Monday, 19 October 2009

So where did that week go!!

Difficult to believe that yet another week has gone by, but so it has, in fact, do you know it's Christmas in nine weeks time this Friday??!

Apologies for the lack of posts - part of the problem is that this is my first blog from a new PC. I've been meaning to upgrade for ages, but with life as hectic as it is I finally managed to get round to it on Saturday, and have spent the time since then putting it together - not in any physical sense, but reloading the software, applications and settings that make a computer your own... all done now though, and all I need to do is a refresh on the old machine to have finished the swapover. All takes time, however..

So what else have I been doing in the interim?? The week wouldn't be complete without at least a little jaunt on the water, and that was completed on Sunday...

A beautiful day, but no wind at all, hardly a breath in fact, and not enough to move us against the tide so I anchored up (with new kedge anchor!), got out the tea flask, and did a little fishing... caught nothing, but not a care in the world, trust me my friends there is nothing, simply nothing, like messing about in boats...

All the more sad as it has to end soon, and just another few weeks and out she comes - she needs some work doing on her so the timing is good....

Oh, and "Palmerston's Folly"??? Named after the Victorian forts that ring Portsmouth which were built at the behest of the aforesaid prime minister to counter the French threat posed by Napoleon III, this is a rather pleasant beer brewed by Suthwyk Ales and made using barley grown on their own farm on Portsdown Hill (site of at least three of the major forts).

As I was going to pick up the PC nearby it seemed churlish not to stop in at the Southwick Brew Shop [click here] and pick up a four pint cary out on the way home... an inspired decision, it was absolute nectar!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Solent sniffing & Nab intro...

The sailing season may well be coming to a close, but the summer down here in the south of England is gripping on by the skin of its teeth, and so yesterday found me out on the boat for an afternoons sailing, in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, despite it being the second week of October. Winds were westerly (with just a little south in it) and I guess force 3 predominantly, though there were a few agreeable gusts to keep you on your toes...

Beautiful afternoon with little motoring (except the last bit to get home) and another first as this was the furthest I'd poked my nose out into the Solent all summer as I rounded well after the Eastoke mark before turning for home..

I think I'm ready for my first big trip now, and to get more prepared I've even started shopping around for GPS equipment smileys. I strongly suspect that it's not going to happen until next year (simply not enough time left this year) but it's something to look forward to over the winter... the first trip I'd like to do is to the Nab Tower [click here] (pictured right), for no other reason originally than that I've always fancied seeing it (!), but I now understand that there is a second reason, as it also has a military heritage... more on that when I get there (and more importantly get back!)

Distance: 10 miles (125 miles year to date)
Wind: Force 3 occasionally gusting force 4.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Lost kedge...

I took last Friday off to get some more sailing in, despite it being an inset day at school I couldn't tempt either of the sprogs on to the boat so headed off into the harbour on my own (which I really don't mind - in fact I quite like it in a selfish way!). It was a very very quiet afternoon though, little or no wind to start off with so I ended up anchored at the end of the creek to do a little fishing, and what would have been called "make do and mend" in Jack Aubrey's day. New ropes had whippings added to stop them fraying, old ropes were replaced, and all was very peaceful...

Happily the wind came up so sails were re-raised and I headed off into the harbour for a very pleasant couple of hours sailing... until I got back to the mooring and realised that like a complete and total plank I'd left my small kedge anchor (with rope and chain) on the foredeck, and that at sometime during the afternoon while heeled to the wind, it had slowly and elegantly slipped over the side....

I've replaced it now, but if I'd known how expensive it was I'd have at least waved as it slipped over the side!!! Either way, even with that, it was still a brilliant days sail... sunny & warm - most unusual for this time of the year..

Distance: 10 miles (115 miles year to date)
Wind: "Changeable" (Started out with little or nothing, and rose to a Force 3)..