Ships log for the yacht "Sparrow" an Ian Anderson designed
'Hurley 20', sail no. 109, launched 16th November 1967.
This is the day to day stuff involved with owning and sailing a
small boat, so nothing earth shattering but there'll also
hopefully be some adventures along the way..

Monday, 1 November 2021

...and he's out...

..that's a wrap folks...  

...the decision to take the mast down on the week previous had been a good one as it turned out, the week delivered all the poor weather that the weather gonks had predicted (unusually). I was left slightly relieved (understatement) that we'd taken it down then, rather than the day I'd planned as I looked out the window at horizontal rain!

The following weekend however, was a different matter - I was due out on the Saturday, and with a 14:00'ish high tide the lift out guys had already told me that they would lift me out as soon as there was water..

Rather than waiting for a ride out to the boat, I snuck off and grabbed the tender, and three and a half hours before HT I was on the boat and getting her ready..  

First job was to retrieve the lifting tackle - this was mostly new this year and I don't (ever) see the point in leaving mooring strops/chains/buoys on the mooring to be trashed all winter..  Yet again the decision to apply some waterproof grease to the threads on the main shackle paid off as with just a bit of grunt, she came undone and I managed to recover the lot..  

Moored up with just a line from the forward cleat to the buoy, I then sorted out some mooring lines, fired up the donk, and three hours before, motored under the bridge and into the pool to await the crew..

Not enough water was the message so I grabbed a spare mooring and waited.

Waiting my turn..

Soon enough they were on the pontoon and waving me in (it's to the left of the white boat in the picture above) so for the last time this year I laid a boat alongside a pontoon (and without issues), the lifting crew came on board, and after a 20 minute wait for a little more water I was over, into the lift, and plonked ashore...

She was however a disgrace under the water...  I blame myself..  not enough sailing, so not enough moving water over the anti-foul...

...go on, admit it, absolutely bloody riveting...  😁

Next day I was down with paint scraper for the barnacles, and pressure washer for the rest, and she's 80% cleaner..  I think I'm going to have to do some gentle abrasion over this winter with a pole and some wet and dry sanding mesh - she's lumpy and bumpy with accumulated anti-foul. For now though - all done...

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Yacht delivery - "Kings Ransom" - 14th October

So no sooner had the salt dried on our deckies from the hugely enjoyable lunch trip to the Island sailing Club than it was time to deliver t'other Dave's boat round to her winter mooring..

Now tother Dave is a member of the same sailing club I'm at, and while he enjoys a summer mooring in Port Solent, in the winter, despite it being a marina he likes to bring her out for odd jobs and drying out so the four of us yet again volunteered for a spiffing day on the briny..

While the two old(er) men spent the whole week deciding how we were going to get four blokes to the launch/start point, while still allowing a car to be left at the destination point for delivering aforesaid to their respective domiciles and cars (and trust me - Hitler's general staff would have taken a shorter time to plan the invasion of Russia.. πŸ˜‚) so it was that at a very civilised hour of the morning I got picked up and whisked to Port Solent for what turned out to be quite possibly the best days sailing of the entire summer (outside of a few of the sessions on Ocean Waves possibly?) - a superb day, though chilly with it..

Departure point - taken while slaving at the kettle...

Covers off, lines singled up, and just a brief wait for the lock to become available and we were off..  HT was a big one (4.7 mtrs - we were on Springs) and due at 13:20 - we left the mooring around 2 hours before, which gave us plenty of time to get out of the harbour and then get the east going tide for the short trip to Langstone Harbour entrance..

The Harbour was busy - big NATO warship meet and greet on that weekend, and we met a representative of the Canadian navy on the way in, as we were coming out...

HMCS Fredericton apparently, a Halifax-class frigate that has served in the Canadian Forces since 1994.

Once we were out of the harbour we struck east on the dying legs of a good tide, but with a good breeze..  aiming for the outer gate through the submarine barrier (too cold for any girls in bikinis to be on the beach so the inner gate was ruled out.. πŸ˜ƒ) ..

Rodders looking bemused as we approach the outer gate (just by the other yacht)

Broad reach - so the genoa was rolled but even with just the main we were doing good speeds - 6.5 to 7 knots over the ground is not to be sniffed at..

That yacht ahead had perhaps the smallest spinnaker we've ever seen - pulled all the way to the mast head, and as a result he was rolling like a rolly thing..  πŸ˜„

Rodders finally admits defeat..
All too soon we were tramping through the entrance to Langstone listening to mayday in the harbour - sounded like a kayaker had become separate from their craft and was holding on to a mooring buoy and shouting for help - not the warmest day of the year by any stretch, and we were too far away, so we were pleased to hear both kayaker and kayak had been rescued..  good job by the fisherman who'd called it in, and RNLI inshore who transferred him to the slipway..

An hour later and KR was coming out - job done...

Damn good day...  and the soup and sausage rolls slipped down a treat afterwards!
Time for Sparrow to come out as well... but that's the next post..


Distance: 13.81 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction): F4/5 gusting 6 ; W/WxN
Sail Plan: Full main mostly, with and without genoa at times..
Speed (Max/average in knots):  6.9/3.8 (it was a quick trip!)

Monday, 25 October 2021

Island Sailing Club lunch..

On what must be the first time since the infamous cruise, the Jolly Boys convened last week for a late minute, last gasp grab at an end of season sail..  

No plans made we decided to just head where the wind took us, but as is usually the way that was Cowes! πŸ˜€

As it happened what breeze there was in the morning (and it was pretty light all day to be honest) was NW'ly which is the ideal direction for Cowes from Portsmouth (theoretically it's a beam reach both ways) but as is the way, the wind started to go round, and as it did, died off, leaving a quick motor into Cowes for lunch at the Island sailing Club.

