Tuesday, 16 September 2008

16 Sep 2008 - Captain Chrysis and the case of the dragging anchor

7 nautical miles
This afternoon I had a simply glorious sail with Chrysis in his Congor. We set out about 2:30. He gave me the helm straight away. I hadn't sailed a Congor before and the first thing to learn was that the mainsheet locks by pulling up and releases by pulling down - the opposite to other cleated mainsheets I had used. Clever German engineering. Very clever and very simple. But like having the indicator and windscreen wiper on the opposite side when you drive, many mistakes happening when I wanted to release and actually locked the main sheet!

To start with I was making no headway at all against the wind as the track shows. Oh and I had the helm for most of it even though the pictures are all of Chrysis. They're nice pictures so I include them anyway.

It felt to me like the waves were heavy but the wind light. Not really seen conditions like that before but... well, this is Limassol not Larnaca. Seemed like Bft 2 or so. Pretty calm, but the waves pushing us about a little.

We kept going and I slackened the jib and main - to try to go faster rather than make more direction to windward. Strangely this seemed to allow us to go more to windward too. So we began to tack up the coast.

Every time we went about it was ever so slowly. So I showed Chrysis backing the jib to make us go round... but even that seemed to happen in slow motion.

The Congor as a lovely boat - almost a mini-yacht in some ways. There is a small cuddy at the front with almost two berths. Plus loads and loads of very accessible storage. The engineering for the jib is also very clever German stuff, with loads of extra wires and ropes... which all do their stuff.

Suddenly, the wind starts to drop so I immediately bear off and head for home. We use the spinnaker pole as a whisker pole on the jib and goose-wing it. Up comes the centreboard [which is lead weighted by the way]... and still she is sluggish. I put all the sluggishness down to heavier boat with weighted centreboard, weighted rudder etc.

But then we spot it. All this time the anchor chain with grapnel anchor attached is off the port site about 2 metres below the surface. We have been sailing all afternoon dragging an anchor through the water!

As we get back to the shore, Chrysis takes over the helm and I get a chance for some photos. All in all a very enjoyable sail.