Monday, 29 August 2011

Bank Holiday potter....

Bank holiday in the UK today - or rather in England today, as I don't believe our Scottish brethren benefit from this one...

It was also (according to the forecasts) going to be the best of the three days of the weekend, and having spent most of the weekend up today running errands for the aged parent, and aged parents in law, I was looking forward to some sailing...

Funny old day - forecast said to expect a force 3 declining, what we actually got was way more than that. Having learned from last weekend I out a single reef in (plus a turn more than last weekend) and this was fine - in fact the helm was very light most of the time - maybe I should have left the reef out...?

On the way out I met another one of the harbour Fantasies - Maricel this time - quick chat and a picture opportunity and I headed off down the harbour.. bit more northerly in the wind (it was quite cool, if not cold)


Also saw this guy - tiny little racing machine - thought my boat was small, I dwarf this one...


For the trip back we had some fun and fast tacking - what is it about boats that you only have to be in the same square foot of water to immediately start racing... happy smileys

..and after a very enjoyable tacking race with an elderly gent sailing a traditional gaff rigged clinker dinghy, I put the engine on and returned to the mooring slightly early for a late lunch...

Distance: 9.12 miles (cumulative total in the tab at the top of the page)
Wind: WNW to NW - Force 3, gusting 4...
Speed: Max speed was 4.8 knots which would have been under engine as despite some gusts I didn't see any speeds over about 4 knots, average speed was 2.4 knots.

Monday, 22 August 2011

East Head meander..

Beautiful sunny day yesterday though still with a strong breeze - another reefed sail, though this time I thought I'd see if I could get away with a smaller one only reefing down to the first sail clip (usually go to the second). It worked quite well, though I think I needed just a little bit more as the gusts were fairly frantic!

I need to do some calculations to find out what the ballast ratio is for a Fantasie - she's always been a fairly happy to sail at an angle of 45' in any kind of breeze, but is easily over pressed - some of the boats out yesterday of my size didn't seem to have the same issues - I think it may be down to two things, one the size of the mast/rig (which I think is pretty big for a boat this size - the mast is 22', the boat is only 19'..!), and two that I sail solo - not so much weight to move about and balance her (though I'm not "small"). One of the jobs I want to do this winter is fit a tiller extension - just a short one - to allow me to sit further forward for balance, but which would also allow me sit on the coming in gusty conditions...

Either way it was a lovely day, and as the track showed, I really did meander!

Distance: 11.95 miles (cumulative total in the tab at the top of the page - this trip takes me past my 2010 mileage!)
Wind: WSW to SW - Force 4, gusting 5...
Speed: Max speed was 4.8 knots which would have been under sail, average speed was 3.5 knots.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

West Pole Beacon jaunt..

Beautiful day today - sunny with a nice breeze - and as I'm due back at work tomorrow following three weeks of holidays I thought it a good idea to get out one more time.. if only to postpone the inevitable.. Free Happy Smileys

When I got down to the boat the breeze was just building - most of the forecasts were saying force 3 or 4, dropping to 3 as the day went on so I took the decision to drop the mooring without putting in a reef... mistake..... force 3 my rear end - a very solid 4 was kicking in and "Papillon" was not happy - griping up head to wind in the gusts even with the rudder hard over, so I headed into wind at about "Marker" and put a couple of reefs in the main which she was happy with for most of the afternoon...

Brilliant wind direction - almost dead westerly all afternoon (SWW I guess) as I made it to the bottom of the harbour on one long tack - in fact I got there so quick I decided to carry on!

Entrance to the harbour was like the M25 in the rush hour - 30 and 40 footers by the handful in both directions but I pushed on as they were beautiful sailing conditions. I finally turned back just before the West Pole Beacon as time was running out to get back to the mooring before the water went..

On the way back the wind continued to rise, and a fast reach up the harbour was on the verge of being unmanageable so I stopped to drop the main and did the rest of the trip on Genoa - four knots even then!

One pleasant interlude on the way back - Simon and his missus (??) was returning on "Wolf" so I popped over for a quick hello - hopefully more time for a chat next time!

Distance: 12.86 miles (cumulative total over there to the left)
Wind: SWW - started Force 3, rising to a Force 4+ throughout the afternoon
Speed: Max speed was 4.9 knots which I'm guessing was under sail on the reach back up the harbour; average speed was 3.3 knots.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Nab Tower... Redux!

Just back from a couple of weeks on Kefalonia, and this coupled with the outboard course and the generally poor weather before we went on holiday had meant I hadn't been out on Papillon in over 4 weeks...not surprisingly, I was gagging to get out!

I have a few days off this week so took the opportunity yesterday to do a "double tider" as the times were roughly right (Monday would have been better but conditions were too windy)

Forecast was for for Force 4 to start dropping to 3 after 12'ish - the direction however was going to be very interesting - they reckoned between west and north west - ideal conditions for another go at the Nab!

So got to the boat for a 10:30 leave (very civilised) - Tesco's Finest "All Day Breakfast" in hand Free Happy Smileys - and left the mooring for the Solent...

I'd decided to put a reef in based on conditions and have to say I was pleased I had, in fact I put another one in by the time I got to the end of the Northney Channel - they stayed in all day...

Conditions in the Solent though were very nice, with the wind being more northerly than north-westerly I dropped the main and went on full genoa as the double reefed main just kept blanketing it anyway - I was making 3 to 4 knots, and had only made another half a knot with the main up, so left it down - besides it was a lot less noisy...

Lots of traffic about though as usual - this guy was sat just off the Tower (the Tower marks the start of the big ships channel into the Solent so not surprising I guess...). He'd been stationary for ages but suddenly upped sticks and went off at a rate of knots - astonishing acceleration given the huge size... either way, she's the "AQUARIUS LEADER" and belongs to the NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) Line - built 1998, 200 metres long ("Papillon" is 6 Free Happy Smileys ), 58,000 tons loaded. She's a car carrier and can carry about 6000 cars at a maximum speed of just over 19 knots!

Very relaxing trip - laid out on the seat in the sun, a gentle breeze pulling us along - an occasional eye out for other traffic (of which there was very little) - and before I know it we were at the Tower..

Close up this thing is HUGE - but it's not in the best of condition - the plate covering it is rusted and holed. You have to wonder how long it's going to last...

For the trip back it was a single tack, and at one point I thought I'd be able to make the mouth of Langstone so I could have a nice reach back to the West Pole Beacon but in the end the wind dropped and the tide did for me - no worries though, a small tack to line up on the Beacon and I was back into the Harbour.

Wind had dropped significantly so I had to shake out all the reefs, but as it was at least two hours before there would be enough water to get back on my mooring I had a little tacking practice up the harbour - by the time I'd got to the end of the Emsworth Channel it had picked up enough for me to have a little sail up to Emsworth itself always a pleasure - some beautiful boats moored in the channel..

I spotted two Fantasie's on this trip - the latest arrival is "Wolf" who is moored only half a mile from "Papillon" - I think that's about four at the top of the Harbour I know of now..

Distance: 28.99 miles (cumulative total over there to the left)
Wind: NNW to NW - started Force 4, dropping to Force 3 throughout the day
Speed: Max speed was 5.8 knots which would have been under sail (as I used the engine very little all day), guessing it would have been on the way out as I had a big tidal lift, average speed was 3.2 knots.