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....

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