Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Thorney issue..

Superb sail on Sunday - bit more breeze than last time, but also a conscious decision to motor sail past 'Marker' before switching off and enjoying the delights definitely paid dividends in terms of time saved and distance sailed...  farting around trying to beat past Marker with two knots of tide on the nose is a recipe for frustration...

Late tide and not huge (4.2M) but I managed to drop the mooring about 3 hours before high water - weird direction for wind - just north of westerly but it soon came round - either way motored into the pool by the bridge and put the main up, the wind went round SW'ly as I came in line with Northney so basically I went from run, to reach, to beat as I passed the Emsworth Beacon...

Wind was good and I was definitely getting an extra knot or two out of the main - once I passed the Beacon the genoa was also rolled out, and once I passed Marker the engine went off - blessed peace...

I didn't really have any plans for the day other than the thought that it was still very early in the tide so a trip out into the Solent might be an option - as it turned out when I got to HISC weight of water, and a fluky wind lead me to the conclusion there were other things to do, so I bore off for East Head, enjoying the sights (beach was packed as was the anchorage just off it - I did see the ice cream boat for the first time though!)

Stock picture courtesy their twitter feed [clicky]

Passed through the anchorage enjoying the last of the tide and then bore up for the Thorney Channel - passed the anchorage just inside the headland and then turned and headed for home - enough was enough - time for food and beer....

Brisk beat back to the main channel, short cut over Pilsea Sands, waved to the crew of fellow Hurley 20 "Big Easy" (nice to see you guys if you're reading this - sorry I didn't have camera out in time), and home in time for tea - lovely!!


Distance: 13.01 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: WSW going SWxS; F3 gusting bottom end F4
Sail Plan: Full main and genoa
Speed: Maximum speed was 5.5 (that would have been under motor as I came back to the mooring); average speed 2.8 knots (about right - seemed to spend most of the afternoon doing about 3 knots'ish)

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Sunday drift..


..just back from a week in Kefalonia (lovely..  40'...  wall to wall sunshine...  Greek salad and feta cheese...  what's not to like*??) and with the last sail being that evening drift I was gagging to get back on the boat..  pausing only to throw the holiday laundry in the washing machine I headed down to the boat for what I hoped was a decent session on the water.

1'ish high tide, forecast was growing wind, 2 gusting 3, but unfortunately what we got was a lot less...

First job was to change the fuel in the outboard tank...  based on advice from various sources, but mostly my (excellent) outboard mechanic, I try not to leave it for longer than a month or two, and the stuff in the tank was what I had first bought at the beginning of the year... decant old into a spare fuel container, replaced with fresh..  last time I went out it had taken 3 or 4 goes to get the engine going, this time she fired first time..  I think it's worth doing with the cr*p they add to fuel these days

So, motor sailed to the end of the cut, carried on motor sailing to the far side of the Emsworth channel, winds SE'ly so that gives the best angle to the bottom of the harbour, turned off the engine, and then drifted about for two or three hours...

Don't get me wrong, it was lovely to be out there, the sun shone, everyone was smiling, but everyone would have been happier with the forecasted wind.. 

'nuffs enuff, headed back to the mooring a couple of hours after HT, just as the wind started to build..  typical..  was still a good afternoon though...

*decent beer might not go amiss..  Greek lager is refreshing, but not tasty... 

"Solitaire" .. belongs to fellow club member/friend, David.. gives a perfect insight on the conditions on the day

Distance: 5.93 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: Low end F2 gusting very occasionally top end F2; SSW going WSW
Sail Plan: Full main and genoa (few rolls in for easier tacking)
Speed: 3.8 / 1.8

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Evening bliss..

Forgot to take my camera or phone with me so no pictures I'm afraid, but what a blissful evening sail on Monday...

Short sail after work - tide from 5 (HT 20:10) so slipped out from work, and had dropped the mooring by quarter past after first taking out the reefs from the main that feel like they've been there all summer...

Not much of a wind - sea breeze mostly - and a S/SSE'ly (Cambermet says pure S for most of it) but it was enough to remove the cares of the world as I had a nice beat up to the end of Sweare Deep, and a few tacks and gavottes at the end of the Emsworth channel before getting a good tidal push back to the mooring an hour and  a half later where beer was drunk while watching the world go by..

Must do that again...

No issues, but I am thinking that having lived with it for a good two to three years now, the genoa is going to have to be cut down - I rarely if ever use it fully rolled out, and for short tacking it's a nightmare..  will get it adjusted this winter...


Distance: 4.31 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: Top end F2 gusting low end F3; almost dead S, going SE by end
Sail Plan: Full main and practically full genoa
Speed: Max 4.9; average 2.7..  (both of those under sail, but the 4.9 would be tidal assisted!

Monday, 12 June 2017


Just a short trip put on yet another windy afternoon... I can't remember the last time we had such an extended period of high winds..  undoubtedly it's something to do with the jet stream or rather it's position vis a vis the UK, but nonetheless while the sailing is exciting, it is also brutal, allows for few mistakes, and is hard on boats....

So as I say - just a short trip - it was already blowing old boots when I started, but it was building more by the time I got to the Pilsey buoys/markers and to be honest it was just sheer machismo to keep going, so rather than hold on for HISC I turned at NE Pilsey and had the most amazing drag race back to the head of the Northney channel - I was clocking 6's all the way and the occasional 7, and even a 7.1 (all SOG of course, and I had a bit of tide with me, but even so..)

NE Pilsey ahead - sun shining, breeze building, reefs (not enough) in..
At the top of the channel and just past Marker it was time for a bit of experimentation - headed up into the wind and dropped the main so I could see how she sailed on headsail alone...  remarkably well all things considered...  first thing I noticed was that the speeds were still good, less, but good considering the increase in stability/control...  she didn't point as high (clearly) but was still tracking well....  but the the third thing was that she was so stable she almost sailed herself up wind - the effect was a bit like heaving to - with the hand off the tiller she would gradually head up, hit tipping point, bear away again, and so the process would repeat...  very good!

Back to the mooring and tied up by 2'ish..  I think I'm going to have to add the outboard pad to the job list this winter - taken a bit of a hammering this season, and I noticed a small crack in the gel that I may address sooner...  elsewhere, the cockpit hatch covers are holding up a treat!


Distance: 8.49 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: F4 going F5, gusting F6; SWxS for most of the time
Sail Plan: Reefed main and genoa
Speed: 3.9 average / 6.7 maximum - and as per the post I saw a few 7's and a 7.1 while out...