Monday, 29 June 2015

Emsworth to Marker

Neap tides this weekend, just 3.5m of tide, and they were early as well, 09:45, but the needs must so I got down to the boat at about 8'ish (I'd planned earlier but a lay in finished off that idea!) and headed down the channel for a few hours mucking about...

With only a few hours either side of HT to play with, the south westerly wasn't the best option for either direction, but as the sun had come out I decided to go for a "drift" down to Emsworth..  I have a particular fondness for this trip as it invariably requires some technical tacking to get back to the top of the Emsworth channel..

I love the challenge of finding the gaps between the moored boats to allow the use of the full width of the channel whilst also taking account of the tide... this trip was no different...  decent breeze, slackening tide, Sparrow was going well, plenty of boats to look at (there are some crackers)... tacking angles were good, some improvements would make the transitions better - the new genoa sheets are matt finish, normal finish would allow them to run faster; Arun have fitted their tradition leach line fitting on the genoa which (in the same way as the last sail!) sometimes catches on the baby stays stopping the sail from shifting across..  bloody irritating, think I'll remove the fitting on this sail as well....


Sparrow was going so well in fact that with just an hour still to go I went on and tacked up to Marker to the south... superb...  turned and ran for home and only put the engine on when I got to Northney....



What a cracking morning...  came home a with a smile as wide as a bus...

Log:


Distance: 8.1 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Force 3 gusting low end force 4; SSW going round WWS.
Sail Plan: Full main and a few rolls out of the genoa to help with fast(er) tacking - engine to manoeuvre...
Speed: GPS track says the max speed was 4.9 knots (which would have been under motor) - average speed 2.9 knots...

Monday, 22 June 2015

Zoom zoom

...fantastic day on the water on Sunday - best of the year so far - true to form though it's back to grey wetness today but just for once, the two days were in the right order... 

Forecast was for a fairly cloudy, but breezy day - what we got was a fairly sunny, but even breezier day. Cambermet reported fairly solid force 5 all day, and from a most advantageous direction - starting just north of west, and ending just south of west, which gave fast, fun, reaching up/down the harbour...

Clouds - what clouds? HISC on the horizon - this was the first time I think...
So, got to the boat just under 3 hours ahead of high tide, and as it was clearly blowing put two sliders of reefing round the boom (I have roller boom reefing, which I don't mind, but slab reefing would be preferred one day.. ), at that stage I was expecting the forecast (4 gusting 5) so two slides worth would have been fine..

A quick run down the channel, hoisted the main off the entrance to Northney, and headed for the top of the harbour - it was clear even then that their was a lot more wind than they were forecasting. Pushed on and was making some good speed (4 knots plus against a 2 knot tide) but as the wind continued to build, I decided I needed to roll in a bit more....  time to heave to for the first time this year, and there she sat, sweet as a nut, all quiet while I got on and rolled in another sliders worth - possibly the most reef I've put in...  most chuffed with the heave to....

Lots of reef.... (sail is borrowed by the way if you're wondering why the sail number is wrong )
Turned and headed further towards the bottom of the harbour and noticed I'd rolled the retaining line for the boom jaws into the sail...  feeling of chuffed'ness diminished, but another quick heave to and all corrected (lesson - look behind you when rolling in a reef..!)

..and that was largely it - apart from two and a half hours of super fast sailing and enjoying the whole thing immensely...  got to the bottom of the harbour, and then turned to head up to the top - had thought to go up to Emsworth, but the lure of the speed (I saw a 7.4 as I came up the harbour this first time, as the tide still had some legs) meant I turned and headed back down towards Hayling Island Sailing Club (HISC)..  this time I took the inner route through the boat moorings

HISC moorings
Turned for home, and as the tide was beginning to disappear, and time was getting on, headed back to the mooring for a little rest and repair (whipping coming loose on main halyard).

Superb day, and much needed - not been a brilliant season up until now...

"Terror" - an Emsworth oyster transfer boat from the old days - rebuilt/refurbished with lottery money (nice to see it spent well) in 2005/6
Log:


Distance: 13.45 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Force 5 (both ends of...) NWW going round SWW.
Sail Plan: Reefed main (3 slides) and half the genoa - engine to manoeuvre...
Speed: GPS track says the max speed was 6.5 knots (which would have been under sail) - average speed 4.2 knots (fast afternoon!). Saw 7+ consistently on one of the runs up the harbour where tide was still with me...

Monday, 15 June 2015

...blechhh....

...the season continues it's triumphant start... after a quite lovely Saturday (windy, but lots of sunshine) Sunday dawned... errr.. grey, miserable and shi**y...needs must though, and with an early'ish tide (10:43 local) I hop skipped and jumped down to the boat for 8'ish so as to take full adavntage of the water for an extended sesion ..


