Sunday, 20 April 2008

19 April 2008

12.5 nautical miles

Today was Daniel's last sail with me as he leaves on Tuesday for the UK. He was he helming all morning and half the afternoon [yellow track morning, cyan track afternoon]. I discovered something... it's much more difficult to describe to someone else how to do something than try do do it yourself in sailing.

Neil and Paula wanted us to take pictures of Blue. I had our camera with waterproof case plus theirs, which at that stage I didn't know was semi-waterproof. So I started on ours feeling any water coming over the bow would be no problem. Second photo... camera switches off and says 'change batteries now'. Changed over to their camera, and water coming over the bow worries me that it will wreck their camera.

So we try to hove to. I have done it a few times now, so said we will just go about, back the genoa and put the helm over. We didn't hove to at all, we just kept sailing at 4 knots with the genoa totally backed! Aiii... what on earth was happening? I couldn't figure out. We tried a couple of times and I eventually realised that the wind was so light that the backed genoa was making no difference and the main had to be almost way out and just not flapping before we would hove to.

Then tried to hail them on the radio... no response. OK, must remember to do radio check before we leave next time... turns out our radio was fine theirs was on a different channel and they hadn't noticed.

Anyway had good sail round the bay and very very enjoyable sail. Mid afternoon Daniel found the wind/sea a little confused and I took over the helm. I think the real difference was really just confidence, I sheeted in the main a lot more and she sailed much easier with almost no weight on the helm at all. I couldn't see this to tell him, it was purely a feel thing for me at the moment - yes, I could see he was luffing, but he didn't feel right to sheet in more. As I said, seeing and telling is much more difficult than doing. I was also more comfortable moving for'ard and using the extension for the tiller. Daniel normally helms a lifeboat from a ship and lifeboats are very much heavier [we calculated something like 8-10 times the weight without people in them] and so the helm is very different feel.

The wind was wonderful and it was a very enjoyable sail today. I was getting slightly cold by the end [water was coming over the bow and we don't have wetsuits etc - must remember cagoule even when its warm and sunny] but otherwise I would have loved to stay out longer. If you look at the wind report from, [BTW that link is for the current wind report, the one for 19 April is below] you'll see that unlike normal where the wind drops at 16:00-17:00 the wind kept up till 21:00 so we could have carried on but would have got cold doing so.

Great news is... almost no water coming in through through the bottom of the hull. We left her anchored over lunch and very little water at all in the bottom of the hull, so I think we have fixed the problem at last. In the past when we had her back on the hard and opened the self bailers, it looked like she was desperate for the toilet. Now, just a dribble came out.

Anchored... yes... I had a small grapnel for the Mirror, but everyone said I should have bigger for the Wayfarer. So I went to the chandler and he had almost no choice [this is Cyprus after all and we are an island and there are loads of fishing boats and...] anyhow I mis-read the Wayfarer manual and got something way too big [same weight in kilos as should have been in pounds]. Last season I carried this in the boat and never used it. Frank Dye in his book said roughly the same and so I took the chain off the big Danforth and moved it to the grapnel and it held like a dream. I think that having a significant weight of chain may be almost more important than the actual weight of the anchor. That's something to try out for this season.

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