Saturday, 20 June 2009

20 June 09 - What a blow!

22 nautical miles
Today was a pleasure cruise for the family who are staying with us right now. When they arrived I mentioned the possibility of a sail and David jumped at the idea. At least two members of the family get very travel sick so declined, but we all went down to the club - the shore based part of the family intending to swim and sun bathe.

The wind in the morning was gentle Bft 3 - Bft 4... the cyan track shows the route we sailed. This was mostly helmed by David and Anna except the downwind run back to the club which I did.

After lunch the wind had picked up quite a bit [yellow track]... really quite a bit so we reefed the main sail and I took out David plus daughter number 3... he has four daughters.

Sailing in Bft 5 - Bft 6 was very much more trying even reefed and to start with I was helming. What made it more trying was the way the wind changed direction and speed as we closed in on the shoreline. We followed roughly the same route as the morning but at significantly greater speed.

As we turned back I set the boat on a broad reach, intending to reach all the way back, I gybed once and then went about and found that I could in fact goose-wing back. Now that was great fun... we were really surfing the waves. David was calling out the numbers from the GPS... 7.5... 7.6... 8... 8.2... eventually on one tremendous surf down a wave we hit 9.1 knots! This is probably the fastest I have ever sailed Galini. That was 9.1 knots surfing while reefed on a goose-wing run!

Later Neil reckoned Blue was doing 9.2 knots surfing and I can well believe it... Blue always likes the heavier airs and outsails us in those conditions... or maybe it's just that Neil outsails me!

As we came in towards the club I found the wind abated somewhat so decided to let Christina and David have a sail.

We headed off down towards the Power Station for a few minutes letting them both helm. Christina was a study of concentration. Well, it was blowing pretty hard even still.

Since the wind was up the kite surfers and sail boarders were out enjoying the blow... though they were all inshore not enjoying the real blow a couple of miles out!

Yes, that's water all over the lens... there was spray blowing all over the place as we climbed over the waves.

She passed the helm back to her dad... now you can see the look of pure joy on his [and her] face. This is sailing and David is thoroughly enjoying it!

I took the helm for the track back to the club and the squiggles are where I am showing David how to back the genoa when going about in waves that tend to push you back. The trick is to allow the genoa to back for a few seconds, almost hove-to, and that blows the bows round making going about easier. The timing for that is important... so we did it till we got the timing right.

Well... that was a really enjoyable sail. The afternoon particularly.

Friday, 19 June 2009

19 June 09 - Sailing Tim's trimaran

5 nautical miles
The track pretty much shows our route around one of the Petrolina tankers.

Strangely most times the tankers are not in the same place as the Google Earth image... but today it was spot on.
Tim and I were sailing his trimaran.

He had been hoping for stronger winds, but they were very light today. Just as we passed the tanker on the starboard side the wind drops even more so we head back to the club as we didn't have the motor with us.
This was my first time out on his trimaran.

Tim had said recently that it seemed in light airs the boat was sailing slower. Back at the club we tightened the forestay and the leading edge of the jib and then had a quick out and back to test and it seems to be significantly faster and more responsive.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

16 June 09 - 3pm phone call "Quick sail?"

Approx 7 nautical miles
Phone call with Tim around 3pm... 'Quick sail?' well do we need to be asked?

So... down to the club and out for a quick sail. The batteries for the GPS were flat so there is no track. The most notable thing about this sail was that we were sailing so fast on a goose-wing run downwind that we were overtaking the waves. Wish I could tell how fast it was.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

13 Jun 09 - a very different morning and afternoon

25 nautical miles

Kind of busy weekend. Tim couldn't do a whole day today, but could do the afternoon, so when I was round at Sheila's house yesterday evening I offered a morning to take her and her friend Peggy out sailing.

And that's how it happened. I let Shiela take the helm first and then got about to sort out the boat... which involved climbing out on the foredeck to sort out the roller reefing which was jammed.

Peggy and Marie started off as passengers. Marie asked to helm, but this is Peggy and Sheila's treat so we held her off for a while.

Since the wind was really calm and waves low I then passed the helm over to Peggy.

Now that was interesting. I have about 6 words of German and Peggy, who is German, has not many more words of English. So Sheila or Marie interpreted.

Then when we got back to the shore, we took out the kids in about 3 short trips. I really could do with some children's buoyancy aids!

