Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Jolly Boys day trip...

Didn't we have a lovely time
The day we went to Bangor 
(..err "Cowes".. though the way Smithy was steering it may as well have been..)
A beautiful day, we had lunch on the way
And all for under a pound, you know
(..clearly not been to the Folly pontoon recently)

Day Trip To Bangor (Debbie Cook)

Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know that the Jolly Boys Outing to the Solent happens once a year, lasts three or four days, and generally involves us not getting to France while eating, drinking, talking bolleux and laughing far too much... we planned to do the same this year, this weekend in fact, but due to the Royal Marine Sailing Club (Rod's the member) changing the boat we charter for a new one, and the new one not having been certified for charter yet, the planned weekend has been shifted to September.. which left us with the option for a day sail in Rod the Mods boat to tide us over to then... we almost bit his arm off...

So it was that half nine on Sunday morning saw us departing Portsmouth for the Isle of Wight.. lunch in Cowes with a bit of sailing either side being the order of the day..

...and it all started so well...
Weather was clear, sunny, but the wind was directly west (ie. right on the nose), and light, so a decision was taken to stay on the donkey...

...that's Gilkicker [clicky] in the immediate distance with Cowes beyond it..  beautiful morning but hardly a breath...
....and so it stayed until almost all the way to Cowes..  tried a small stretch under sail but the wind died almost as soon as it started so back went the engine, and a decision was taken to take lunch... quick vote and the decision was taken to go for the Folly [clicky]...  

Past the huge new breakwater protecting the small ship channel into Cowes (very impressive, and will be even more so after they put the rocks on it), and then the bit I love, which is the left turn and the run up the Medina. It's stupidly busy (and was this day as well), but the section past the chain ferry has lots to see (though apparently I did miss Jelly Bean Phil who was in town in his Hurley 20, "Ciao Bella" [clicky] unbeknownst to me at this very time and in this very spot!) - spotted two separate Fantasie 19's, and the unusual one with the double spreaders [clicky] is still on it's mooring...

Lunch at the Folly was, errrr, "OK" - food and drink were nice enough, but the cost of a short stay with five crew was stupidly expensive at £25... (twelve odd for the boat, and the rest for us on the water taxi)...  you may as well stop off at one of the marina's in Cowes, would probably cost the same and you can walk ashore from there...

Couple of pints and some food later and it was back to the boat - we had hopes we might get some good sailing in but unfortunately in the same way as the morning had been directly on the nose, the wind was in the same direction as Cowes to Portsmouth so it was a long run downwind...  we shaved the angles a bit to give us a more comfortable ride, so first run was to Ryde pier and then a couple of gybes across to Gilkicker, and along the shore via the Inner Swashway (first time I've used this passage)

Passing Ryde on the way home
Saw this beauty as we were coming up to Ryde - Danish sail training vessel Georg Stage....

Danish full rigger Georg Stage [clicky]
...and then motor on as we got to the harbour entrance, before one last brisk sail up harbour and back on to the pontoon.... 



Brilliant day - shame about the sailing - but we have the Jolly Boys weekend in September to look forward to!

Log:




Distance: 14.72 miles in the morning and 13.06 in the afternoon so a sum total of 27.08 miles
Wind: Started Force 1, built to good Force 3 in the afternoon .. dead westerly
Sail Plan: Full main, full jib, mostly motor in the morning..
Speed: GPS says max speed was 5.7 knots which was under motor on the way back somewhere between Gilkicker and the entrance to the harbour I reckon. Average speed of 4.3 knots

Most interesting bit for me was from Gilkicker down to the harbour on the way back.... one long succession of forts and blockhouses

Monday, 25 May 2015

Love me tender...

Bit of a grey cold bank holiday here in the UK, and with also either early or late tides I decided (and decided fairly easily to be honest) to spend my day titivating the tender...

She was in a fairly sorry state so this was not before time... i've always operated on the tennet that i'd rather the tender didn't look like it was worth stealing, but I'm willing to accept I may have taken it to a bit of an extreme...  So, before shot... albeit after I'd sanded down the hull and woodwork..!


Hideous, I think you'll agree..  I got her about 4 or 5 years ago and haven't ever painted her hull...  you can see a poor repair on the side which dates from, err, yonks ago when I decided to use up some epoxy I had left over from another repair...  either way shabby doesn't begin to describe her..

Quick trip to Toolstation later though and I had some Flag Black Gloss, 4 disposable brushes, some nuts and bolts and I was good to go..

Two coats of gloss later and she looked like the following...


I also put two coats of the same exterior wood stain I used on Sparrow on the thwarts, didn't have enough to do the seat...

The yellow foam on bow and stern is a scaffolding pole protetcor/bumper, you see loads of them on the side of the road so i happenned to spot one the other week when I was cycling to work and picked it up for just this purpose.. not pretty but it will stop Sparrow from being scuffed


Next time I have a few hours spare I'll redo the interior..

OK, so she's still as rough as a rat catchers dog, but she looks better than she did!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Low speed bimble...

Not quite what I was expecting...

Had hoped to get to Bosham but it turned out to be a low wind start to the day, and after 3 attempts to get past Marker (the wind was fair to about a 100 yards short of it and then turned to almost completely on the nose) in light wind with a big tide against as well we were reduced to spinning gently in the tide...

I was also feeling cold despite the sun, but it was clouding over so I thought "sod it" and turned for home... got back on the mooring just as the wind came up (which to be fair was what the forecast had said)...!

All was not completely lost...  I did see this beauty...  not having much success finding anything out about her so if anyone knows, please let me know...

Packed away and tidied, said hello to Chris Partridge whose rowing club were having an open day (Chris, nice to chat... how is it that whenever I see you, you always have a lovely crew?? ), cracked a beer, contemplated the world, and went home.

