18 July 2013

Unplanned day's sailing.

I hadn't planned to come down for a mid-week sail, but I forgot my wallet on board over the weekend and thought I had better retrieve it. Delightful evening sail through the harbour to anchor just off Arne Peninsula in the Wareham channel. Beautiful spot and not many water skiers mid week. At night I could hear nightjars churring on the heath. There must be loads of them, but quite invisible.

In the morning sailed and motored up to Wareham for breakfast, and walked to the petrol station to top up my tank. On the way back down I managed to put myself firmly in the mud, exactly where I stuck two years ago. Then we were stuck for 2 1/2 hours. This time I tried every trick. Pumped out the ballast water, blew up and launched the dinghy and rowed out the anchor and chain as a kedge. Getting the anchor, chain and dinghy out lightened us by about 50kg and pumping out the water probably got rid of another 300kg. Half an hour after the tide turned I managed to pull us off quite smoothly, so I probably got afloat half an hour quicker by all the off loading. Anchored off Arne again, facing Hamworthy, as the wind had died.

Extended my lazy jack system, which holds up the stack pack, and it is now really quite effective. Apart from catching the sail as it drops, which it does well, pulling up firmly on the lazy jacks lifts the whole weight of the boom. This means raising the mainsail to full height is quite easy and no hint of a winch being necessary.

A steady wind blew up after 3:00pm which seems the pattern in the current heat, and I had a beautiful sail back to Parkstone. Mad a hash of picking up the mooring, wrapping it round the centreboard. Ended up moored by the stern whilst I sorted it out. But it's hot, so who cares.

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