Saturday, 18 April 2009

18 April 2009 - Larnaca to Patomas and back

30 Nautical miles

Tim and I had planned for a long sail today and so depending on the weather would sail out towards Cape Pila in the east or south towards Cape Kiti in the south. The forecast for the day was northerly for the morning turning easterly winds in the afternoon. So the Cape Pila route was chosen, giving us a beam reach towards the cape, followed by a close haul up to Agia Napa... if we got that far and a reach back to Cape Pila followed by a run back to the club.

We started rigging the boat soon after 8:30am and were on the water by approx 9am and got past Cape Pila within just over two hours so after discussion decided to try and make it to Agia Napa - it would have been a long day, but we were up for it.

The forecast proved to be correct and as the windfinder graph shows we had significant gusts in the morning. But Galini handled them well, bearing up into the wind rather than having to change the main sheet.

I was getting a little cold - Tim was helming most of the way across the bay and I had on a sweatshirt which was getting wet from the spray and the sun was on the wrong side of the boat to warm me up and dry me out. So we swapped helm and I began to dry out, but was still a little cold.

However, the wind turned early. When the wind turned it was very strange... I was helming at the time and had to head more southerly to keep us sailing... then the wind went back to the original direction and we were heading towards Agia Napa again. There was a fish farm close to where we were sailing so deciding whether to go shore side or sea side of the farm kept changing as the wind changed.

Then the wind dropped so we made for the alternative location of Potamos under power. We'd already checked the engine close to the club when we set out to make sure it was working reliably. Having a topping lift means we could drop the main, lash it to the boom and keep space for us in the boat. No, we don't have lazy jacks... maybe another time?

I had been to Potamos before and the entrance is a little confusing - you have to enter from the north-east to get around the shallow shoal water on the east side of the entrance. No, we didn't sail along the shore, that's the inaccuracy of the GPS compared to Google Earth...

Since we were under power this time [last time I sailed to Potamos I sailed in and moored close to the entrance] so we motored slowly up the creek to have a look around and then back and moored alongside a cafe and stopped for coffee and chips - very healthy late morning snack ;-) Also, more significantly they were hot and warmed me up after the getting cold out on the water.

We need some fenders for Galini, mooring alongside without fenders is dependent on the rubbing strip... better get the fenders!

By the time we had finished our 'snack' the wind had changed making it an easy run back up past Cape Pila and across the bay to the club.

It was a wonderful sail - extremely enjoyable. Galini was handling like a gem. Sailing back the sun was on us the whole way so we stayed warm and comfortable. Must remember to pack lightweight cagoul to keep dry in future.

We still have the problem of water coming in the bailers, and on the broad reach/run across the bay from Cape Pila to the club the wind had dropped a little and we didn't have the speed to keep the water out. So a couple of tacks back and forth in front of the club with a bit of speed that was easily emptied out.

Had we got the spinnaker maybe we would have had sufficient speed to keep the boat empty of water. Hmmm... do I get the parts needed for a spinnaker? I have a new unused sail...

There was a little surf close to the shore, so the aim had been to sail in on a run, come right round 180 degrees into the wind to stall and then sort the boat out. We had dropped the genoa early to give us less too do, but when we got close to the club there were kids playing with a surf board in the boat lane, so we turned, tried to drop the main sail and then use the motor to come round in the surf.

We kept away from the kids, but the motor was now short of fuel and we hadn't topped it up... and the rudder was up since we were close to shore, so the motor kept stalling and because we were short of power and in the surf, the rudder came round more than we would like so there are now gouges in the rudder needing sorting out. Reminder: check fuel levels on the motor so that its ready for use when you want it!

When we got back to the club since it was still warm we did a little work on the boat - specifically I wanted to change the reefing method. I had bought Cyprus stainless steel clips for the shock cord for reefing [more of that later] but it wasn't terrible successful and I read of the reefing clips getting caught on the standing rigging, which would definitely be a bad idea.

So I changed the clips for plastic balls, clipped to shock cord. This appears to work very well and is quick and easy to do - will test it out on the water sometime.

Tim [who was sailing with me] likes the idea and says he will try it on his trimaran.

Maybe I will use the same technique for holding the sail after flaking it too...

However... the stainless steel clips weren't [stainless that is] and so I have horrid rust stains over the main sail.

I read online that the best way to get rid of these stains is oxalic acid... so now I need to find where to get it from.

Chatted with Nikos about the sailing... Tim and I had been discussing club events during the year, maybe need to encourage a few BBQs at the club... Nikos bemoans the lack of racing, so I mentioned my idea for a 'Larnaca Cricket Race' - no nothing to do with a game involving balls and bats, but my idea for a handicap race from Larnaca to HMS Cricket [a sunken wreck] and back. It would be a longish race [approx 15 nautical miles] across the bay, not just a short 'round the buoys' race and using the Portsmouth yardstick for handicap should make us all roughly equal.


hayley mcdermot said...

How long have you been into sailing? is it something you would do with a young family?

Richard said...

I've been sailing for about 3-4 years now. Sailing is very safe and I have taken out young children in my Wayfarer. They have to be old enough to wear a buoyancy aid [I wouldn't take a one year old in a dinghy for instance]. They also have to be prepared to take orders and follow them out without question if needed.

It is good hobby for a family. I would recommend it. But safety precautions are paramount. You can read the experience of the time I did get into difficulties this year. It was a 'text-book rescue' but the reason it was that was because I had taken the right precautions. The cause of the difficulty was a adult who DIDN'T follow an order. That having been said I wouldn't have taken young children out in those conditions.