Sunday, 30 November 2008

8.5 Nautical Miles

Morning (Bft 1/2): Tim came out with me in the morning and we took a southward leg from the club. The wind was very light indeed. Since I'm on the Day Skipper course I was concentrating somewhat on the navigation aids.

We photographed and plotted positions for some of the buoys.

The green starboard buoy for the main harbour is pretty weathered so only a small part is green - the rest a black mucky colour except for the top which is white. The white cap makes the shape appear almost like a can [which is port/red buoy] rather than the conical green/starboard buoy.

Actually its clearer that its a starboard buoy in the photograph than in reality on the water.

The next buoy is yellow - either a mooring buoy for large ships or a oil take off buoy - I'm not sure which. It's big! I wonder if this is what is referred to as a 'super buoy'... it certainly appeared to be over the 5m size for a 'super buoy'.

The light on the top has no solar cells so one assumes the power is coming from the shore line - maybe along the oil pipeline.

The next buoy was topped with cormorants and just a rusty box that is used for mooring.

The cormorants are very nervous and always fly off before we get near.

Next was the floating black pipes. These are the hazard I most fear.

Tim said he had nearly sailed into them as well. With any kind of swell they are almost invisible.

The final buoy was a rusting cylinder. Also used for mooring ships. You can see it was originally yellow, though there is almost nothing of the original paint left.

There are more buoys in that area and I will try to chart and photograph them all over time.

Afternoon (Bft 2/3): The afternoon sail towards the north was sailing single handed. I enjoyed that too... although I prefer a crew.

The wind was higher and we [that is Galini, me and God] were sailing along between 5-6 knots SOG which meant that I could open the bailers and empty the boat of water.

It was enjoyable to see that I am now comfortable sailing her alone in light winds - locking the tiller into shock cord and sorting out the boat as we sail. It would be fun to have a autopilot/windvane to allow me longer away from the tiller, but on a small boat its not really necessary. I cannot seem to balance her to sail with tiller locked for more than 15-30 seconds though, she tends then to bear up into the wind. Balancing her slightly off the wind doesn't help as she then bears off with risk of gybe. I guess with a dinghy everything is so closely balanced than very small changes of wind/rudder make significant changes to the balance.

I took her off the mooring buoy [very small red cylinder nothing like the buoys in the morning!] from the boat and sailed off from the buoy. Enjoyable to see I had mastered everything enough to do that single handed without being blown back onto the shore.

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