Sunday 26 May 2019

Snowhill and seals..

Even the seals were enjoying the sun...
At last - a glorious day on the water, after two weeks of man flu, poor tides and indifferent weather..

17:06 HT so out on the boat by just after 2, quick check to make sure all was good (we've had some pretty rubbish weather since I was last aboard), all looked good, quarter of an inch of rain water (which I can live with - the insulation seal on the cockpit locker lids is clearly working), everything else where it should be (including, wonder of wonders, the windex! )

Whacked in a couple of rolls of reef on the main as the wind was fairly brisk in the anchorage and better safe than sorry...  engine on and dropped the mooring, headed for the bridge and unrolled the jib as I turned the cardinal for a lovely run down the cut with the wind on one quarter - three or so knots against the tide, with engine on tick-over only, is not to be sniffed at ..

At Swearedeep I engaged auto pilot and told it to keep head to wind, and I went forward to raise the main ...  what a joy....  no more standing at one end of the cockpit with the tiller between your legs twerking to keep the boat head to wind while simultaneously hauling up the main, ducking out of the way of the boom, and with your third hand adjusting the main sheet..  instead engine on tickover there was the gentle whirr of pilot and I had time to sort everything out in peace..  LOVED it..

Bore up for the bottom of the harbour past Emsworth Breacon and then came hard on the wind for HISC - the wind direction was perfect - single tack to the bottom of the harbour against tide, and Marker hurtled past..  lovely views of the seals on the mud banks on the Hayling side between Marker and Verner, and when Verner was reached bore away for a drag race across Pilsea flats to East Head and the Snowhill boy.. 

Busy East Head..
 Stupidly busy down there with both the Sunbeam and Swallow fleets out racing from Itchenor in the near perfect conditions..   dodged across the main channel, rounded Snowhill and headed for home..

Couple of tacks to make my west'ing, before bearing away across the sands which is always a little heart in mouth as every now and again the sea gets very light as the sand gets closer to the surface (ie. shallower! ) for the drag race to the top of the harbour with the last of the legs of the incoming tide under me....  saw a few 6.4's/6.5's, not bad at all for a boat with a theoretical maximum hull speed of 6 knots, even if it was tide assisted..  

Bore up for Northney but was enjoying it so much I gybed and went back for another run round Emsworth Beacon before gybing again and heading back for the mooring under pilot, while I tidied up..

Cracking day - both ends of a F4, a direction that allowed a rip roaring race to the bottom of the harbour and back, and with a little shimmy on the end for the sheer joy of it..  more, please!


Distance: 12.08 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction): SW going WxS ; both ends of a F4
Sail Plan: Reefed main/reefed jib
Speed (Max/average in knots):  6.3 / 3.8

Wednesday 8 May 2019



Leisurely trip down to the yard Monday to put the rowlocks to rights after the breakage on Sunday... here's the damage..  sod's law of course that it was a couple of inches to the right of the last repair..  if I'd just extended the last repair all would have been good..

Dismantled everything, cut out a good section of the inner and cut a new bit to fit (from eldest's old pine bed which is a gift that just keeps giving and giving and giving... ).. cut a smaller bit of the outer thwart to replace the rotted bit and then started reassembling using all the original bolt holes and bolts...

The smaller outer is effectively just a spacer and is held in place to the inner by the same bolt attaching the rowlock holder..

While I was at it I also cut a small rebate on the top edge as no matter what  I did orginally when fitting it stood proud once I'd tightened everything down, and last year I noticed the oar was rubbing it..

Job done..  coat of dollop and she's good for another.... year...

Apologies for the gratuitous leg shot...

Monday 6 May 2019

Chuffing cold...

Not quite that bad, but I know how he/she feels... 

Quick run out today just as a warm up to make sure everything is doing what it should do, and is in the right place, and is working, before heading out for a longer run the next time..  so just a brisk (bloody brisk!) 4 or 5 miles...

Delighted to say all on Sparrow was working as it should..  having waited two years for it, not surprisingly, the magic wand (autopilot) was switched in and attached about 20 yards after leaving the mooring and worked faultlessly...  my intention for this is to use it mainly when I'm motoring as it allows you to whack the revs on and get on with sorting sails and the like, either on the way out, or the way back, and so it was today...    HUGELY pleased with it, no issues, not overly thirsty (still had 14 volts on the battery when I finished), and worked well...  when I'm not using it it sits nicely resting on the transom so I'll fit a bungee there to hold the end in place...

Next was the main, which I raised just off Northney, in the brisk and northerly, conditions..  I toyed with the idea of reefing but decided in the end not to bother as I knew I wasn't going to be out for long given the conditions and the cold, also with a northerly most of the sailing should have been reach/run which is easier overpowered than when close hauled...  new mods were perfect as it also allows me to set the sail slightly lower meaning the head board clears the topping lift..  it was a warm up so nothing goes entirely to plan and in this case the pin that holds the tack had come loose, sorted that when motoring back on auto pilot...

Next was the jib, which was a... transformation. I reckon it's about 10-15% smaller but either way I sailed with all rolled out and didn't feel the need to roll any away other than I would have done anyway given the conditions... very pleased. Also very pleased with the stand up cleats, tacks were noticeably quicker

So all in all, good trip**, job done ...  prefer it warmer next time, please..

** As is the way of these things the row back to shore was not quite so error free...  one of the rowlocks tore out of the thwart of the tender due to some hidden rot..  I was lucky, it was within a foot of the shore when it went, so that looks like tomorrow is taken care of! 


Distance: 4.51 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction): Top end F3 gusting F4; NxW through NxE
Sail Plan:  Full main and jib
Speed (Max/average in knots): 6.0 / 3.8 (some tide assist in there for sure! )