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..

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

That was the year that was.. 2016

Time for the traditional review of the year past; it's cold, dark, grey and wet outside, so this exercise a much needed mental fillip to get me motivated to start work on the job list ...happy memories of good times, warm weather and fair weather sailing in shorts and t-shirts...  and besides, I enjoy putting this together, it's a good excuse to read all the old posts, and look at the video and pictures from this years logs....

As of this moment nothing done so far on this winters job list - I'll get going eventually (I always do) but she is scraped and cleaned, and to all intents and purposes is ready to go back in the water except for a coat of anti-foul! The major job this winter is a renewal of the cockpit lockers after the dogs dinner I made of coating the last lot and as a result their subsequent disintegration... 

I would say that it was a "Good" year; slightly better than last year (which was in turn better than the year before).... looking back my perception was that this was another windy summer, I spent a lot of time under various states of reef, but on the other hand it was warm and sunny quite a lot of the time, so definitely better on that front than 2015....

This is my fourth year as owner of Sparrow and the learning curve continues but I'm more than pleased with what I can do with her - she'll go the direction I want, stop when I want, and I can seemingly manage her - lots still to learn, but she's more than capable of doing longer trips it's only my time/availability that stops me legging it off to Cowes, or whatever...

A better year for Solent trips than last year, I was out there on a few occasions, but still only one major trip when I wombled towards Bembridge, almost got there, but not quite... I blame lack of wind..  I/we did have some superb Solent outings this year on "Ocean Waves" or "Ami Ly" though - the now traditional "Jolly Boys Outing" and a superb day watching the  the America's Cup followed by a fantastic blast over to Cowes...

Of last winters jobs [clicky] the big one was the 12v electric installation [clicky], and leading the topping lift/main halyard back to the cockpit. Of the two the stand out was the electrics - they've worked faultlessly all summer, but over the winter I'm going to add some internal lights, may be some navigation lights, and wire in the fixed VHF to make use of the power.

The topping lift access is a major improvement - I used it a number of times during the summer, probably every time I went out. Main halyard is back on the mast though as I have to have to there in order to reef anyway so no point in leading it back..

Last summer I replaced a further form of motive power when I managed to score a new mainsail [clicky] (after the outboard and the genoa the year before I've done them all now!).  I'm delighted with it..  it's made from quite a light material so I have no long how it will last, but for the price it was/is an absolute bargain...  the only thing I need to do I think is to take a few inches off the length/luff - easiest would be to cut and re-do the head board...  I just need to find a sail maker who can do it for me....

The genoa continues to be a handful but there have been half a dozen light wind days where the size has been useful so I have no plans to get it re-cut..  I just accept that if I'm close tacking then rolling some of it in is a pre-requisite...

So all in all that rates as a good year....  8 and a half out of 10.. 

Like a spider dipped in blue ink and left to wander all over Google Earth - here's where Sparrow went this year - looks like the east of the harbour was my chosen stomping ground this year:

...and the following in (the new) "Ocean Waves" this summer on the outrageously entertaining Jolly Boys Outing [clicky] I have fond memories still of the mooring buoy we picked up at the head of the Beaulieu river for lunch, all the banter, the beer, and the champagne sailing..  we've already booked for next year (beginning June)

...a brilliant three days in the Solent - once again Smithy's missus's carrot cake was legendary....  


Number of visits down to the boat (ie. actually on it): 22 (a couple more than last year roughly) but once again if you count all the times I visited in the mornings/evenings while she was on shore (usually two to three times a week), and the days I worked on her pre-season - easily triple or quadruple that...  I've been to see her two times this week alone.. 

Total distance sailed: 138.29 miles, which compares with 141.29 miles last year. It seems to me that that is now what I should expect ie. about 130-150 miles as I usually turn that in unless there's something unusual on (like a big day out/weekend trip or whatever)..  and 13 sailing sessions - exactly the same as last year... I'd like to do more but time is not available

Nights on board: None - no need really, I know she's comfortable enough, just never had the burning desire to swap nice warm wife & bed, for slightly down-market camping...!

Crew on occasion: None...whole year was solo...  I don't mind, I'm good company.. 

My absolutely favourite picture of the year - sums up 2016 that does

Cruising range: Mooring to the west, Emsworth to the north, Bosham in the East and (almost) Bembridge to the south.. I squeezed a lot of sailing into a small area this year..

Biggest Cruise: Solent womble [clicky].. just over 26 miles, on a double tide - wind was light hence the distance! Lovely warm sunny day though...

Best Cruise: It was "choices choices?" last year, but this year there was no competition... despite a whole host of good days out, the Bosham trip [clicky] was stupendous - I can still see that humongous heavy wind beat back up the Itchenor Channel to East Head in my minds eye now....  absolutely bloody amazing...  

