Post by thesentientpasty on Jan 23, 2019 1:14:44 GMT
This is the thread where I shall recall my most exciting sailing adventures, wot I plan to do this summer..
But first. A warning.
I believe I wanted a dinghy-suitable GPS. I ordered one a week last Monday, for £180, only to be told by the tracking app a day later that it was 'lost in the post'.
Some days of irony and infuriation later, it turned up this evening. It's reminiscent of an 80s mobile phone, being brick-like and massive. It claims to be able to store 10000 waypoints, it's waterproof and floats, and lasts twenty hours on a pair of AA batteries.
But it weighs a tonne. One reviewer said "it sinks". No missing 't'. So, tonight, I wrapped it in clingfilm and chucked it in the sink.
It floats. Barely. Which is good. But I still don't know if it's waterproof! Its buttons may be, but its batteries cannot, surely, be?
Only the feisty Atlantic can tell!
And then, of course, I realised that suitable charts didn't come with it. Dial in another £120. I have, of course, unsuitable charts, these being printed on paper, and liable to dissolve at the merest splashing. But these charts have the advantage of making the spirit soar. Mysterious squiggly islands all over the place, needing to be visited.
I particularly like the sound of Scalpay for its remoteness and extra squiggles. www.google.com/maps/place/Scalpay,+Isle+of+Scalpay+HS4+3YGfirstname.lastname@example.org,-6.6765182,13z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x488d9667e08021e5:0x4e34c6d7578e515b
If the Jury agree. Along with your GPS gizmo. do not for get to take with you eight Gramophone records. Not c.d`s or Mp4 downloads. This is just in case you get marooned on that desert island and the B.B.C come calling.
just idling around the interwebs looking at narrow boats....
haha. wtf is that?! all 18 feet of it. it looks a bit like one of Lins early editions, except hers was much nicer and didn't look like a grundon bin on floats.
this is probably wat i could afford. do you think it could get me round the islands on the open sea? lol. i'm not sure that could make it accross the marina without rolling over and sinking to the bottom of the briny canal. but then i'm not a sailor.....
Post by thesentientpasty on May 13, 2019 23:37:41 GMT
It's a lot of mast, but I've got reef points - I can dial back the throttle if need be.
Incidentally, five years ago, the same type of boat, a Wayfarer, did the fastest dinghy circumnavigation of the UK (~1500 miles) in 33 days, knocking 40-odd days off the then record. Well done Hafren.
This year, Nipegegi (another Wayfarer) is aiming to thrash that record. Y'see, Hafren did it in stages, with camping on shore, the odd day off, and stuff. Nipegegi's crew are aiming to do it without stopping.
More here, and a video of their trial last summer here.
Tough hombres. Me? Nah ... A lazy gin and light airs, thanks.
Well we had a super time. Looked at loads of sailing craft from the shore in Falmouth. Would get Bez`s heart a` pounding I am sure. Drank gin and listened to some great live music as we did so. Had some lovely food provided by hosts. Friends sister and partner. So I was nominated bar keep. Made spiced rum fresh lime and ginger beer cocktails which went down a storm and fast! So nice. We did also do nice coastal walks and breathe in lots and lots of fresh sea air. All good. I drove and put friend in charge of in car entertainment. Very eclectic mix which made for interesting and fun travel.
Post by thesentientpasty on May 20, 2019 18:30:02 GMT
Great ... That's what road trips ought be like.
And Falmouth...my folks dragged us down that way as kids (btw, we didn't need dragging). Every summer a different spot on the Cornwall/Devon Rivieras. Until they stopped one summer in Falmouth. Spent a fortnight there every year after, between 1973 and 1977. Tell me it's not changed one bit?!
Oh, the boat museum there now has Frank Dye's Wayfarer in it. He was a nutter. 600 miles in an open boat, several times. No GPS, a radio on the blink. Noooo!
(Wife fell overboard sick with seasickness on a honeymoon to St Kilda, etc.)
Post by thesentientpasty on Jun 30, 2019 20:26:39 GMT
First proper sail. The boat's now about 95% "the way I want it". A few more tweaks to the old gal, and I'll be happy. Retail? I'm doing 16 hour weeks at the mo', and have accrued a shitload of leave. So my time's my own!
Post by thesentientpasty on Aug 2, 2019 8:06:45 GMT
Here goes ... A week last Thursday:
I'd headed to Windermere and rigged the boat by midday, in blazing sunshine and 28℃, and in hardly any wind, I slowly drifted down from the North to Bowness.
At Bowness I met a friend in his Wayfarer. We moored up, had a sandwich, and at the public jettys put the world to rights. He was working on the Friday, and at about 3pm had to set off north. My plan was to camp overnight, in the boat, at Newby Bridge about ten miles south, and return on the Friday. A text from my wife, after I'd requested the latest weather updates, suggested 'lightning storms'. The sky didn't look like it, so I waved Chris goodbye and took the route to the west side of Belle Island, having never seen it before.
Among the moored yachts there a few raindrops fell. I dug out my Goretex jacket and carried on, all but drifting in next-to-no-wind and a light drizzle. A mile south, things took a definite turn for the worst.
