Monday, 26 September 2016

Verner vidi vici...

Moons and stars aligned to allow a swift trip out to the boat yesterday.. Even up to the last minute a sail was a bit doubtful, but when eldest turned round and told me I was not required for Granddad duties it seemed a shame to waste the opportunity..   wonders will never cease!

We're in a boom period period on the weather front currently - in the last post I mentioned it was either boom or bust with regard to wind all summer, and this weekend was definitely boom..  force 5 gusting 6 was forecast, but with a 20:00 high tide and sunset at 1830/1900'ish it was only ever going to be a short burst charge up the creek and back..

As it turned out it was significantly better than that..

So four hours before high water and the tide could be seen so I launched anyway as I had the broom with me for a quick end of season scrub at the water line - 20 minutes with my tried and trusted [clicky] saw festoons of weed and antifoul cloud disapearing off down tide, but we had a much cleaner bottom, and when she comes out I'll have less antifoul to pressure wash off..

Once on board I could see she wasn't quite afloat so I took the opportunity to fit the new genoa sheets I got at the Boat Show..  not a massive chance to test them today (only did one tack) but its clear that they are running more smoothly, and they are less stiff then the old ones so I'm going to chalk up a "success" for the choice of line..

Wacked in a mahoosive reef on the main (biggest I can do is to the first batten), fired up the donk, took my life in my hands (it was blowing nicely! ) and dropped the mooring...

Brilliant sail - only had two hours but a fast run down the channel on main saw 3.5's/4's over the ground against tide - turned at the end of the Emsworth Channel and cracked a bit of genoa and she started to shift even against tide (I reckon 2 knots against??) - fairly constant four all the way down harbour..  passed Verner, the first Pilsey mark, but saw sense when I got to the second Pilsey buoy as the sun was beginning to drop so I tacked and rode the tide home...

As I tacked a fellow Hurley 20 came into view - "Big Easy" - she's fairly famous, as she was the subject of an extensive refit a few years ago, and may even, for a while, have been owned by the same guy I bought Sparrow off of...  either way she was going well - and there were precious few other boats out and about and enjoying the "breeze", so "Go Hurley"!

Shame about the foresail - looks like halyard has come loose...

All in all an absolute blast - quite literally - when I checked Cambermet afterwards, my perception had been right - we had both ends of Force 6 for the sail - only dropping to both ends of F5 for the end...  and "Sparrow" went at it like a youngster...

Cold at the end though, full oilies donned, summer is over...  also, although I got on to the mooring in the dusk, this was the first time I've ever packed up in the dark - thank goodness for the head torch - cabin lighting has gone up my priority list this winter...

One last sailing session to go, I think - I've got Rod and Dave down for a mast drop on the 9th, and she comes out on the 16th, so fingers crossed for decent weather this weekend....


Distance: 8.43 miles in just less than 2 hours (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: Solid F6 going F5 / WSW
Sail Plan: Reefed main and genoa
Speed: Maximum 5.7 / average 3.8


  1. Brilliant, it seems every opportunity for a sail at this end of the season needs to be grasped with both hands :)
    Big Easy was also Nick Vass' first boat. Good to see it afloat, we were wondering about it's fate last week.
    Ciao Bella is now tucked up on the front garden, she's never been out in Sept before, just wasn't worth putting her back in. Planning one more trip if I can blag a boat :D

    1. ...I bet she's super clean after a week being polished!

  2. I am glad for you that you got a really good end of season sail - nothing like a sail in a really good wind! Shame you couldn't have given your camera to 'Big Easy' and got him to take a few photos of your boat sailing.

  3. Alden - all (my) hands were fully occupied.. but it blew the cobwebs out, and I remain endlessly impressed at how easily she handles wind and weather like this if you give her the chance... :o) One more sail to go if the weather gods unite in sympathy this Sunday... fingers crossed...