...t'was not to be...  no wind when I left so motored down to the entrance to Northney, watched it getting greyer, picked up a spare mooring off the marina and put the kettle on while I watched it getting even greyer...

...sat and slurrped coffee (in the cabin, to cold to sit out) while the breeze came up and it got even more greyer, watched the rain coming in over the hill, and thought "sod this for a game of soldiers"..


...packed up, short sail back under genoa, motor on, I was in the pub by 1...

Monday, 8 June 2015

..at bleeding last...

...three weeks since the last (cold) sail, so I was more than ready for a swift trip out when yesterday came..

...1600 HT, sunny, but little wind forecast - I almost didn't go as there wasn't a breath at home, but I'm glad I made the decision to go, as the breeze soon made an appearance once I got to the boat.

Not a very exciting afternoon, but I can say that I enjoyed it very much (more than a number of recent trips) as there was an "OK" breeze, I got to practice my beating*, and I made it past Marker under my own steam rather than having to turn the engine on..

* I've been playing around with main track position based on an article in (last months?) Practical Boat Owner about using the track to position the boom angle to the boat rather than solely relying on the main sheet....  so, on a beat, sheet in hard, but then move the track up to windward to bring the end of the boom more central to the boat..  according to the article you can also do this on a run or beat (move the track in the opposite direction) so as to shorten the amount of main sheet for the same effect/angle - it can also make a gybe less potentially damaging...  yesterday it was mostly beating but I can confirm just shifting the track 6" does seem to make a difference...  Speed and beating angle were good yesterday - I was pointing as well as most, speed not quite as good as the bigger boats (I put that down to topping lift, and a main that can only be described as having a shape like a used Tesco shopping bag.. )

What I do need to do just as soon as possible is get the main halyard, and especially the topping lift, routed back to the cockpit - wanted to adjust the topping lift yesterday, but couldn't - too damn busy in the fairway and couldn't leave the tiller..  very frustrating...  other than that it was a pleasing afternoon, the tacking angles look narrow but that's what happens when you're trying to stem 2 or 3 knots of adverse tide....  just as an experiment, once I'd got the main up I turned to head back the way I'd come and hit 5.5 almost immediately, so yes - plenty of water being pushed about..

So past Marker and toyed with the idea of carrying on across Pilsea sands to North Head but the wind was beginning to drop so I turned for home and had a long 3 knot run back to Northney Marina where I dropped the main, and then proceeded back to the mooring.

I tried some engine speed trials on the way back - almost dead water - opened her up and got 6.5 knots, be interesting to see how long the tank would last at that speed..

Brilliant afternoon - went home, tired, slightly burnt, and slightly salty..  nothing like it...

Nagging thoughts that the genoa may be too big - I invariably put a couple of rolls in but that doesn't give it the optimal shape, and the track isn't long enough for optimal sheeting angle...  more thought required before I go that route, methinks...

Log:



Distance: 8.98 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Force 3 gusting Force 4.. between SSW and SWW all afternoon.
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 5.4 knots (which would have been under sail or motor) - average speed 2.7 knots

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Bash....

....the south coast - where the boat and I abode - has been battered* by a succession of Atlantic gales that have rolled in, one after another, for seemingly the last month...  the boat has been sadly neglected, put simply there has been too much wind, too much rain, and to be honest, too much cold, at those times when I can get out for a sail...

It looks like the weather pundits are now forecasting a heatwave from about this weekend/beginning next...  fairly typical then that when I check the forecast for this weekend to see if Sunday will provide the second trip out of the year, the wind is as flat as a flat thing....  we shall see....

* evidence of battering - took this on my way into work this morning from the sea wall in Emsworth... if you look carefully at the harbour wall just in front of the white building you can see the casualties...  the dark blue one is a Hurley 20 (like Sparrow), but is in fact, the only Hurley 20 I know with an inboard engine... I first met her on the visitor pontoons in Emsworth Yacht Harbour when I was in to have the mast down, and the standing rigging replaced... she was then storm damaged (lost her mast) and sold to a new owner, who I met last winter... Dutch chap who was planning to replace the rig and live on her but has not been seen since.... (knocked on the side to say hello and was dizzy for the next hour having breathed in the 'fog' that emanated when he opened the hatch..  )..  and here she is storm damaged again and stranded until at least the next spring....  just to her left is the latest casualty, pretty little Leisure 17, someone has a mooring line out for her so she may get rescued next high tide. Along the length of the wall there must be at least five dinghies... battered indeed......