Friday, 29 April 2011


We left Ramsgate on Friday morning and fought the wind & tide up to North Foreland. It was a little choppy but nothing bad. Once we got to the Outer Fisherman's Gat buoy we turned into a sailing boat!

The wind gradually got up as we went and we rolled more and more of the main onto the boom and eventually put the jib away.

We haven't updated the charts. A mistake. The Sunk Beacon has gone.

Once we got into the Whitaker we were on an almost dead run all the way to Burnham, touching 6 knots (with the tide) at times.

It was sunny all day and quite lovely.

Worm towed beautifully.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Worsening Weather

We had a day ashore on Tuesday, fixed the cabin lights, stocked the larder and got diesel. Went to the Royal Temple Yacht Club for a drink and then had a lovely Italian meal. We planned the passage to the Swin but as the day went on the forecasts got worse. The strong advice in the Royal Temple was to abandon our plans, wait until a wind window on Friday and head straight back to the Crouch.


We caught the train home on Wednesday morning to see the family.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Flat Calm

As the wind was set north-easterly we decided to cross the Thames and check out Kent. The idea was to head over to Ramsgate for the night and then head through the Swale. We expected a good run/broad reach to Ramsgate an planned it on 4 knots. We left at first light, motored out of the backwaters and raised sail. We tried to raise the topsail but messed up and lost the halyard up the mast.

The winds were light at best. For most of the way it was a flat calm and we alternated between motor sailing, sailing and motoring all the way across the Estuary. The London Array wind farm is under construction but they do seem to have left a gap for Foulger's Gat.

There were a large number of ships anchored south of the Gat.

Once we got alongside the Kent Coast we finally got a bit of wind and we broad reached into Ramsgate with a bit more power than we would have liked!

We had really nice fish & chips at Peter's Fish Factory.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Lovely evening

After tea we snuck up Kirby creek looking for a hole to anchor in but it was already full with two boats and then up Landemere Creek where we found a vacant buoy. It was a beautiful evening and we had dinner, let the sun go down and watched the birds and the sunset before turning in for an early night.

Secret water

Snuck up Oakley creek on a rising tide then anchored in Hamford Water for a cup of tea. Lots of seals on the banks of the creek, some obviously young

Friday, 22 April 2011

Where did the wind go?

We beat up the Wallet in the haze but the wind dropped off and we wanted to get there while it was still Friday. We put the engine on and made it into Shotley in time for bed.


Off to West Mersea this morning to catch the afternoon tide to Harwich for the OGA Easter Egg Rally at Shotley. Alison has strengthened Worm's rowlock mounts and re-instated the rope fender. We should also have a working outboard. I'm going to try emailing from my (unsmart) phone to keep this log up-to-date for the 11 days we are away.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Sea Trials

We're on the water!

We got to West Mersea around low water this morning and Alison rowed us out in the Worm. As expected Robinetta was aground on her mooring, but by the time we were ready to make a move we were swinging nicely. I found a nasty rip on the new-ish UV strip on the jib.Nothing to stop us using the sail but annoying.

We nervously started the engine and left it running while we finished setting up the foresails. She started first time and sounded fine. We dropped off the mooring and headed down the channel. Alison took the cockpit floor up and the yard had attached the new anode to the gearbox and the shaft seemed to be turning without any problems.

The new depth transponder works! And we could hear Thames Coastguard on the VHF clear as a bell.

We passed Rumba on a mooring - he must have just come in - and were told that it was a bit lumpy out in the river. More wind than forecast certainly.

We had a very nice gentle sail on reefed main and staysail, and picked up our mooring under sail, which gives a good feeling.

So everything seems good. Two things to investigate or keep an eye on.
  1. We throttled up to get past a dinghy race and the engine sounded a bit harsh
  2. There is still some water coming in at the bows, quite high up. Hopefully this is just taking up.
It's six months since we took her out, and it certainly felt like a long winter of work, but it's worth it now we're sailing again.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Finishing touches

The yard wanted Robinetta ready to go in the water on Friday 1st April, but when I checked with them on the Thursday they said that was so she would be ready to go in the following week. I was glad of that since it gave us the next weekend to finish things off!

Paul Drake sorted out the gas locker drainage and screwed in/recaulked some planks in the stern. He also took off the old anodes, while the yard attached a new one for us.

This weekend Julian and I did all the essential pre-launch work, so she looked very smart on her cradle by Sunday evening, with fresh antifoul finally covering up the grey tie coat!

I went on the following Tuesday, and saw the yard connecting up the anode and finally fitting the new prop. She'll be going in on Wed or Thurs!