Saturday, 4 October 2008

4 October 2008 - Optimist racing in Limassol

14 nautical miles
Today was national Optimist racing in Cyprus taking place at Limassol, just off the Famagusta sailing club. James [my old crew from last year] was taking part so I chatted to Chrysis and we took his Congor down to watch.

The wind was very very light to start off with, so we used the outboard to get out from where he moors it, and then slowly started tacking down to where the racing was taking part. OK, so it was going to take forever, so we cheated and used the outboard again for a little while and then, of course, turned it off so we could sail into the club - couldn't bear to be seen motoring in after all!

Then Chrysis gave me the helm and I took out Neil and Paula to do a photoshoot of the racing. Now... I had changed the batteries on my camera last weekend. But they had run flat. So, that's what comes of buying very cheap batteries. Waste of time. Neil and Paula fared slightly better in that their batteries lasted a little longer than mine. Oh, well... next time buy reputable make batteries from a decent shop!

We tacked back and forth at the start line, but being there we were going to get in the way so we tacked up to the turn buoy and then tacked in to the shore, went about and went into 'hove to' so we gently drifted back to the turn buoy and could both eat lunch and watch the boats. We did that three times and one time we sailed along the tack line of the racing fleet and back again... taking photos as we went. Neil will let me have some to upload later.

The wind was light. The chart opposite is from Acrotiri which is just up the coast, but slightly more exposed than Limassol.

You can see that sailing up in the morning, the wind was barely Bft 2 and it claimed to reach Bft 4 late afternoon. It didn't feel like that to me. Felt more like Bft 2 ish most of the afternoon. Chrysis was asking about the Beaufort scale... which I thought was invented by Beaufort but standardized by someone else. Wikipedia says this:

The scale was created in 1805 by Sir Francis Beaufort, an Irish admiral and hydrographer. The scale that carries Beaufort's name had a long and complex evolution, from the previous work of others, to when Beaufort was a top administrator in the Royal Navy in the 1830s. In the early 19th Century naval officers made regular weather observations, but there was no standard scale and so they could be very subjective - one man's "stiff breeze" might be another's "soft breeze". Beaufort succeeded in getting things standardized.

The initial scale of thirteen classes (zero to twelve) did not reference wind speed numbers, but related qualitative wind conditions to effects on the sails of a man of war, then the main ship of the Royal Navy, from "just sufficient to give steerage" to "that which no canvas sails could withstand." At zero, all his sails would be up; at six, half of his sails would have been taken down; and at twelve, all sails would be stowed away.
The scale itself [courtesy of the WIT site] is shown below. From the 'Description of sea' column it would have been Bft 2 most of the afternoon.

One good thing for me to learn was that while 'hove to' the boat will yaw, but self correct. You can see the yawing on the track at the bottom left. I have put my Wayfarer into 'hove to' a few times before but always been wanting to correct when it started yawing. This time with Neil telling me it was normal I just lashed the tiller and got on with eating lunch and trying to see if I had any batteries for the camera and... well whatever you want to do hove to... like chatting to Nicos when he came over in the rescue boat.

Eventually we sailed back to Famagusta club when I dropped off Neil and Paula and picked up Chrysis and sailed back to the Limassol Sail Board Club where he moors his boat. A really wonderful day. Thanks Chrysis.

Oh and Chrysis said they will start the Day Skipper course in Limassol within the next month so I will try to sign up for that to do this winter.

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