Saturday, 30 August 2008

30 August 2008 - Beautiful sail to Dhekelia

11.5 nautical miles

This was a really really cool [as in enjoyable, rather than cold] sail round the bay up to the British Army base at Dhekelia.

I was sailing with Adrian. Adrian is a Maori from New Zealand. He's a water lover - never been sailing before, but regularly goes out on a power boat fishing.

He also owns a kayak which is 2 foot longer than Galini and which he enjoys in the surf and 'builds up the upper body muscles' [so he says]. He described it as a closed hull kayak which you sit on top of rather than 'in' like the sort of kayak's we know. So sounds strange and interesting.

Adrian took loads and loads of photos on his camera, to show his kids where he had been [hence the pics of the bay at the top].

The track only shows the morning sail. We went back to the club for lunch and then went out sailing again after lunch.

The wind picked up a little after lunch, but the batteries went flat on the GPS so there is no track. Trying to get us both in the picture, while Adrian held the camera proved to be quite tricky.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

24 August 2008 - Billiant wind

5.6 nautical miles
Totally, totally different sailing conditions to yesterday... couldn't be more different [unless it would have been too much wind to be sail-able at all].

This is the wind graph from - with scale in metres/second. Converting 7.2 m/s (multiply by 1.944) you get pretty close to 14 knots (13.9968... but I bet the wind was never exactly that!] which is quite a bit less than the 19 knots that showed. But I suspect from the webcam that is inland whereas I suspect that gets airport readings which will be coastal... and more what we experienced.

This is the wind graph from - with scales in Beaufort and Knots. I went out at approx 15:30 which means we were Bft 4-5 at that stage and Bft 5-6 for most of the time sailing.

The sailing was exhilerating and fun. Tim was my crew and we really enjoyed the sailing. He remarked that my Wayfarer was more fun sailing that his trimaran.

I learned a new technique - surfing along the breaking side of a wave. I suppose it's like the surf-boarders do on the really big ocean waves, but this was new technique for me. You needed to do it on a bigger wave and the closer in to shore the less possible it was. I did the first by accident and then Tim pointed it out to me and I kept trying on other waves and tried to find how to get started. Really exhilarating.

Galini is wonderfully stable - today we were sailing and went about and Tim slipped to the leeward side of her which caused her to heel even more so the leeward deck was in the water and then I slipped and fell face down with my chin hitting the leeward side deck, cutting my chin and wrenching my neck/back. When we had sorted ourselves out we noticed the French girls [I must get their names fixed in my brain sometime] had capsized. I decided we would go in as I didn't want to damage myself further.

On the way in we saw Nicko sailing out on a laser... and then capsizing... twice. When he got back on the club he told us he had capsized 6 times! So... shows how gentle Galini is - we didn't capsize at all... just a cut chin to show for the blow.

Tim is up for capsize drill when he comes back from his next trip so I look forward to doing that and seeing how Galini handles when deliberately capsized. We will test the Secumar mast-head anti-inversion system at the same time. We have the 40 litre version.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

23 August 2008 - New outboard (borrowed)

5.4 nautical miles
Started off the morning by helping Sheila get her boat afloat and then waited for Tim to come to the club. He brought with him a 2 HP Yamaha outboard which he is lending me. Thanks, Tim!

We checked it working in a bucket of water and then went out for a sail. There was very, very little wind, but Galini sailed beautifully and we backed the genoa to go about. Tim sails well, so doing this manoeuvre with him was useful to see. I had been advised to do this in strong winds when the waves push you back, but Tim said it was useful in light winds too... and so it was.

We then sailed over towards the marina to look at some of the sailing boats moored outside the harbour. There was quite a nice looking gullet - or sailing trawler, not sure which there, plus a number of modern plastic boats.

Tim needed to get off about lunchtime, so I sat and watched some youngsters who have just been given a boat clean it out and get it ready for sailing.

Then I took the outboard and put it on the back of Galini to try it out on the water. My first attempt was to use the outboard to steer and keep the tiller central. This worked... kind of... but pushed water at the tiller in an unhelpful way and was not really easily controllable. Taking the rudder off would have worked, but that would not be easy out on the water.

