Sunday 25 October 2015

All over bar the shouting..

The mast is down, no broken limbs or equipment.. 😏

Rod the Mod and "old" Dave came over yesterday morning to take the mast down, not the best of conditions but it was one of the most trouble free drops I think we've had; all done and dusted within 30 or 45 minutes?? Something of a record I think, though I think we should have been able to hear the ghosts of Nelson's professionals chuckling at our amateur efforts if we'd paused for a moment...

So no major* surprises, same process/technique as previous occasions (see here [clicky] and here [clicky] for previous efforts) - I'd  gone down the night before and taken off the genoa and boom (with main still on it) so less to do on the day.

All we had to do was:

  • loosen off uppers, back stay, and rear lowers, 
  • detach the forward lowers and attach A frame, 
  • jib halyard on the upper top of the frame, 
  • main sheet to stem fitting and lower top of the frame, 
  • cranked on pressure, 
  • detached forestay at stem fitting (*bit of a tight fit this year so in the end I moved the main sheet attachment from the stem fitting to a wire strop on the stem fitting just to lift the main sheet block above the roller drum  and allow a clean run of line), 
  • removed the lower bolt from the tabernacle, and ..
  • with Dave pulling the back stay to get it going, Rod on the cabin top guiding it, and me on the main sheet, the mast was soon in the crutch,  
  • then taken off the tabernacle, and moved forward to its final position resting on pulpit and crutch.. 

What a difference a day makes - this was next day, I'd popped out just to tidy up.. 
Job done.. too early for beers so we went for a cooked brekkie instead, thanks chaps!

Sunny, and as flat as a flat thing..
...and finally, the mystery of the disapearing Windex.. whole bracket gone just the bolt left..

Monday 19 October 2015

Chaldock.. last sail of the season

Last sail of the season - I think, possibly.. 😏

Sparrow comes out two weeks yesterday (1st November) and other than a fairly strong proposed date of the 24th (next Saturday) to drop the mast, I do theoretically have 13 days of potential sailing left, though I 'd have to use holiday if I don't drop the mast next weekend...

I think that's probably it for this year...

So what did we do?? Bit of a long range jaunt - 15:11 high tide, got to the boat about 12, gave her a bit of a waterline scrub, and was off the mooring and motoring to my usual main sail lifting spot just before 12:30...

Wind was easterly (again..  so much for prevailing south westerly's this year) but with 4.5 mtrs of water behind it it was never going to be a super fast trip to the bottom of the harbour so I decided to enjoy the sail and make my mind up when I got down there... broad reach to Marker (the pinch point to the upper part of the harbour), and I was still doing 2/2.5 knots on a broad reach against the the tide...

At Verner the wind picked up a little so I hardened up and decided to take my usual short cut across Pilsea Sands with a view to seeing how far I could get..  after a short and lively beat to the Chichester channel in surprisingly short time, I had the welcome opportunity to ride the incoming tide for a while - not something that happens often! Decided to go for Bosham - a beat, and a tight beat at that, but with a helping tide for at least another hour (must have been about 2'ish when I exited the short cut) it would at least be helping me in the right direction..

Bosham in the distance - the entrance to the creek is just to the left of that line of moored yachts  Chaldock Point to the right
Got to Chaldock (which I think is the limit of my westbound excursions this year) and with the wind dropping, and the clouds above the South Downs beginning to look threatening (see following) I decided to head for home, but not before I'd done a little man overboard practice (dropped my cushion..! )

Chaldock Beacon - red circle in the chartlet above - look at those clouds over the Downs..
Rode the now (slowly) turning tide down wind and back to the "corner" where I turned across Pilsea Sands, and then hardened up on what was the last of a slowly dying wind...  started motor sailing about half way across (sails added a half knot or so), but then dropped the flappy things and tidied up just past Marker as the harbour looked like glass - no wind at all...

Cold day, warm day, windy, then not, but fun, and a new part of the harbour to have a look at ...


Distance: 13.19 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Both ends of a F3 (very occasional gust into low F4) direction between NE and E
Sail Plan: Full main and full/reefed genoa - engine to manoeuvre and get back to the mooring after the wind dropped...
Speed: GPS track says the max speed was 4.9 knots (which would have been under motor - saw a few 4.5's/4.7's when we were sailing down the harbour) - average speed 2.7 knots

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Bar room crawl...

The dog days of summer are upon us here on the south coast of Britain, and my lift out date is fast approaching. There's a distinct chilly dampness in the air in the mornings and evenings, the nights are pulling in (and for the first time this winter the bike lights were deployed on the way home from work this week), and the mornings are darker as well... So it was that a sunny Sunday with good winds forecast was grabbed at with both hands, and not just by me - the entire day was slightly frenetic, it was if every boat owner realised they'd better make the most of it as there wouldn't be much more of these before next May/June...

