So it was that with my wife at work, the kids on half term, and me needing to take an afternoon off, I used the first half of the afternoon to sneak out for some much needed sailing!
First time out since the race training day, and longer than that since I took Papillon out and can't tell you how much I enjoyed it..
Wind was south easterly, warm, sunny, and I'd say about a force 2 occasionally gusting up to a 3 - beating beating beating again up to almost NE Pilsey and then a quick run back to the mooring - I reckon I got there with about 10 minutes to spare, by the time I'd packed up I had difficult centring the rudder, and there was only about 6" of water to float the tender!
Best thing about today though, was practising some heaving to which went without a hitch - a fantastic thing - just back the jib and shove the tiller hard over to the other side, and the boat just sits there, head slightly off the wind, all quiet and still... I need to fit a couple of loops to hold the tiller in future and I could then rely on her to hold still while I get on with whatever I need to do (reefing, toilet, making tea etc.), safe in the knowledge she's not going to do anything while I get one with it.. brilliant!
Here I am just off of Northney marina - wind is coming from port forward quarter (you can just see the Windex on the pulpit), no main sheet, tiller hard over - and she just sits there gently rocking - looking forward to trying it in a bit more wind - undoubtedly a handy thing to know..
Distance: 10.02 miles (cumulative total over there to the left)
Wind: SE - Force 2 (occasionally gusting 3).. Maximum speed 4.4 knots (under motor, but sail assisted!), average speed 2.7 (!) knots...
PS. The boat at the top is called Mikado and is quite lovely - you may remember that spinnaker from a previous post - mystery solved