Saturday, 1 August 2015

Snowhill slide..

Time for one of those crafty days off that so often ends up in being a superb day out on the water.. no idea why that should be, but this one didn't disappoint either! I must do it more often.. 

So it was that sat at work at the beginning of the week, I was reminded that I still had almost 3 weeks of holiday to take before the end of the year, a delightful position to be in, but indicative this year I think of the bolleaux weather we've had on the whole - not been taking those sailing days where I would normally, so they've accrued..  forecast for Friday was looking good on the whole so decision made...

Winds were light, but as the SWMBO was at work I had the option for an entire day on the boat, either catching up on a little painting, or doing some sailing depending on what conditions were like..

Friday dawned sunny (check), but not a breath at home (gah..) so I packed the tool box thinking I would do a bit of work, and then lounge, Monte Carlo like, in my capacious cockpit (). Got to the club however, and the wind was coming up with the tide, decision made, left the tools in the car and set sail...

With wind this light, and direction (SW'ly) my plan was to motor to Marker (the pinch point at the top of the harbour) and then raise sail and see what happened...

Plan was OK, and there was sufficient breeze to move us nicely (3-3.5 knots) but I hadn't factored the biggish tide (4.3m), so as usual on my plots the tacks on the track look pretty shallow (basically I'm travelling against the tide in both directions when I do a day sail)...  well that's my excuse anyway! By the time you get 200 or 300 yards south of Marker though, with an hour or two to go to high tide, then you can start using the shallows, less tide/longer tacks/better progress...

So past Marker at about HT, and the sun was still out, and I decided to head for East Head, and in particular a buoy I'd visited last year, Snowhill...

East Head
 A superb days sailing, Sparrow was tramping nicely, sun shone, was actually warm for once, and a long track across Pilsey Sands saw me approaching my destination...

Next, obligatory "wake shot" as the mobo'ers call it, with my destination for good measure..

...and that was largely it, a small broad'ish reach back to the point I could start heading north (saw a run of 5.7's and 5.9's here, so I must still have had some tide under me) followed by a delightfully long run up the harbour, some of it goose winged... the bar was raided, and a cigar lit up... doesn't get any better, and way better than a day in the office..

Finished off with the obligatory motor to the mooring, but with a half hour of water left I masked up the three hatches and gave them a fresh coat of the own brand masonry paint I use as they were looking a little sorry...  just managed to finish in time, there was only a foot of water under her when I left (by the by, this game me the opportunity to have a check of the hull, and I'm pleased with the performance of the anti foul, only slime at the moment after 3 months..)


Distance: 11.18 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Force 3 gusting low end Force 4; S going SW by end of trip
Sail Plan: Full main and a pretty full genoa (just a few rolls in to help with the tacking) - engine to get to Marker (not included in track) and f;or manoeuvre...
Speed: GPS track says the max speed was 5.2 knots (which would have been under sail, and I saw a few 5.7's/5.9's as well) - average speed 3 knots


  1. Nice short cut across Pilsey Sand - what's the depth there at high tide?

    1. At HT yesterday I reckon about 2 metres'ish.. you can just see the bottom as the water's very clear.. Sparrow's got a draft of just less than a metre but I keep a close eye and am ready to back track at the drop of a hat... :o)

      While I was out a Shrimper went well inshore of me.. i'm guessing he could float in a dewy field though - lifting keel?