Winds were North Easterly but appeared to be fine, so I tookout the reefs that seem to have been in all summer and headed off,  main up just off Northney, shook the genoa out and with the NE'ly I was sailing almost as soon as I turned for the corner...  the wind on the corner of Sweare Deep/Emsworth Channel however, was gusting hard, and as the sail plan was a handle I hove to and put some rolls in the main before heading for the bottom of the harbour and the Solent - target for the day was the West Pole...

Spotted this beauty heading into the harbour..
4,5 mtr tide on the day so there was a lot of water sloshing around, even so progress was good..  2.5 or 3 knots (occasional 4) against what I conservatively estimate to be a 1/1.5 knot tide but it was clear the wind was dropping and by the time I got to the Bar Beacon I was running out of time and wind...  hove to again and took the reefs out (must have been a bottom end F4 by now) but finally admitted defeat as the (huge) west going tide kept pushing me west, and not enough wind to easily get back against it .. turned and ran back to the harbour before having a lovely beat all the way back to Sweare Deep, dropped the main there and then motor sailed back on to the mooring...  perfect day but I seemed to spend the whole of it sailing "against the grain" 

Take your partner by the hand, dosy-do, etc etc  :o)
I have my lift out confirmed for the 1st November, the weekend before I'm on call, but have arranged for 5 or 6 hours off to drop the mast (thanks chaps!) either on the Saturday or Sunday depending when Rod the Mod and t'other Dave are available...



Distance: 13.24 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Both ends of a F4 direction ENE
Sail Plan: Full/reefed main and full/reefed genoa - engine to manoeuvre and get back to the mooring...
Speed: GPS track says the max speed was 4 knots (which would have been under sail) - average speed 2.5 knots

Friday 9 October 2015

First anchor...

 ...and about bleeding time..

I've had boats for about 6 or 7 years now but have never really anchored.. I had a small grapnel kedge anchor (in fact I ended up owning two ) on Pap that I used to occasionally chuck over the back in the hope that I would have a few moments of peace, but which invariably dragged.

Despite proper anchors on both boats I've never got around to lowering them to the sea bed, so a sunny day and little wind and I thought I could either go home, or enjoy the time on the water - 20' in October and wall to wall blue sky, so it seemed a waste to go home, and then I thought, "I know what"..

Motored down to just north of Mengham Rythe, scrambled through the cabin and rootled out the anchor (a cheap and cheerful Danforth - pretty much like the graphic top left) - it had about 5 or 6 mtrs of good quality chain, but I had to further rootle around in cockpit locker to find an additional length of rope to extend it..

Steve contemplates anchoring ...
I had in mind to anchor off the seal colony and as I motored past noticed that there were at least 10 or a dozen there..  motored in between two of the channel markers and dropped anchor just outside the channel (not that I would have been in the way if I'd dropped it in the channel - I didn't see more than 3 boats all morning!) - couldn't see bottom but I guess there was about 3 or 4 mtrs, let out enough scope to make 3 times that (didn't need any more) took a couple of transits and settled down with a coffee to watch the (seal) entertainment..  which was brilliant, as I seemed to have arrived at dinner time and the fish were jumping...

Excuse the crappy rope..!

Half an hour later (still in the same spot) a vague whisper of a breeze had come up so anchor and main hoisted and I went for a slow drift.. wind died again, and with an hour of tide left I headed for home...

..not often you get a day on the water in a yacht, where there is no wind,but you have as good a time as that... there I was stowing the anchor, and assorted other gubbins that seems to accumulate on the cabin floor when you go sailing, and I keep hearing this knocking on the hull, soft, but knocking nonetheless...  put my head up through the companion way to see what it was and look over the side, and see this..  no wonder the seals are so numerous...clearly there's a bit of growth on Sparrow's bottom... 


Distance: 8.5 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: F1 gusting F2, direction NW, going W almost immediately, and ending up SW!
Sail Plan: Full main and genoa - engine to manoeuvre and get back to the mooring...
Speed: GPS track says the max speed was 4.3 knots (which would have been under motor) - average speed 2.4 knots

Monday 5 October 2015

Titify'ing boobs, just flags.. 💩

On call this weekend so no chance to go sailing - but plenty of opportunity for just sitting in the cockpit drinking a beer in the sun while watching the (sailing) world go by, as I replaced my old, much faded, red ensign..

...with a brand-spanky, bright, new one bought at the Boat Show last month..

Verrrr smart...