Thursday, 20 October 2016

..and we're out...

..particularly good this year as I was first out on the Sunday..  

Humungous moon = BIG tides..



Midday high tide, and it was 4.7mtrs so I knew I'd have to get under the bridge sharp'ish, otherwise even with the mast down I wouldn't clear under the bridge..  I think probably an hour and a half either side of HT and it would have been a no go, and as I didn't want to wait until the middle of the afternoon I had to get some skates on...

Got to the club about 9'ish, not enough water yet, cup of tea, made myself known to the lift team, noted very few other skippers around and a yard almost full of boats already, watched them trying to start the tractor (and without that I'd be staying put as it powers the hoist and does the towing..) until in the end they got round the burnt out relay by bridging a connection with a screw driver...

Got a lift to Sparrow on the club runabout - engine on and fired up and I then took 5 minutes to try and remove the pick up tackle but was interrupted by the arrival of four blokes with boat hooks - time to go in....

Wind was blowing a good top end F4 as I came under the bridge, and sod's law it was directly behind as I came into the hoist at far too much speed on just about tick over...  quick blast of reverse, boat crew latched on, and I was plonked in my winter berth 5 minutes later - reckon I was all done and dusted by 1030'ish?


Nice crop of barnacles (as usual) but absolutely delighted with where I am - that's power and water in the blue bollard to the right...


Plenty of weed and slime..   but better than the year before to be honest so I would say the cheap jollop I put on the bottom was a bargain compared with the slightly more expensive jollop I put on other years!



Once Sparrow was safely chocked up, I flushed the outboard and loaded it in the car for home, put the left over fuel in the car, and then grabbed the tender to go and complete recovery of the pickup tackle.

I know a lot of people leave it out but I've always taken the view that the chain is better off in my garage than wearing out on the mooring..  I'd assumed I'd have to hacksaw it off (new shackle at the beginning of the season, but I've never known a galvanised shackle yet that hasn't seized up after anything over a week in salt water! ) so you can imagine my surprise when I actually managed to unscrew it....  all done within 10 minutes, said goodbye to the mooring until next April and loaded the car for home (by 2 - an all time record)

Post edit note: Monday evening saw me down the yard after work and connecting to said power and water with the pressure washer - barnacles removed by wallpaper scraper, weed by the aforesaid washer, followed by a damn good blast of deck and hull and by dusk (6:30!) she was done....  to all intents and purposes, with a coat of antifoul she could go back in straight away, but I have a few things to do this winter that I'm quite looking forward to....  let the maintenance begin!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Mast down and ready to come out....

So on Sunday the intrepid band of brothers (well...  sub annnexe...  as Smithy and t'other Dave aren't safe to be let loose on a small boat ) of Rod the Mod, Dave and I convened aboard Sparrow for the bi-annual wrestle with the mast foot bolts that is the mast raising/lowering...

Have to say that this years was probably one of the best mast lowering's we have - didn't really do anything significantly different to previous attempts [clicky],  and we must have done this about a dozen times now as a team... 

I'd bought a small pry bar to help with just "ooching" the mast up a bit to help getting the bottom bolt out of the mast/tabernacle - not a massive success, but Dave had a suggestion to just slightly increase the size of the bolt holes on the tabernacle..  will do that this winter...

Other than that, the drop was smoother than a smooth thing and fairly soon we were reduced to this ==>



The sun was shining as we took the mast down - chilly though as last weeks easterly was still with us - true to form the showers came in just as I cracked open the boats bar, but I can't say that it interrupted the chat and the joshing...  we were then joined by "Solitaire" David who was down to check the aforementioned ready for this weekend when he will sail and motor round for the lift out..  ace - never had four people on Sparrow before...   we were errr..  'snug' 

Few beers and some pork pies later and it was time for home - good result, good afternoon... and that's what it's all about...

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Last sail of 2016..

...well on Sparrow anyway.. 

So a crafty half day off to get a last sail in before Sparrow comes out of the water next weekend.. she's due to be lifted on the 16th, and Rod and Dave are booked tomorrow for the bi-yearly fun and games that is the raising/lowering of the mast..  always fun, and I've already got the beer and pork pies in for after.. 

Last weekend was a bit quiet so I thought I'd sneak out and hopefully get a better one, alas was not meant to be.. it was windier, but no more than a F3 all day, but what we did get was an easterly (well, just north of east to be precise) which is about as far from the usual direction as it's possible to get (we have prevailing SW'ly's round here)

So full main, 90% genoa (just because it makes it easier to handle rather than wind conditions) and motored into wind to the end of the "ditch"..  then turned and reached down harbour - kept well over to the side of the channel to keep out of the main tide which I estimated was about 2 knots on the nose..  seemed to work, as even with the tide it was a pleasant trip averaging 2/2.5 knots, would it been fantastic without the tide..! 

Reached HISC, and watched the Moth boys getting some coaching - they were having a hard time getting up on the foils though and gave up shortly after I arrived..

HISC or Hayling Iland Sailing Club..  big racing club - lot of racing for RYA and Olympics done here...
 ...carried on past the sailing club and into the harbour entrance but the tide was still strong, and the wind was dropping so turned just past West Winner, and just shy of East Stoke....

Building is the RNLI station - Eaststoke is just on front of it
Cold and grey.. and I had four layers on by this time.. so with one look over my shoulder towards East Head for the last time this year, I turned for home and rode the last of the tide back to the mooring..


...an OK sail - cold though, not my cup of tea - I've come to the conclusion I am (unapologetically) a warm weather sailor..  no interest in keeping Sparrow in over the winter!

Back on the mooring I took off the genoa, and then the main and boom...  I'll fit the A frame and mast crutch tomorrow (9th) when I get on the boat..   fingers crossed all goes well!

Log:


Distance: 9.89  (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: Both ends of a F3 / ExN
Sail Plan: Full main and 90% genoa
Speed: Max speed 5.3 knots (under motor, saw some 4.7's SOG when I turned at Eaststoke) average speed 2.8 (good considering wind/tide/fouling!)

Monday, 3 October 2016

Goose wing Sunday...

Possibly the last sail of the season, but to be honest this was a bit of an anti-climax so I've blown a half days holiday with the intention of getting out again this Friday afternoon...

Big tide weekend ...  4.8mtrs...  so there was a lot of water sloshing around, and not much wind to counter it...  on at least three occasions I was going gently backwards!

Northerly and fluky..  I spent the day either running or beating...  the down wind legs were dead downwind but the wind was switching 5 or 10 degrees continuously, which made it tricky to decide sail position, as goose wing switched from one side to the other continuously...

Either way, downwind to Marker took me two and a half hours, turned an beat back, wind dropped, engine on and back to the mooring..  7 miles in four hours...

Yours truly heading back past "Marker" - pic courtesy of fellow club member Julian on "Billy"

Beautiful day though and I got home burnt and tired...  not bad for October!

Sea dog...  can't tell if it's "old"...
...not much to dislike on a day like this....


Log:


Distance: 6.9 miles (in 4 hours! ) - cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top
Wind: NNW to NNE; F1 to F2
Sail Plan: Full main and full genoa
Speed: Maximum speed 5kts (under motor) average 1.6 kts