Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Nab Tower... Redux!

Just back from a couple of weeks on Kefalonia, and this coupled with the outboard course and the generally poor weather before we went on holiday had meant I hadn't been out on Papillon in over 4 weeks...not surprisingly, I was gagging to get out!

I have a few days off this week so took the opportunity yesterday to do a "double tider" as the times were roughly right (Monday would have been better but conditions were too windy)

Forecast was for for Force 4 to start dropping to 3 after 12'ish - the direction however was going to be very interesting - they reckoned between west and north west - ideal conditions for another go at the Nab!

So got to the boat for a 10:30 leave (very civilised) - Tesco's Finest "All Day Breakfast" in hand Free Happy Smileys - and left the mooring for the Solent...

I'd decided to put a reef in based on conditions and have to say I was pleased I had, in fact I put another one in by the time I got to the end of the Northney Channel - they stayed in all day...

Conditions in the Solent though were very nice, with the wind being more northerly than north-westerly I dropped the main and went on full genoa as the double reefed main just kept blanketing it anyway - I was making 3 to 4 knots, and had only made another half a knot with the main up, so left it down - besides it was a lot less noisy...

Lots of traffic about though as usual - this guy was sat just off the Tower (the Tower marks the start of the big ships channel into the Solent so not surprising I guess...). He'd been stationary for ages but suddenly upped sticks and went off at a rate of knots - astonishing acceleration given the huge size... either way, she's the "AQUARIUS LEADER" and belongs to the NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) Line - built 1998, 200 metres long ("Papillon" is 6 Free Happy Smileys ), 58,000 tons loaded. She's a car carrier and can carry about 6000 cars at a maximum speed of just over 19 knots!

Very relaxing trip - laid out on the seat in the sun, a gentle breeze pulling us along - an occasional eye out for other traffic (of which there was very little) - and before I know it we were at the Tower..

Close up this thing is HUGE - but it's not in the best of condition - the plate covering it is rusted and holed. You have to wonder how long it's going to last...

For the trip back it was a single tack, and at one point I thought I'd be able to make the mouth of Langstone so I could have a nice reach back to the West Pole Beacon but in the end the wind dropped and the tide did for me - no worries though, a small tack to line up on the Beacon and I was back into the Harbour.

Wind had dropped significantly so I had to shake out all the reefs, but as it was at least two hours before there would be enough water to get back on my mooring I had a little tacking practice up the harbour - by the time I'd got to the end of the Emsworth Channel it had picked up enough for me to have a little sail up to Emsworth itself always a pleasure - some beautiful boats moored in the channel..

I spotted two Fantasie's on this trip - the latest arrival is "Wolf" who is moored only half a mile from "Papillon" - I think that's about four at the top of the Harbour I know of now..

Distance: 28.99 miles (cumulative total over there to the left)
Wind: NNW to NW - started Force 4, dropping to Force 3 throughout the day
Speed: Max speed was 5.8 knots which would have been under sail (as I used the engine very little all day), guessing it would have been on the way out as I had a big tidal lift, average speed was 3.2 knots.

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