Saturday, 27 May 2017

HISC haec hoc..

Warmest day of the year so far here on the south coast on Friday, so after a long week at work I opted for one of those crafty (half) days off and slipped out at lunchtime to take as much advantage of the tide as I could..

The winds that characterised the last trip out continued, albeit they'd shifted round easterly for this trip..  12:45 HT, but having left work at lunch time I finally managed to drop the mooring at 12:20 - happily I took the decision at the end of the last sail to leave the reefs in, so no need to put them back in..

Motored for the end of the channel, with the aim of getting as far easterly as possible in order to clear Marker and get to HISC on the one tack..  almost did it, but had to slip in one tack before hurtling off down harbour, it was a top end F4, mid F5, all afternoon, and gusting easily a whole force higher...

Speeds all afternoon were high, not sure I ever saw them drop below 4, saw a few 5.7's, and even a few 5.9's, on what was yet another champagne sailing day of warm sun, glittering water, Spitfires (yes!), and strong breezes...

"Terror" - the last surviving Emsworth oyster boat
Easterly is a good direction for a run down to the mooring, so on the way back and just for fun, I thought I'd try to sail on to the mooring..  probably not the best of idea's in a F5 but there you go..  nothing ventured nothing gained, and there's no guarantee it would be any less windy if I needed to do it in a real emergency..  good to practice...

Just to make it really difficult for myself I also did it on main only (I'd rolled away the genoa, as it was a dead run down the channel so the main was blanketing it)..  with engine on in neutral (backup in case it went tits up) I approached the mooring beam on..  rounded up.. grabbed the mooring buoy.. and proceeded to sail right over it as the main was still drawing 

Ah well..  in a real emergency with no motor that would have been good enough..  but yeah, sat there is a force 5 with the mooring chain stretched out, and the boat just held at the stern by the tender, and fishing round with a boat hook to untangle the line from the bottom of the engine leg I could have hoped for better.. 

Untangled myself, dropped the main, kicked in the engine, circled round and picked up the mooring..  and then did exactly the same..  untangled, and gave up this time!

Lessons learnt..  strong easterly and a strong easterly tide, should probably have approached the pickup buoy from the other side (it was streaming dead down wind, and I was picking up from the south side), oh, and genoa only, not main...  good to learn!

Only two or three hours but it sets your whole equilibrium back in order...  the glass of Tanglefoot and a snooze in the cockpit also helped! 


Distance: 10.27 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: F4/F5 gusting F5/F6; ESE
Sail Plan: Reefed main and reefed genoa.
Speed: Max 5.5 (under sail - saw a bunch of 5.7's and 5.8's as well) average 3.8..

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