Sunday, 9 August 2015

Pre-Cowes Week Cowes trip

Rod gave me a shout last week with the offer of a ride on Ami-Ly with the same crew who did the America's Cup trip, and seeing as the tides this weekend are distinctly iffy (early and late), I bit his arm off..  especially as a trip to Cowes was on offer, the day before the Cowes Week racing started - so lots of busy'ness and boats to see...

Quiet trip over - a distinct lack of breeze, and from an entirely unusual direction (NW) so with one small aberration just to check it really wasn't sailable, it was motor all the way..

Despite the very low water we used the inner small boat channel to Cowes (behind the new breakwater) - think Ami-Ly has a draft of about 1.5 mtrs (Legend 290 with the wing keel) and the minimum I saw (under the keel) was a metre.

As expected Cowes was rammed but we managed to get 3 hours on one of the outside pontoons at East Cowes Marina for (I thought) a very reasonable £10. Lunch was in the Lifeboat (after having ogled a quite beautiful young lady sunbathing in a bikini in the boat two over from us - four old blokes, we shouldn't be let out alone..) was excellent, with a cracking choice of ale..  "Timmy Taylor", Goddard's "Fuggle de Dum" (IoW brewery so how could I not!?) and "London Pride" (for the hard of thinking )

Spirits were high when we therefore left, and having narrowly missed the chain ferry we pushed out to sea, where we found that over lunch the sea breeze had filled in and presented us with a superb opportunity to fly Rod's "blue meany", also known as the 'big bastard'..

Cracking sail down wind with this helping us on our way..   wind direction was difficult so as you can see from the track we had to basically do a number of shallow gybes down wind, but the practice was good, and I think it safe to say Rod was very happy with his sail..

Ryde in the distance..
Good chance to play with the snuffer as well - which worked a treat

IoW car ferry going in Fishbourne
 So - lessons learned - the opposite tack sheet needs to go round the front of the clew attachment and the forestay for better gybing (we tried it just round round the forestay but it was much slower to transition) - when you gybe let fly the lee sheet quickly so that the sail doesn't wrap..

Back on the pontoon by 18:30'ish...  six and a half hours of sunny weather sailing in the Solent, a fine lunch, and a load of laughs and banter, does it really get any better???


Distance: 12.6/14.12 miles (morning and afternoon respectively - cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Low end F1 in the morning - approximately north west; F2 gusting low end F3 in the afternoon but more westerly
Sail Plan: Full main and full genoa which we rolled away when we deployed the blue meany - engine to get to Cowes in the morning...
Speed: GPS track says the max speed was 7.8 knots in the morning (must have had some tidal push), 5.8 in the afternoon (and that was under sail - we had a couple of gusts come through) - average speed 3.6 knots all day

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