Sunday 26 May 2024

Tack, tack, tack... Sandhead..

Another cracking sail, difficult to believe how good May has been on the (Sparrow) sailing front, compared with previous years it's been outstanding, but then again less trips with the Jolly Boys given last weeks trip to Cowes was the first of the year..

Anyway, I get ahead of myself.. first some other activities...  

While visiting the chandlery at Thornham Marina to obtain new line for the burgee halyard, some different line to provide a restraint for a new hat, and another 3mm R clip, I happened to pass the marina skip on the way home and spied something rather interesting sitting on top of the rest of the cr*p..  splattered with a green'ish paint round the edges, and coated with a slightly dodgy wood preservative of some sort, was what could be a rather nice looking binocular holder...  swiped it, and an hour of sanding at home later, some clamping a gluing of a crack on one of the joints, and I can confirm it appears to be also made of teak..  bonus..  lovely job.. 

Excuse the paid content..  😀

It's destined for the bulkhead on Ami-ly (the Jolly Boys ride) as I already have one I made myself [clicky], and besides, Ami-ly deserves it..

So - back to the sailing..  13:52 HT and it's a big old Spring of a tide.. on the boat 11'ish to be met by a pleasant sight..

Smithy had clearly been past on his kayak and left a present.. 😀🍰

Bless 'im, home made Victoria sponge...  so on with a few jobs..  new burgee halyard reeved, then engine on to warm up, reef's on the main taken out from the last sail, and I dropped the mooring at about a quarter to 12..  forecast was F3 gusting 4, and south easterly's, and all the indications were that they'd got it spot on....

Moored almost all the way to the Beacon before raising sails as wind was on the nose, and any earlier would have been pointless. With the main up, we bore away for the bottom of the harbour, and the first of numerous beats..  rolled out 90% of the genoa (with lots of tacking to come, a slightly smaller genoa helps), switched off the engine, disengaged the pilot and settled down for some hard work in the sunshine. Sparrow was going well - I wish I could figure out why, but she was pointing well, moving through the water fast, and I passed a number of boats I would have considered faster than me, and rocketed past Marker..   wish I could bottle it, but on the day, the set up I had was clearly ideal..  30 tacks later (😏) we were approaching East Head - which was absolutely rammed with anchored boats..

East Head, err.. ahead..
Time enough to sweep eastwards along the beach, past Snowhill, and just for a change, gybed and turned back west just past the Sandhead port marker, with the ebb under me, and a broad reach, that was where we saw the top speeds of the day at just over 5 knots over ground..

Followed my outward track over Pilsea sands before bearing off further for a glorious goosewing run all the way up the harbour - just a single gybe half way between Marker and Verner, and then all sails down just shy of the Beacon as the wind had dropped, before motoring* back to the mooring, putting sails away as we went..

*Is there anything more disconcerting than have a split ring drop into he cockpit as you're motoring back to the mooring by the way? 😁 Happily, it was quickly identified as being from one of the twin/split back stays, the old pin was put back temporarily, and a replacement one put back in on the mooring..

Stonking sail!


Distance: 13.89 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction):  Both ends F3 ; SSW going S (at HT)
Sail Plan: Full main/90% genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots):  5 / 3


  1. Anything saved from a skip is something recycled - great! And a good strong binocular holder close - ish to the cockpit is extremely useful.
    Two dozen tacks on the way home - you should be an expert by now : > )

    1. Ha - bin divers 'r us.. :o) Amazing day, and the best of it was that it was two dozen on the way out, the ride home was significantly easier.. :o)