Ah well, some days are better than others...

Raised sails by Swearedeep hence the curlicue's...  note the additional curlicue's at the end of the track...  lot of water and not much wind! Marker is tantalisingly just off the bottom of the track..  pretty much as it was on the day!


Log:

Distance: 4.76 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Force 1 gusting Force 2.. started SW (going SSW by Marker!).
Sail Plan: Full main and genoa, few rolls in the genoa helped on the beats - engine to manoeuvre...
Speed: GPS track says the max speed was 5 knots (which was under motor I saw a couple of 3.6's under sail but most of that would have been tide) - average speed 2.3 knots

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Bleeding weather...

....so the windex lasted exactly four weeks... posted "job complete" on the 13th April, and I went out to the boat to check all was OK yesterday (13th May) and it was bleeding gone....  nothing...  not a sausage....  gah!

Having said that, we've had almost non-stop gales ever since she went in - with a few notable exceptions (the first sail of the season, and yesterday) it's been wall to wall gales/strong wind...  last week it was so bad that on the Wednesday lunchtime I had to go out to the boat in a F8 as I was in danger of losing my sail cover...  stupid really, but I was convinced I was going to lose it, and the main, so needs must ....  took me three minutes to get to the boat, and twenty to get back...  knackered!

In all the years I've had the boat on the mooring I've not seen it that rough - waves were being picked up and blown as spray under the bridge. The wind was SW'ly so theoretically the boats on the Chichester side are protected from the worst, by the bund that the main road to Halyling runs along the top of (north south) but in effect the wind direction was using the underside of the bridge as a wind tunnel....

When I got back to the office I had a quick check on Cambermet, and they reported a gust of F10 (48 knots) just after I got back to shore...


..so all in all I'd put my money on the weather rather than a bird sitting on it (which is the usual culprit) ...  but it's still irritating...... in the grand scheme of things however, I've got off very lightly...  one of the club boats broke a mooring last week, they think that the pin in the bow roller pulled out, and the rope and chain jumped out of the roller and chaffed on the edge of it before cutting through, happily, club members saw it and managed to stop her before too much damage was done, but she still ended up against the bridge, and it could have been much worse - I can only imagine how relieved the owner is....

The weather has to improve soon - and following a weekend of duff tides last weekend I'm hoping  the midday tide on Sunday will see me heading southwards....

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

First sail of the season...

Talk about a narrow weather window...  Saturday/Sunday were a wipe out due to wind and/or rain, but a very narrow window looked possible on Monday before the gales arrived with a vengeance on Tuesday. Serendipitously, Monday was a national holiday in the UK, so having cleared the absence with the family I legged it down to the boat and slipped away for a few hours of what mate Jelly Bean Phil calls "bimbling" [clicky]

Weather started sunny, but the breeze was a little fitful until I got to the end of the Northney channel when it started to fill in from direct on the nose with 2 knots of tide against...  gah...  left the engine on and motored down to Verner (for all buoy positions, see map below), before switching off, restoring blessed peace, and bearing away slightly on a beat across Pilsey Sands ...

No specific plans but I knew the wind was forecast to go round easterly as the day went on so I decided to head up the Chichester channel, see how far I got, and use the SE'ly (when it arrived) to help me back...

Spotted this dude sunning himself on the way down - first seal of the year...
 

Just lovely to be out sailing again - no issues with boat/rigging - I'll probably put an extra couple of turns on the cap/baby stays but nothing to worry about...  put a couple of rolls into the genoa to help with the beats but the following says it all really - sunny weather, a decent breeze, and the boat was tramping...  that's East Head ahead...


Got to the channel, turned east and was really motoring.. I'd guess that it was about high tide, but there was still some legs left in it, and this time assisting, so I saw a few 6+'s as I shot past the entrance to the Prinstead Channel...

Weather was changing though and it was beginning to get a bit grey (also cold - horrors I had to actually put a jumper on, and I even had to put my shoes on!) so having passed Camber I turned and had a fantastic half beat before following my track northwards over Pilsey Sands again...  goose wing from one end of the harbour to the other, and still doing a respectable almost 4 knots....

Spotted "Mikado" on the way back (difficult to miss her really as she really 'steamed' past ) - we've seen her before [clicky] when little'un took a cracking photo of her under full spinnaker...  beautiful looking boat...  I hate to think how much she costs to upkeep, but her owner is a QC so I suspect he can afford it! More details of her here [clicky]....


...having got back to Marker though I was enjoying the sailing so much I decided to head back up the harbour for a bit of tacking practice...  as is always the way with boat owners, a bit of non-competitive "racing" then ensued with a Shrimper and another small yacht...  great fun, the Shrimper just had the legs on me, but I wasn't disgraced....



So, turned for home and goose winged to the end of the Northney channel, but then dropped the rags and motored back to the mooring for a well deserved (in my honest opinion) beer and a cigar while I watched the world go by, and the club boats returning to their moorings....  damn good day, which the following should hopefully give a flavour of...


Like a spider dipped in blue ink - it was an eventful day in terms of miles covered...   long study of the Chichester Harbour chart over the winter has reinforced my view that from Verner south I can cross Pilsey Sands anywhere - hence the track over the mud - which saves a lot of time, especially as prevailing SW'ly's blow straight up the harbour....


Log:

Distance: 14.04 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Force 3 gusting Force 4.. started SW, going SE by end of the afternoon.
Sail Plan: Full main and genoa, few rolls in the genoa helped on the beats - engine to get to Verner on the way out...
Speed: GPS track says the max speed was 5.7 knots (which I did under sail but I saw a couple of 6.1's/6.3's when I turned up the Chichester channel) - average speed 3.3 knots

Piccie courtesy Cambermet.co.uk