Wednesday 30 December 2020

That was the year that wasn't.. 2020

...almost like a Stalin'esque sweep of the brush, it kind of feels like this year has been removed..  purged.. and all because of that little bastard to the left.. but in reality, there were some rare good moments on the water, so while this isn't going to be my usual review, there is still some stuff to review, in this the traditional look back at the sailing year.. it's (very) cold, dark, grey and wet outside, so this exercise usually provides a much needed mental fillip to get me motivated to start work on the job list.

This is my eighth year as owner of Sparrow and while opportunities to learn were non-existent this year I still have absolutely no interest in parting with her - she does everything I want in spades... so the following is some happy (and some not so happy) memories of good times, bad times, warm weather, not so warm weather, sunshine glinting on the water, and fair weather sailing in shorts and t-shirts... I always enjoy putting this together, it's a good excuse to read all the old posts, and look at the videos (none this year) and pictures from this years logs....

As of this moment work has not started on the winter jobs list, 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. There is no major job this winter, other than a general clean up, and perhaps a coat of paint in the cabin..
  • one of the washboards was showing signs of water ingress last spring - I bodged a repair it may need looking at again or even replacing
  • the cabin could do with a freshening coat of paint
  • the curtains, after eight years of UV are beyond pale, in fact they are beyond the pale, and could do with being replaced 😁
  • I was looking at the cabin wiring the other day and while it all works, and is tucked away, neat it isn't - some ducting perhaps..
  • the gelcoat is beginning to get thin in places - not surprising after almost 55 years of exposure to the elements - the easiest solution is probably to colour match some paint, I am not painting the whole boat, that way lies madness, so patch repairs only where needed.
Lunch spot back in May...
I would say that it was an "OK" year; easily the worst season I've had either in 'Sparrow' (or 'Papillon' for that matter) for the simple reason she sat on the hard for the summer due to the pandemic.. having said that Rod the Mod and t'other Dave saved my sanity on a number of occasions with sailing offers, and we had some fantastic weather this year, it was unutterably lovely, warm/sunny... would have nice to have been on the water in Sparrow! 😒 No more complaints, the decision was mine, and I still feel it was a good call to keep her out of the water.
Only Solent trips this year (not often, if ever, I've said that!) on 'AmiLy' (Rod's boat) and 'Kings Ransome' (t'other Dave's boat). The Jolly Boys cruise fell by the roadside and never happened, though we did get a refund which was immediately invested in the 2021 cruise (we're hopefully going in May) 
Hugo Boss looking good as we followed her out on a warm sunny day back in May - little were we to know how it would end a mere 7 months later..  😕

Of last winters jobs [clicky] the one I am looking forward to trying the most is the new/upgraded "perching pad" ...  seems as good a name for it as any! 😁

The other good jobs last winter was finally sorting out those hideous hinges on the fore hatch

So before...

..and after...

With spiffy new catch inside to allow complete removal of the hatch if required..

...with a reasonable bodge to the cockpit locker, and a good bodge to the washboards..  not too shabby...  6 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.. yeah, nuff said: 

...but the following in "Ocean Waves" and "Kings Ransome" this summer...

May bimbling..
September blasting...
October delivering...


Number of visits down to the boat (ie. actually on it): Difficult to say, 12 or 14? Sometimes even sitting on your boat in the car park is preferable to not being on your boat at all...  sometimes you just miss "boat smell" 

Total distance sailed:  None..  'nuff said..  onwards and upwards... but about 85 or 90 on Rod and Dave's boats...

Nights on board: None - nada - 'nuff'ing.. I've done it before and it's usually cold and uncomfortable..

Crew on occasion: None...the whole year was solo...  I don't mind, I'm good company.. if I start talking to the tiller pilot I know I've got a problem.. 

Cruising range: Let's move on shall we.. but on Rod and Dave's boats, Port Solent in the north, Seaview south, the club east, and the Hamble west..

Biggest Cruise: Ok - we need to open this up to those trips I did do even when it wasn't on Sparrow.   This one was easy - the September blast back from the Hamble in AmiLy [clicky] was awesome, utterly memorable, Rod and I had grins on our faces for weeks after that sail, it was also long, 45+ miles in a day...

Best Cruise: With few to choose from this year, although the Hamble trip was utterly brilliant, we also had an August bimble over to the Isle of White that wasn't what you'd call a slouch either..  on the way over we had dolphins (my first ever!), and on the way back we were buzzed by Sir Ben and the boys on Ineos..! Amazing day..  also jaw dropping.. 


Worst cruise: I can genuinely say there wasn't one this year..
Oddest cruise: Again, none really... they were all remarkable sane...
Best anchorages: T'other Dave is an anchoring nut..  drops his hook at the tip of a hat.. so I can happily say, with no word of a lie, that lazing around on the hook in Priory Bay while eating pork pies takes some beating..

Ransom is lifted..
Best mooring:  ...the waiting pontoon up the Hamble on a scorchio day in September while talking utter rubbish with Rod and drinking good beer...

Worst mooring: Not a one to be honest.. they've all been good..

Plans for next year:  
  • The America's Cup is picking up with the actual racing starting in March but before that we have the challenger series in late January/February, from what I've seen so far Sir Ben and the boys have an uphill struggle - our boat can be fast, but there appear to be issues with stability and the foils...
  • The Jolly Boys cruise is already booked for May  
  • I have a new (to me) engine that I still haven't used yet, it would be nice to have, one, a season, and two, with that on the back...


Date Distance: Wind: Direction Sail
Speed (knots):
25th May 14.37* F1 or 2 SE through S Full main and jib 6 2.1 Seaview for lunch in Ami-Ly .. glorious...
7th August
28'ish* F2 going 3; gusts F3 going F4
SxW going ESE
Full main and jib U/K U/K A mid summer jaunt to the Medina for lunch on a pontoon - INEOS and Dolphins!
18th Sept 45* F4 /5 gusting F6/7 NE Two reefs main/reefed jib 7 4/5'ish Windy run/beats to/from Hamble
17th Oct
21* F4/5 gusting F5/6 WxN to WxS
Genoa only (Solent rig) 6+ 4'ish Delivery trip to bring Kings Ransom round to the club
. . . . . . . .

Year total (to date): 0.00 miles

2020 total (in Sparrow): 0 miles
2019 total (in Sparrow): 77.59 miles
2018 total (in Sparrow): 151.12 miles
2017 total (in Sparrow): 141.91 miles
2016 total (in Sparrow): 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 Papillon): 173.29 miles
2011 total (in Papillon): 193.41 miles
2010 total (in Papillon): 154.23 miles
2009 total (in Papillon): 125 miles