Saturday, 11 October 2008

11 October 2007 - Not quite what was expected!

11.5 nautical miles

One of the things that I have wanted to do is to make it so that I can 'cruise' with the outboard attached and not get the main sheet tangled in the outboard. So I added an extra line about 15 cm back from the front of the rear buoyancy tank which would take the end block for the main sheet... as per the photo. This would also have the added advantage of allowing us to point slightly better without having to move the car on the rear traveler rail. That worked well.

The line is not what we will use eventually, as its not 'pre-stretched' in other words feels a little bouncy on the main sheet. I changed the mast head buoyancy halyard to cheaper line so will change this to better quality line this week.

We did find one problem with this arrangement though, and that was the tiller extension kept getting caught in the line. So I will move it further back by maybe another 30 cm. That should be a good compromise position.

Moving the outboard to a cruising position mounted permanently on the back of the boat will give us more space in the boat.

The aim of today was to see if we [Tim and I] could sail round cape Pila into Potamos. Sadly we were thwarted by two problems. The first was that as we started sailing at about 11am the wind was either very light or non-existent. The wind came from almost every direction imaginable... well... not quite but within a 90 degree range! When it dropped totally we used what Tim called 'Japanese Assistance' ie the outboard.

Neil and Paula, who were also out sailing towards the cape looked like for some of the time they had better wind than us as they were closer in to the shore. At one time sitting becalmed we saw them racing along the shore. They don't have an outboard so couldn't resort to extra help. They turned back to be with James for lunch - we had our on board.

As we got to about 6 nautical miles out from the cape we were greeted by a dark cloud which then started thundering and lightning. The lightning was about a mile and half away from us. Lightning isn't fun on a boat with a tall metal mast, so we decided to turn and run for home.

It was a long beat back across the bay. But a really enjoyable one. The wind came up and sailing was glorious. The forecast came on from 'Cyprus Radio' - the Larnaca coastguard, saying the the wind would be force 3 gusting 5. It wasn't as bad as that - more like 3 gusting 4. But that meant the sailing was really fun. The sea was pretty smooth so the wind just carried us across the bay. Tim takes over the helm to see if he can get us to plane since that would be good fun.

Then the rain came and we were pelted with rain. I haven't sailed in rain before and it was really enjoyable to see how the rain drops created thousands... no millions... of tiny holes in the sea as they hit it. It was really beautiful.

The approach to the club is sighted by a big round white gas tank just to south of the club. There is a second gas tank slightly more south still of that one, but its silver not white. In the rain its not so easy to see exactly where it is, but can be sighted nevertheless.

Just as we are about to get back to the club the wind drops and starts to be fickle again. We go about to tack up... you can see how excited Tim is with the fickle wind! As we tack again the wind drops totally again, so we resort to the Japanese Assistance again to get back.

As we arrive... the sun pops out.

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