25 July 2012

Summer sailing at last (22nm 148nm total)

Perfect summer weather at last, at least for a few days. My first night on board this year, for a variety of reasons. I sailed out into Poole Bay and around Studland. Then back in to anchor off Jerrie's Point, with just two other boats in sight.
In the morning I failed to get away in time and ended up firmly aground just yards from where I had been anchored. I was going to be stuck for a good two hours, so as it was a firm bottom, I got out and scrubbed the boat before going for a walk to Studland peninsula to one of the beautiful lakes in the heath. Many birds around including large egrets, which I have never seen there before, but have seen in India man times.
Eventually I got underway for Christchurch, but there was so little wind I gave up on that, with no desire to motor all day. I motored across Poole Bay to Old harry Rocks and anchored there. Swimming and snorkeling in clear water. then I rowed my dinghy around No Man's Island and Old Harry, cutting through one of the natural arches on the way. Felt very small. Then sailed slowly to Studland beach for a walk and a swim. Sailed down wind under main and mizzen alone, and she held her course remarkably well. Finally motored from Studland back to my mooring. I have been using the Navionics charts on my mobile phone, which worked very well, but too small to see, and I can't find any way of uploading them to a useful place for viewing. Not a fully developed product.
Next week I am taking Daisy G out of the water and over to Suffolk for the English Raid. Should be interesting.

21 July 2012

Autumn boat building project

I am planning to build a canoe in the Autumn and my favourite is a linen covered one, sealed with a UV cured linseed oil resin. The kit is produced by a local farmer which makes it interesting. This is a video of one he has just built, which I had a paddle in. It is very stable and goes like a rocket with a double paddle. The skin is semi-transparent, which makes it interesting.

16 July 2012

Second outing this weekend (16nm 126nm total)

Sunday was St Swithan's day, and the forecast seemed OK, so I went out again. It was a good sailing day, but still no sign of summer. I was wrapped up like an Eskimo and never felt hot. The sail bag works well, it is neat and keeps all trailing lines out of my head space when the sail is stowed. I find trailing reef points, reefing lines etc. drive me mad.  The photo shows that the boom gallows stays nicely out of the way, even when close hauled. Being able to drop the boom into the gallows after the sail is down makes it very much easier to stow the sail away quickly.

A beginner out on a jet ski rammed my bow, for no reason I could see. He just couldn't steer. He chipped my paint through to the wood, but all he did was swear and go on about the damage to his new toy. I was so lost for words I couldn't think what to say to him.  He just shot off mumbling to himself without even saying sorry. I have smeared some Araldite over the scratch and will paint it later. The benefit of having a painted, wooden boat. You can fix most things easily. what I did learn was that I can actually lash the tiller and go into the bow and the boat will hold her course. So much so that I went back and took the second photo from the front. It did emphasise that if I did fall in, she would sail on without me quite happily...

It was a nice day out, but sun and warmth would be welcome. In July!

13 July 2012

Short windy sail (11nm 110nm total)

Risked the weather for a day to get the new sail bag fitted. It all went on easily and the mainsail is finally complete. It didn't rain, but was blowing hard F5-6 all day. I motored to Shipstal point, and after some lunch, raised just the double reefed main and tried sailing with just that. Reaches and runs well, with a fairly heavy helm. I can tack, but she sails so off the wind that you can't make ground to windward. I was tempted to break out the foresail, but decided not to as it would have added a lot of sail area and there were some very strong gusts. A proper storm jib would be and idea. I need to sort out a new lazy jack arrangement to suit the new sail bag as well, but that is another job.

Damaged the cabin hatch when I was leaning hard against it. A strip of plywood cracked off the back. Not serious and I shall reglue it when I have her back home.

Watched the tall ship Stavros Niarchos motoring and docking in Poole Quay. Very impressive to see it being moved around under such fine control in such strong winds. Also saw some boys using a strange jet suit, for want of a better word. One was connected to a jet ski by a long, large hose, which blasted water out from under his feet and elevated him about 10 feet into the air. Quite bizarre.

8 July 2012

Sail bag here, but no sailing this week

The weather has been so poor that I have not been out for nearly two weeks. The outlook is still bad. My sail bag has arrived and is all ready to be fitted to the boom. I hope that I will get down there again soon.
I am thinking of building a canoe over the winter, and a linen covered, linseed-resin boat from Flaxland has caught my eye. I saw it at the Beale Park Show, and the builders are based just a couple of miles form me, so I have been over to have a couple of looks at the prototype being built. The boast consists of a linen covering over softwood stringers, which is then sealed with a linseed based resin which set sin UV light. It means you have all the time you want to lay on the resin, and then it is stood out in the sunlight for an hour or two to cure the resin. It seems to work. I am intrigued.