I had read that its often better to lock the outboard and use the tiller for steering, so my second attempt was to do that... but the outboard wouldn't start. Tim had suggested that it really needs a service as the fuel/air mixture is not quite right and I think he is correct... maybe also a new spark plug too.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

16 Aug 2008 - Power boat 'sail' round Cape Pila

Well, I was going out if I could find a crew. Yesterday I phoned Tim about a sailmaker in Cyprus that he needed. He said he would come if his back was up to it. He had been out on a trapeze earlier in the week on a Hobie cat and had problems as a result.

But... his back wasn't up to it. So I went out with Sheila in her 18 foot motor boat... plus a couple of her friends. She is new member at the club and I have been helping her in and out the water with her boat. An 18 foot motor boat is pretty heavy.

The wind/waves were force 2/3 when we left and force 3/4 when we came back. We originally stopped for swim/lunch in Potomas bay, but the chop was making one of the crew feel sick so we went into Potomas fishing village to have more peaceful lunch.

Motoring back, the waves were approx 1 to 1.5 meters at their highest, which was pretty wet if taken straight on so Sheila went at an angle to the waves - hence the rather indirect route back. Actually I think a motor boat can be a lot wetter than a sailboat as she seems to push through the water faster rather than sail over it.

I was keen to go as I had sailed to just past Point Pila in July, but didn't know what Potamas was like and whether there was anywhere to moor/take Galini onto the shore - but having been there it does look like an interesting place to sail to, so maybe should try this.

The total distance was approx 29 nautical miles. Although I would like a small outboard as 'auxiliary' I think my experience for a day on a motor boat has shown me why I like sailing boats! [Sorry Sheila] Hearing the cost of fuel only made this a doubly sure .

Sunday, 10 August 2008

10 August 2008 - repairs, but still cannot find the leak

4.5 nautical miles
Raed and I went back to repair the bullseye and take Galini out for a quick trip out and back. I had a bit of a headache so didn't want a long sail.

We also tried to find the leak [small leak coming in, which is taken out by the self bailers, but irritating nevertheless]. I sort of hoped it was the self bailers themselves leaking, but it looks like its the centreboard case - which I had repaired over winter, so I am not sure where the leak is exactly.

We also tried 'backing the jib' [genoa in our case] to help push us round, didn't seem to work. However, when we were on the hard looking for the water leak we had the sails up to wash and clean them and I showed Raed what I meant and he said he had still been letting go to early, so we will try again sometime. Pity Raed has to go back home this week.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

9 August 2008 - mainsheet traveller problems

16 nautical miles
A very nice enjoyable and quiet day sailing with Raed, John and Sarah. The water was pretty gentle which is why four up in Galini was possible.

John and Sarah are recently married... you can tell, can't you... cool dudes in sunglasses!

What did happen today was I broke a bulls eye for the line for the mainsheet traveller which meant that the traveller car was difficult to hold in position - the traveller car was over the wrong side of the boat so the main sheet would never bring the boom over the boat. Absolutely no chance of getting close to the wind. This is what actually determined our rather early time for lunch!

When I got back to shore I found I could loop the traveller line around the stern and so we still sailed her in the afternoon. It was good to know, as out on the water I had struggled to work out a good solution - pulling on the cam cleat in a strange direction, which held but I would not have been happy in a blow. Actually I think it should be a very small turning block rather than a bulls eye at the end of the rails, but I cannot afford to replace them yet.

Raed kept hoping for more exciting sailing - by which he meant more wind and bigger waves - he would love to try trapeze and was saying how he would like to do like the French girls in the 470. However, John and Sarah had not sailed before, so this was really just pottering about the bay and staying close to the club, where we went for our lunch. We had been thinking of taking lunch with us, but I found that the cool box was really too big to fit in the boat.

Well, in the way of things there was another award ceremony for the regatta while I was away... yes, a real cup this time. Nickos collected on my behalf and then we had a mini-award ceremony today. I think its the first award I have had in my life for anything at all sporty.

Actually I'm not really that competitive. However, if I do compete I like to win. Very, very much want to win. But generally I prefer not to compete in the first place. That way we are all winners. It's because I like all to win that I don't want to compete... and change personality to this 'I want to win' character who I don't really like. Daniel, my son, takes it one stage further - he likes other people to win and tries to help the opposition... except at board games, where he tries to let others win and somehow ends up winning himself!

I met a new member - Sheila - she has an 18 foot motor boat. She thought someone had siphoned out fuel, but Raed and I opened her tank and found that it was just the fuel gauge stuck! There is no tractor at the club, so later we helped her move her boat to her place on the hard. Not sure what would have happened otherwise.