Worst cruise: None..  I had a couple of driftathon's, but even they were warm sunny days on the water...

Oddest cruise: Probably a tie between the two driftathon's (here [clicky] and here [clicky]) not that they were specifically odd, just slow... on balance the first one takes it!

It was a year for pictures of Sparrow seemingly....  this was me and her at the beginning of the year (8th May)

Best anchorages: None this year, no need..

Best mooring: club mooring .. It continues to be a delight; water 3.5+ hours either side of high tide...

Worst mooring: None again... as a (mostly) day sailor I don't pick them up that often as sitting around on a mooring means not sailing.... uh uh....

Plans for next year: The America's Cup has now moved to Bermuda for 2017 (and may I say "well done Sir Ben" ont he results!), so no racing to watch this year, but we are already planning for the Jolly Boys cruise (no idea where we'll end up, though I know Rod the Mod thinks we still have unfinished business in France..) ..but as for Sparrow?? I've given up making plans and resolutions..  too much pressure.. so I'll settle for "more of the same, please"..


Click on the date to go to the log entry post....

Date Distance: Wind: Direction Sail Plan: Max Speed (knots): Average Speed (knots): Comments:
2nd May 3.36 F4 SW x S Reefed/full genoa only 5.2 3.4 Brief (only an hour) trip to the end of the channel and back..
8th May 12.87 (16.23) F3 up to F5 gusting F6 SE going E x S Reefed/full genoa, and reefed main 4.9 2.8 Lovely sunny afternoon up and down the harbour - first Spitfire spotted, and made a cock up of sailing on to mooring...
21st May 26.35* F4 gusting F6 SWxS going S Double reefed main & #2 jib 9.5 6.1 First day of the Jolly Boys cruise - Portsmouth to Yarmouth
22nd May 36.27* F2 going F4 WNW to S and then back Main and genoa 7.7 4.8 Second day of the Jolly Boys cruise - Yarmouth to Cowes via Southampton Water
23rd May 25* Top end F3 into F4 NWxN to N Main and genoa 6.8 4.3 Third day of the Jolly Boys cruise - Cowes to Lymington
24th May 26* F3 going F4 E going SE Main and genoa 8.6 6.1 Fourth day of the Jolly Boys cruise - Lymington to Portsmouth
29th May 14.04 (30.27) F4 gusting F5 NNE Well reefed main and reefed genoa 5.8 3.6 Late afternoon run down to East Head/Snowhill, and a cracking beat back to the top of the harbour on a very windy day
19th June 8.96 (39.23) F3 going F4 W going SW Main and reefed genoa 5.2 3.5 Grey day but two classic yachts warmed it up nicely..
17th July 13.45 (52.68) Both ends of a F3 WSW going SSW Main and full/reefed genoa 4.6 2.9 Emsworth to the Bar Beacon on one tack - VHF testing not good, but hey ho..
24th July 29.96* F1 to F5 WSW Main and full genoa 6.3 
America's Cup racing on Ami-Ly followed by a blast to Cowes and back
31st July 6.9 (59.58) F1 to F2 N going SWxS Main and full genoa 4.8 2.0 Sunny morning easy drift/sail to Verner and back
7th August 17.9 (77.48) F4 going F5, gusting F6 SWxW. Well reefed main and reefed genoa 5.8 3.5 Beautifully sunny but windy run to Bosham channel.. stupid conditions beating back to Emsworth channel! 
26th August 26.1 (103.58) F2 up to F3 WNW going SWxS  Main and full genoa 4.8 2.8 Solent womble..  double tider, got nowhere in particular but a fine view of the Dutch tall ship 'Stad Amsterdam'
29th August 4.12 (107.7) F1 and less NW Main and full genoa 4.9 1.5 Drifting in F1 and less..
7th September 5.37 (113.07) Both ends of a F3 SExE going ESE Main and full/reefed genoa 4.4 2.7 Post work evening sail to unwind.. mission accomplished!
25th September 8.43
F6 going F5 WSW Well reefed main and reefed genoa 5.7 3.8 Blast down to HISC and back late in the afternoon.. "Big Easy" spotted...
2nd October 6.9 (128.4) F1 gusting F2 NNW to NNE Main and full genoa 5 1.6 Quiet day drifting down wind against the tide..
7th October 9.89
F3 ExN Main and 90% genoa 5.3 2.8 Cold grey last sail of the season to Eaststoke
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Year total (to date): 138.29 miles
2015 total (in Sparrow): 141.29 miles
2014 total (in Sparrow): 137.98 miles
2013 total (in Sparrow): 113.73 miles
2012 total (in Pap): 173.29
2011 total (in Pap): 193.41
2010 total (in Pap): 154.23
2009 total (in Pap): 125