Saturday, 25 July 2009

Night Exercise

Took her down to the lock at low water and managed to get to the mast head and fix the rigging. Jib halyard had to inside the copper pipe that acts as trunking for the VHF cable, which was on the wrong side so we had to turn her around in the lock and start again.

Also used some wire and insulating tape to make the loops smaller on the back-stays so hopefully they will not fall off.

Pitch black by the time we got back to the pontoon but very pleased with our manoeuvring today.

Also (in the afternoon) fitted ratlines 2/3rds of the way up in case we need to get up there again.

Saturday, 11 July 2009


Went up to sort the running lights and the jib halyard.

Re-wired the running lights completely - all working now except the port LED cluster has lost a pair of opposing segments. Brought it home to attack with the soldering iron.

Got a long ladder but still not long enough to reach the masthead. Got close enough to see that the back stays have fallen off their attachment point. They're supposed to sit on top of the point where the mast gets narrower, but they have slid down and now seem to be held in place by the copper pipe that acts as trunking for the VHF antenna and anchor light.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Homeward Bound

We left at 5 with Flamingo. They raised sail immediately but we were feeling a bit sleepy. We put the stay sail up and it helped a lot to steady the boat through the swell. We could have reached across Dunwich Bay but from Sizewell onwards the wind was on the bow. It was a fast passage with the stay sail helping the motor and the tide flooding at about 2 knots. The wind was fine but the swell was quite unpleasant, although perfectly safe. Once we got to Felixstowe we raised the main sail and sailed into the harbour. Got to get that jib sorted.

Monday, 6 July 2009


We left on the end of the ebb at 4:30 am. Turned the VHF to channel 16 at the harbour wall. Immediately we got the dreaded Securité, Securité, Securité from Yarmouth Coast Guard. Gale force 8 in Thames and Dover expected soon. We turned round and went back in.

No-one else had heard it. Pete called them on the VHF and confirmed. Most people secured the boats and organised transport, planning to return in a day or two.

I checked my diary and found it clear enough that it made sense to wait on the boat. Walked into town and picked up email at the Swan and then came back to work with the laptop, planning to swap today's holiday for tomorrow. Managed about half a day solid. Also tried Clive on Quintet's ladder to fix the jib halyard but too windy.

Leak seems well under control, stop worrying about it.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Lazy Sunday

No sailing today. We visit the Adnams brewery, have Fish & Chips on the pier and walk to Walberswick for dinner. Gromit and Ladybird left during the day, leaving Transcur, Gwenili, Random, Flamingo, Robinetta, Quintet, Charm and Victoria in the harbour.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Sole Bay Race

The days main event is the Sole Bay race. This is a triangular course with a variable number of laps so the slower boats can finish with an average lap time without delaying the start of the next race. This is important since we have to be back in the harbour before the ebb runs too fast out of the river.

We get into a good position for the start, but two boats miss the start line and end up on starboard tack across our bows so we have to slow down. Pretty soon we are in the back rump of the race but we make some good decisions and round the windward buoy at the front of the stragglers. We get all the way round without being caught up or lapped by the fast boats. The downwind leg is very long and we decide a cup of tea is possible on the next lap (not sure this is really the racing spirit).

We make a real hash of the windward buoy second time around, taking three goes. The kettle goes on but they have moved the next buoy. Our concentration is shot. We get round this one but make another mess of the one near the pier.

They give us the gun as we pass through the line. Technically this means we finish first! But of course we have only done 2 laps and the folks right behind us are finishing their third!

We do OK in the second race but Patient Griselda, who we beat in the first race, have found their form and shoot off ahead of us.

The weather is just perfect for sailing, probably a steady force 5, sea state slight. Full sails including topsail all day. Wonderful. Now we just need to work out how to make her perform to her potential.

Prize giving, raffle and music at the sailing club in the evening. Alison wins a raffle prize and we get a pack of wooden bungs - something I've been meaning to buy.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Off to Southwold

Met Sue and Howard in the marina. They've brought Victoria down for the run up to Southwold. We both decide to leave about 8am. We end up going out first but they soon catch us up - Victoria is a real racing boat - built for the police in the 19th century.

We meet lots of boats coming out of the Orwell and a few more join up at the Deben.

Everyone passes us but we still get into Southwold nice and early with the young flood. Given all we read in the pilot its a bit of an anti-climax.

It should have been a really enjoyable trip, but I'm worrying about the jib and then we start taking on more water than we ever did before. In the harbour Pete Thomas takes a look and is sure she's just taking up after being out of the water. We decide to relax.

Made very welcome in the Southwold Sailing Club, especially by the Harbourmaster Colin, who will be in charge of the racing tomorrow.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

We need a longer ladder

Went up to the marina after dinner to try and sort the mess we made with the jib halyard. Our folding ladder doesn't even come close to getting me up there. We will try it as it is. Sleeping on the boat is the first comfortable night we have had for a week. The heat has been horrid inland.