Monday, 23 December 2013


Looks to be a windy week ahead...... bloody pleased I'm ashore!

Friday, 13 December 2013

That was the year that was... 2013

Time for what is now my traditional review of the year past; I really enjoy putting it together as it's a good excuse to read all the old posts, and look at the video and pictures from this years logs.... I would say that it's been an "OK" year but it's not been a classic. The summer was one of the best we've had in ages, but despite that it seems to me the sailing days were either windless, or too windy!

This was my first year as owner of Sparrow so it was a bit of a learning curve - in many ways a blank canvas boat is a wonderful thing, but it also means the job lists can be huge as you work towards putting together the boat you want as quickly as possible... I'd also say I got a bit of harbour'itis as I really should have been out in the Solent by now, but as it was I didn't even get to the West Pole! That will change next year

Day before launch - click again for slightly bigger view of any of the pictures in this post

The summers big project was the re-rig of the standing rigging which went well but took longer than I'd thought - it was however done very well and I was really pleased with the standard and quality of the work. Even so, that lost me a couple of weeks right in the middle of summer (and about 30 or so cruising miles missed)

I had a couple of occasions where the engine conked out - happily, not in a situation I couldn't cope with, but it's always worrying for a mechanical numpty - I don't like to think what would have happened if I had had the problem while doing those delivery trips to have the rigging done....  on the plus side, I now know about Easy Start (and for the first time heard about "Start Ya Bastard" [clicky] ), I now have a spare plug (and more importantly I know where to put it), and I sailed back on to the mooring....  oh yes....

So all in all that rates as an OK'ish year....  7, oh go on then 7.5, 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:

...and the following in "Ami-Ly" this summer on the Jolly Boys Outing

No cross Channel trip as we'd hoped (weather casualty) but a brilliant weekend - highlights being my first trip up the Beaulieu river...

...and the hunted look on Rod's face when he thought a lady was chasing him in Cowes....

Number of visits down to the boat: 19 (6 more than last year on "Papillon") 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, and the cups of tea visits (and pot noodle visits!) - easily triple that...

Total distance sailed: 113.73 miles, which compares with 173.29 miles last year, and 193.41 miles in 2011, 154.23 miles in 2010 and 125 miles in 2009... a poor year - harbour'itis struck and that always does for your mileage..

Nights on board: None - but that will change as Sparrow is far more comfortable than Papillon...

Crew on occasion: None - youngest is good company and was turning into a more confidant helm... but she tells me sailing is "boring"...

Cruising range: The mooring in the west, Emsworth to the north, Bosham/Itchenor in the East and the Bar Beacon to the south..

Biggest Cruise: Snowhill [clicky] on a lovely cheeky day off, mid-week.... (just shy of 15 miles on one tide!)... a beautiful day full of good sailing......

Best Cruise: Choices choices...Snowhill possibly, or the day out with my sister [clicky] (not laughed so much in ages as I did the moment the tiller got stuck in her pocket mid-tack) but for the sake of diversity I'm going to go with the delivery trip from Bosham [clicky]- lots of chuckles with "Coral" Paul, cold, but also stunning speed, some sunshine and lots and lots of breeze..  errrrr bracing.....!

Worst cruise: Bosham or bust [clicky], when the outboard conked out...... 

Oddest cruise: Sailing through a cloudburst [clicky] was certainly an eye opener...  but also a bit of a confidence builder!

Best anchorages: None... didn't anchor this year again...  really need to do something about that, I've never anchored in all the years I've sailed! Part of the problem of course is that everywhere I sail there are huge numbers of empty moorings so there's little need but I can't help thinking a bit of practice might help...

Best mooring: club mooring continues to be a delight; water 3.5+ hours either side of high tide...  my trip into Emsworth Yacht Harbour was my first time on a pontoon with Sparrow, and the access to electricity and water was cracking - I could get used to it ...

Worst mooring: None on Sparrow...  but that one off Seaview on the last day of the jolly boys outing was very uncomfortable..

Plans for next year: Solent....   pure and simple......  I fancy either Bembridge or Seaview (depending on wind/wave direction), The Nab and Cowes... then there was talk of a  jolly boys outing to Cherbourg next year, but in a bigger boat which would be good!


Click on the date to be taken to the post..

Sail Plan:
Max Speed (knots):
Average Speed (knots):
12th April
F6 gusting F7
Bit of jib - mostly engine
Delivery trip, Bosham to mooring.. cold, wet, sunny, a real convoy to Murmansk.. no issues, new boat is fast!
28th April
F2 gusting F3 (occasionally)
Full jib and main
First trip out under sail... memorable if only for getting 6.5 knots plus (tide assisted)! Right lash up collecting the mooring but it cheered up a couple of on lookers...!
16th May
Full jib and main
Gentle (and short!) evening sail after work
26th May
F1 to F4
W to NW, to SWW
Full jib and main
Down to Snowhill in the sun
2nd June
F4, but both ends of the scale..
Full jib and main
Up to Emsworth early one sunny Sunday morning - into Fowley Rythe..
5th June
F3 gusting F4
Full jib and main
Cheeky mid-week day off - back to Snowhill and up to Prinstead on what must be one of the best sailing days I've had so far on Sparrow...
30th June
F4, but both ends of the scale..
SW going to WSW
Full jib and 3 reefs in the main
Tacking practice trying to reach Marker. Back to mooring and sails off for standing rigging replace
3rd July
Delivery to EYH for mast drop & standing rigging replace
EYH to mooring while I wait for the mast & rigging to be finished.
Delivery to EYH for putting mast back up
EYH back to mooring - all done!
26th July 8.76 F1 gusting F2SSW going SW Full jib and main 4.7 2.1 More Marker tacking practice - first trip after re-rig
9th August 12.5 F4 gusting F5 W Full jib and 3 reefs in the main 4.3 3.1 Bar Beacon for the first time in this boat on an afternoon of (mostly) ups and some downs  (on the putty)
11th August 10.02 F4 gusting F5 W to WSW Full jib and main 5.9 3.5 Both ends of the harbour with my sis.. getting weedy but still a fast trip
22nd August - - - - - - Bosham or bust - trip aborted due to engine failure
26th August 7.11 Force 2 E to NE Full jib and main 4.1 2.3 Light wind bank holiday trip - lot of motor sailing
8th September 8.31 Force 5 gusting F6 WSW Full jib and 3.5 reefs in the main 4.7 3 Gusty nasty conditions, thunder and a cloudburst
26th August 9.49 F3 E to SE Full jib and main 4.1 2.4 Cold, grey, light winds, but then we had two Spitfires (no not beers!) and it all got better
28th and 29th August 50.66* F4/5 Sat, F3/4 Sun E Full jib and main 6.4 4.2 Jolly boys outing in the
Solent on "Ami-Ly"
October 20th

Lift Out

* Not counted in year total...

Year total (to date): 113.73 miles
Here's to 2014!