Perfect day: light south, south-easterly, lovely sunny day as the cloud broke completely while we were setting up.
Getting Ready to sail
We arrived to find chaos at the ramp with boats in and out and cars loading up trailers etc, so we tooled around getting the dolly wheel attached to the trailer to make the drag to and from the dinghy park easier. It worked well and made moving the boat much easier as no weight to carry just a drag. I need to cut down the bracket a little as we managed to smack the prow when coming back so we need some minor repairs.
I also put a small motorbike battery in a plastic box attached to the spaceframe and wired in a USB charger for my old Samsung/Android phone. I got a water proof bag, cut a small hole for the lead, used a roofing tape to seal it and then further sealed it fom the inside with strong waterproof silicone. The opening enables the phone to pop in, get sealed again and remain safe inside the box under full charge to record .gpx files howeer long we are out. We are using GeoTracker and can export files in .gpx format for RaceQS as well.
Helpfully, like the mildly brain damaged half wit that I am, I fogot the GoPro yet again, leaving in the garage after I took the float out to put on the car. Or so I thought. When we got back I realised it was actually in the car hidden under on of the tool bags – what a cretin. Would have been wonderful video as it turned out.
Finally, we got out sailing
After waiting a while for the ramp to clear, we got the sail up nice and easily, hopped on and pottered out at about 3:20pm – the tide was coming in still and we were head to wind down the river. The roller furler on the jib kept getting snagged so our first few tacks were dismal and we were having to keep a close eye out as the river was busy with lots of sailing and motor craft going in and out. Being rank amateurs it still amazes me how things can happen so quickly even when you are only doing 5 mph….
Anyway, we eventually got close to the breakwater by the big yacht park on the right, freed the jib, got some room and carefully accelerated away towards the channel opening.
Tacking round to starboard we went through the entry posts and we were then on a nice starboard tack in pretty flat waters. Lots of small dinghies scooting around and it was lovely to see all the sails and different boats about. The smal white caps indicated a shallow area sticking so we carefllu skirted around that and passed a small dinghy who were cruising along looking pretty cool.
We settled in and just did some practice tacks getting a feel for the boat and getting our processes and sequences sorted – keeping everything tidy and clean while we headed towards Hurst Castle. The hiking strap is now perfectly positioned and just needs tightening and clamping better and Lesley was very happiy hanging off the side, trimming the jib and loving it.
After a while we were out in the middle of the Solent and the water had developed a short chop and swirled around quite madly but we pressed on really nicely.
We definitley need to get some triangular splash guards sorted across the front of the tramps to main hull to reduce the amount of water hitting Lesley in the face – as amusing as it is for me apparently it is less than ideal. We also need to get some waer bottle holders sorted as we again were not drinking enough – too wrapped up in the enjoyment. The front of the tramps worked nicely to store the dry bag so going forward we know we can load up gear for longer trips. I will add a few clips for attaching things with straps to make it easier.
We had lovely views of Hurst Castle and the Isle of Wight as e scooted about and then we thought we had better turn around as we have limited time at the moment.
Heading back in
We gybed around and started heading back to base, down wind on a lovely roll, surfing at times with the boat and the float working perfectly together inspiring complete confidence.
We came back in towards the harbour entrance with a ferry leaving and the return ferry coming back from Yarmouth along with a large number of large sail and motor cruisers milling about. A fleet of smaller local boats were coming back in with their spinnakers up looking really cool (I think it was the X One Design fleet) and we whizzed in going past the cruisers. We were being very careful (as we really have no idea what we are doing) and we wanted to keep out of everyones way, so we kept to the right and then followed one of these X boats through the narrow breakwater and then cut up ahead of a large motor cruiser in the main channel. Another dinghy was aiming to head back in to the ramp but capsized just by the entrance to the club so we cut over, turned into wind and jumped out without making complete fools of ourselves. This time.
Result. Our best days sailing this year and it really showed this project has some potential but most importantly suits us and our lack of skills perfectly. Lesley said her confidence had been boosted massively – we get out so infrequently that our improvements disappear in between sails unfortunately – we simply need more regular time on the water.
I also hope to get out for single handed test sail shortly and see how that goes, but first we will do a short hop over to the Isle of Wight possibly to Newtown Creek with a neighbour who has a 26ft Van der Stadt or perhaps Yarmouth. We need to get some reefing points put in the sail before then – chatting with a friend in the morning who actually knows what he is doing indicated my ideas are ok so we will crack into that shortly. We also have to test the anchor some more having only used it once in Mudeford to make sure we are used to it and are happy with the process.
Map and GPS data
Thanks to the phone and battery update actually working, we got full GPS data for a change and didn’t drown a phone….
RaceQS View of sail
The .gpx file can also be uploaded to RaceQS .com to give a cool 3d view RaceQS
of our potter about which I think is quite cool.