Black skies as if from Mordor turned up in seconds. Thunder and lightning crackled and rumbled just a few kilometres away. I dropped the mainsail, rolled up the genoa, and had a fecking good look around. The lightning was closing on me, the rain now heavy. What had been lightning strikes 3 or 4 kms away had started to hit much closer. The Wayfarer, of course, has 25' or so of aluminium pole sticking skywards. I decided this was a Bad Thing, given that my mast was the only target for the best part of half a kilometre, and so I motored towards the shore.
The nearest shore, a lee shore, was a bad place to be, but there were trees around which reduced my risk of being struck by lightning. About 20m offshore I dropped anchor, a ferociously heavy Danforth that was recommended for the future Hebridean Sailing I intend to do. Anchor down, five metres of stainless steel chain, and maybe 10m of cable in a depth of 8 metres. I pulled on the anchor. It seemed to have grabbed. I was moored maybe 10m offshore.
It was still calm.
Out of NOWHERE a 40mph gust hit the boat. She instantly yawed into it, the genoa unfurling itself and flogging in the gale. With genoa sheets flicking like bullwhips, and thunder and lightning directly overhead, I wondered whether the best defence was to drop the genoa or stay clear of the mast and shrouds. Within a minute, another gust hit from the side, and the boat listed, mightily, to starboard. I heard water pouring in over the gunwale, but didn't see it, as I was climbing the port side to prevent a capsize (or worse).
The boat righted, somehow, full of water and wallowing. "'Fuck the lightning. I have to get the gennie down."
I dug my hand deep into the water inside the boat and found the halyard release. The genoa came down in a moment, got tucked safely away, and I looked at the bow, now pointing properly into the wind. The gusts had, it is true, died down somewhat, but the fetch to windward, with the intense gusts, produced five minutes of surging waves, the like of which you'd not expect on a mere lake. At this point the boat had virtually no freeboard with the best part of a tonne of water in her, and little stability. She was rolling like a whale with dyspepsia.
Plenty more water came in over the bow.
I untied my bucket and started bailing, in the rain, in the swell, unable to see anything, not sure whether the anchor was holding, as the lightning moved away.
53 buckets later the boat was nearly dry.
My clothes, my bedding, my camping gear was soaked.
As the storm died away - it had lasted maybe fifteen minutes, but I had no idea how long the event had actually run - the wind dropped and swung to the north. I couldn't retrieve my anchor. It must have got really wedged in during the mayhem. After three or four attempts I cut it loose. Bye, anchor.
I raised sail, ran down the lake, found the river and moored up by 8pm. My first text, to Chris, was blunt: "Are you still alive?" He replied he was, but a mile short of Waterhead, he had been hit by the same storm, had no visibility, no contro!, and thought his boat was just going to sink.
I slept well that night, in wet clothes, under a wet sleeping bag, while lying in an unspongeable puddle under the mainsail.
Post by thesentientpasty on Aug 12, 2019 23:22:43 GMT
I moored up that evening at about 7pm at Newby Bridge, tying up alongside a very expensive looking pub. I emptied the boat of sodden gear, onto the immaculately trimmed grass, mercifully found the 20cl emergency bottle of whisky (this was good) and, floating in the bilge, my cigarettes, wet through. (Not good).
I sloshed into the pub with my life jacket on and with my wet sailing boots leaving puddles on the floor.
An effeminate young man serving behind the bar asked me what I wanted. I replied "Is there anywhere I can buy cigarettes nearby that's within walking distance? I soaked mine while sailing down the lake in the thunderstorm."
He looked me up and down and replied, "There's a garage over the bridge, half a mile along the road, turn right and keep going. You'd probably be best in a car."
"I'm in a boat."
Not wishing to leave all my stuff without supervision, I returned to the boat, hoping that this pub, like all pubs, might have smokers outside it like flies around binbags.
It did not.
As 11pm came and went, and the pub emptied, I realised a smoke was not going to happen. I lit my paraffin lamp, cozied up under the sail, drank the emergency whisky, and slept. I woke a few times during the night, seeing the moon move slowly across the sky, and got maybe four hour's sleep. Eventually, at 5am, my left leg cramped up so badly it woke me up. I decided to leave the hell-hole of the tobacco-shopless Newby Bridge, sorted the boat out, fired up the outboard and headed back north.
The river runs for about a mile before the lake starts, and this mile was utterly magical. Pre-dawn, a light mist rolled across the river, and my approach startled heron after heron out for a bit of brekkie. Sitting down I could see nothing. Standing up my head was above the sea of mist.
At about 5.30am I reached the lake. Nothing was stirring, no boats were about, and the lake's surface was as smooth as glass - except for my low-speed wake as I trundled across it at Warp Factor Just Above Walking Pace. Me and my boat, on the water, in a world unpopulated by anyone but the daft and insane.
I got to Bowness at about 7am, the sun still below the hills to the east. Everything was shut. I refuelled from the spare petrol tank and carried on. While the lake was smooth, there was a lot of post-storm debris bobbing about in it. Twigs and branches, clumps of weed. I had to detangle the prop several times on my way back.
At midday the boat was finally ashore, safely tucked away in the Secret Pirate Hangout, the car packed and heading homewards.
At 2pm, and now nearly a non-smoker, I swerved to a stop at Southwaite Services and coughed up £12 for a packet of twenty.
Thats enough to make a man spend a few pounds on the tax for a bottle ....yer pays yer tax n takes yer choice I gesss..... Its much the same over here with booze prices about doubled by taxes. Its considerably cheaper just across the border in Trunphland but I aint going there in more ways than one!