Bit of a first for us (not the ISC as we've been a few times as they do nice food at a reasonable price, and also a good beer choice) as we managed to bag a space on the clubs own pontoon - now the Jolly Boys are nothing if not hardy but I think all of us may have had some doubts about our first berthing experience since the infamous Bursledon event, but in this case I was most chuffed to say I laid her alongside with no issues...  lessons learned though - was definitely looking for the tide this time!

Food, chat, banter, a table outside as it was still stupidly warm for October even if it wasn't sunny and it was a good lunch...  we had a flat calm for the trip back, but the wind started to slowly grow albeit right in the direction we wanted to go, so in the end the motor went on, and we were back on our home pontoon by 5'ish.

Brilliant day out - thanks for the invite Rodders!


Distance: 25.44 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction):  Bottom end of a F3, flat calm over midday; NW going NE after lunch
Sail Plan:  Full main and genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots): 6.8/2.7

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Time enough.. catch up finally with events on Sparrow, or more properly to Sparrow, and Sparrows current skipper..  

...been a while since I updated, and that is not due to lack of water time, and more to do with too much water time... πŸ˜€

So a quick series of posts covering off the multifarious activities over the last few weeks..  and for this post it was mast dropping time, which with a bout of heavy weather coming in off the Atlantic during the week before when I would normally do it, was much earlier than I wanted in order to meet the requirement for lift out..  my season has ended...

On the Saturday (16th) then I went out and took sails off, boom off, main still on it, all parcelled up in the boom cover, dropped the jib, tidied up lines, tied off the roller furler swivel, and attached the boom crutch ready for the drop which was scheduled for the next day...

Sunday dawned bright, but soon started to cloud over as a portent of the heavy weather to come..  went out to the boat in advance and took off the forward lowers (stays), took my glasses out of my pocket to see what I was doing just in time to watch my phone, which was in the same pocket, drop out, take two bounces and hit the briny..  f*ckeration!!! 😠

A-frame then attached to the chain plates for the aforesaid lowers, jib halyard to the top of the frame, lifted slightly, main sheet (6:1) to the bottom of the frame and stem of the boat, put some tension on, and then waited for the shore party* to arrive (still quietly fuming).. 

* yet again the mast raising A team of the Jolly Boys had been inveigled out to drop the mast in return for a paltry payment of pork pies, kettle crisps, and beer...

Quick chat with the advance water party (Smithy turned up on his kayak - think he must have heard there might be beer on offer) and then t'other Dave and Roddders turned up on their almost silent tender (Dave's got a Torqueedo of quite astonishing quietness, and surprising power)

Best mast drop I think we've had - no more than 15 minutes later and the last was down - another 15 minutes and she was in the cradle - lashed fore and aft and ready for lift out...  brilliant..  like a well oiled machine.

Beers, pies, banter and crisps later it was time to head for shore - mission accomplished, but not without the usual wrinkles#..

# PS. Phone was on a contract with early payment charges if I want to end it..  boat insurance specifically excludes phones, house insurance excess was ten pound more than the early payment charge..  new phone bought, replacement SIM and I reckon not having my pocket zipped up cost me about 150 quid..  be warned fellow sailors...

Monday, 27 September 2021

Toe in the water..

Been a while, but following the last sail where the engine decided to go "putttt" I took her off to the outboard engineers for a once over convinced that the issue was the throttle cable (despite it being in good condition)..

With the delivery issues we're currently experiencing in the UK (bottom line a shortage of HGV drivers that may, or may not, be caused by Brexit depending on who you believe) he was concerned that it could take 3 to 4 weeks, but as it turned out 2 weeks and she was done, and yes, it was a throttle cable which was replaced..

Took a day off and refitted it over one high tide - again using the boom as a crane, and the main sheet for lifting "grunt" - this worked so well that I could almost get it into the outboard scoop  whilst still using the tackle - excellent, and so much easier...

I'd also noticed that I seemed to be leaking oil from somewhere (I suspect the oil dipper wasn't screwed in tight enough), and after a top up of oil gave her a run just to confirm all was good - and it was..  

Going forward I have decided to not raise the outboard leg to the top position when I leave the boat..  because the boat is nose heavy, it can mean the prop is higher than the block at times, and that can't be a good thing, so I now leave it in the mid position - the prop is half/quarter submerged while she's floating, but the angle of the leg when she dries is much better, and when I went out this time there was no sign of any further leakage, so job's a good'un I think..

I had no intention of actually going out at all when I got to the boat, the intent was to give her a once over and make sure everything was OK as the weather when I left home was grey, humid, and wind'less - when I got to the boat however, it was warm , sunny and with a nice breeze!

Throwing caution to the wind I dropped the mooring and headed off down the cut in a weaving and zig zag manner as I re-learnt some sail raising skills after what seemed like a long time..

It was a short trip - by the time I got to the headland at the bottom of the Emsworth channel it was gusting a good top end 5, and greying over..  I wasn't ready for it (too much sail up, couldn't be bothered to reef, and just after HT anyway) so turned, dropped the sails and went back to laze in the cockpit on the mooring, but not before losing my prized BAR America's Cup hat over the side... a perfect man overboard recovery (albeit on the the 3rd attempt!) however, and she was returned to the boat..


Distance: 2.5 miles  (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction): F4 gusting F5; WxS
Sail Plan: Full main partial genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots):  3.5 knots