recently and purposefully asked for money as I wanted to spend it on a new hand-held VHF. After the dis-masting last year it became abundantly clear to me that no aerial (which was on top of the mast pointing at the sea bed at the time) meant no radio, I got lucky in that it was very busy and someone else relayed the call for me.. the hand-held is therefore my safety net. I'm going for a Standard Horizon 280-E this weekend - any money left over will be put towards something frivolous, either some deckies or a sail bag for carrying gear to and from the boat... more later....

Lastly, and on a more unhappier note, we had a communication from the sailing club this week that one of the members boats was broken into the other day while it was on its mooring (possibly when the tide was out)... they broke in, trashed the interior, stole anything worthwhile, set off the fire extinguishers and then set the boat adrift.... worrying times, and your heart has to go out to the owner who spent all winter getting her ready, and was probably looking forward to a new season's sailing as much as I am..... I'd be gutted