Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Drag race..

Quick trip out on a late Sunday afternoon..  tide at 1730 and I was supposed to be cooking Sunday dinner that evening so just a few hours on the water.. 

F4 gusting 5 according to Cambermet when I got on the boat, so I wound in the usual reef on the main and this time as an experiment I wound in a foam pipe at the luff end of the boom to try and preserve the shape a little better - not 100% sure as I had a crease, but performance was nothing to be upset about..

I had assumed a SW'ly from the forecasts so was expecting the usual long beat against a strong early flood but what I actually got was that soldiers wind again, which powered me down to the bottom of the harbour in a glorious manner..  3.5 and four knots against the tide with a foul('ish) bottom and you know you're motoring! Very pleasing..

Fast run back to the moorings and I was home in time to put the roasties on..  sublime...


Distance: 8.25 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction): F4 gusting F5; SWxW going WxS
Sail Plan: Reefed main & 75% genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots):  4.9 / 2.9

Friday, 14 September 2018

Fisherman's friend... up to Emsworth..

Another cracking day on the water in shorts and tshirt long after I was expecting to be able to.. 

Westerly's this time - a "soldiers wind" suitable for visiting either end of the harbour, the only wrinkle being there wasn't much of it, but there was a lot of water in the tide...

First order of the day then - fully three and a half hours before high tide was to actually get to the boat as there wasn't much of it about..  I have sailed three and a half before HT but usually they're a neap and with a 4mtr plus difference this was definitely a spring...

No matter - the sun was warm and I got the boat ready, tried a little spinning with the fishing rod, and on the hour of three hours before dropped the mooring and had a go..   little sludgy at times but we were soon pushing up the ditch...

First stop then, Emsworth channel..  past the mid channel pontoon, Fisherman's,  and I eventually did a curtsy by the visitors quay before heading back down harbour...

Just past Fisherman's...  lovely landfall..

Visitors quay/pontoon..
Wind continued to be fluky but mostly westerly, and a long slow reach down harbour against the tide was just what the doctor ordered...

With the clock ticking away though all good things come to an end and a turn and beat back to the top of the harbour soon set the world to rights...  another sighting of a seal in the moorings was a double bonus..

So no fish, but a glorious day on the water at the end of the season, and that little trip takes me to within 10 miles of last seasons mileage total..  it was a late starter but it really has been an amazing sailing year and there's still just over a month to go!


Distance: 9.41 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction):  F2 gusting F3; WxS through WxN
Sail Plan: Full main and 90% genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots):  4.2 / 2.1

Monday, 3 September 2018

Vernerculi, vernercula, err.. redux..

Honest .. it was like ground-hog day..  

First on the agenda today though was a bit of a scrub as Sparrow's bottom was looking a bit unkempt (boom, tshh...) .. now in previous years two or three circuits of the boat with a stiff broom resting on the dinghy thwart to apply upwards pressure, and then broom pulled back and forth has been enough to clear most of the detritus, but I noticed immediately that this year was a little different..  hate to see what I'm going to find on lift out, but I suspect it won't be as good as last year, as this year I have a huge crop of barnacles...  hottest summer since '76 here, weeks of 30 degree Celsius, and the boat is basically sitting in an organic rich, warm, petri dish, so I suspect that's the cause..  in this case the solution was to turn the broom over and use the hard edge to scrape the barnacles off, before turning it the right way for the scrub..  antifoul??  Growmore more like..    It is however most satisfying to see hundreds of barnacles floating off down tide...

That done time for a sail...  that b*stard wind from Friday was still with us, with a bigger tide (more water sloshing about) but the weather was warmer, so same sail plan, same drill, just slower speeds...  there is something intrinsically weird at watching your boat move sideways almost faster than you are going forwards, but we were getting 3 knts through the water most of the afternoon...

Motor sailed to Emsworth Beacon and then the engine racket was too much, so off it went and I started tacking...  two hours later and made Verner, turned and had the run back to the mooring fishing rod deployed.. 

A major source of irritation throughout the afternoon was the genoa getting caught on the windward stays by the leech line cam cleat..  mine is one of these...  made by Gransegal I believe..

The issue was that the stay catches behind the lip of the cleat (on the right in this picture) effectively anchoring the sail on that tack, the only way to release it is main force and either pull it in from the tack you are going to, or pull it and release it again from the tack you are going from  - enough's enough, it's positively dangerous when you're short tacking in a confined space, so I have removed it - I had the same issue on Pap and did the same then ..  I don't think I've ever used the leech line, and should I ever need to there is also an eyehole to secure the leech line in...

Despite that it was an utter joy to be out..  start of September and a week ago I thought summer had gone, but today I sailed in shorts and tshirt and returned home, slightly burnt, and slightly salty, but much refreshed in mind..  what a cracking sail..


Distance: 10.64 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction): F3 gusting F4; SE going S
Sail Plan: Full main and 80% genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots): 5.3 / 2.6

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Vernerculi, vernercula..

With apologies to the light operatic song for the title butchery... 

There's a sense that the season is coming to a close, so with a shed load of holiday still in the bank at work the option of a sunny afternoon on the water was too good to pass up..

For every God-sent breeze there is an equal and opposite reaction, so the fantastic direction of the last trip was swapped for a south easterly - equally unusual, but the most bast*rd direction you get in the harbour as absolutely everything is uphill from the mooring in a SE..  add in a 4.5 mtr (approx) tide and the choices were to either motor a long way, or just enjoy the tacking..  so that's what I did as you can see from the map...  two and a half hours of tacking and a sublime 30 minute goose wing run back to the mooring..  bliss...

With time to enjoy, thoughts are coalescing for what I need to get done over winter..  new jobs are being added to the new list (see tab at top)...


Distance: 9.77 miles  (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: F3 gusting F4; SE going SxE
Sail Plan: Full main and 80% genoa
Speed: 2.6 / 4.9 (avg/max)