Then at 1pm Tim and Mark showed up so we started a longer trip out around the bay and back pask Dhekelia. The wind picked up and it was great fun sailing. Really really enjoyable.

Monday, 8 June 2009

8 June 09 - Larnaca Kataklismos Regatta

11 nautical miles

Today was the Kataklismos Regatta, where the whole club sails round to Finikoudes and has a McDonalds lunch to celebrate after the races yesterday.

Did I say races yesterday? Well... I had planned for the races to be today, like they were last year... hence why I was taking Sean and Co out yesterday and then found they were yesterday and today was just regatta.

Oh well... never mind. The Optimists were out on the water first and we followed them.

I felt like a mother hen following her brood... they were so small and fragile looking compared to us.

One of the Optimists [not this one] got very behind so we stayed around to look after it. The two rescue boats were out chasing around having fun and burning fuel.

Actually when we stayed behind we had to motor too... I tried sailing on just genoa but couldn't hold same course as the slow Optimist... then I tried just main sail, but couldn't spill enough wind to stay with it.

Best was motor sailing with genoa and 2 HP Yamaha where I could regulate the speed with the motor.

The Optimist sailors ranged from very experienced, like James, to youngsters who had only been sailing a month. For them this was a great adventure, sailing 11 nautical miles rather than just back and forth in front of the club.

Sadly Nickos, the sailing instructor from the club was not with us today. A week or so ago he damaged his knee in a football accident and had it operated on last Friday so was sitting at the club with binoculars.

Jacob was particularly miffed about not racing. Talk about competitive! He just wants to race everyone.

Well hopefully I will start him on Optimists soon and will get a chance to learn to sail a small boat himself and then race. The club loves youngsters who will compete and with a will to win.

We passed a pleasure boat anchored fishing right next to a great big tanker.

Now that I did not understand at all. Why there? There is all this great big sea to fish in... why next to a great big tanker?
Well... actually two great big tankers if the truth be known.

Josh and Jacob were particularly impressed with the size of the anchor. Somewhat bigger than the boat we were sailing in.

I cannot think sailing those great hulks around the world is very exciting. and the fear of explosion from the fuel oil being carried would keep me awake at nights.

Josh also had a chance to helm Galini.

We had a meal this evening at the Offshore Sailing Club at the marina. Petros asked why I was taking so much... no, I spelled that wrong I mean tacking so much!

I think he thought I should have been awarded the prize for most tacks. He said I looked like a British 'man-o-war' the way we were tacking back and forth. Some of this was looking after the extra Optimist... some was getting too close to the marina and trying to avoid boats coming in or out... and some was crew training! Well... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

But I must admit this is the strangest track I have had ever when I looked on Google Earth.

The Optimist fleet certainly looks a grand sight sailing across the bay.

The wind was light - Bft 2 all day which was good for the youngsters but would have given us more fun with a little more.
Well... even the more experienced Optimist sailors like James could do with more. But having people like James along meant there were coaches alongside almost everyone who needed help.

And when James got bored because of the calm?
Well... he stood up, rocked the boat and made his own waves!

After lunch at MacDonalds on Finikoudes it was time for a sail back. Jacob wanted to race Blue of course...
We did sail back together most of the way. Both of us goose-winged with whisker poles out. Because the Wayfarer is chined hull Josh, Jacob and I sat on the stern buoyancy tank to lift the front of the boat and make it plane slightly better. There was not really enough wind for that though.

I found a new move in sailing too... Neil came around and threw 'dirty wind' to me while running [I didn't know you could do this while running] forcing me to bear off toward the tanker. So that's what racing is about eh? OK, we're not racing really.

A very enjoyable time.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

7 Jun 09 - Airport and back

17 nautical miles

This was a day cruise with Sean, Ronan and Kara... so it depended on the direction of the wind where we went to. The wind meant we could have a beat up towards the airport and a broad reach followed by a downwind run back. And I forgot to take any photos.

Today was races at the club. It had originally been Monday for the races, but was changed to Sunday. Tomorrow will be the regatta.

We got down to the club by 9:30 to be out on the water and away from the racing space before they started. In fact I motored out for a cable or so to get quickly out of the way. The wind was light, Bft 3-4 all day which made for a gentle enjoyable cruise. Sean also has his day skipper so we split the helming between us and let the kids have a go too.

There were a couple of inconsiderate power boats that passed us about 50 metres away at high speed. I suppose we should be thankful that they did give way to us at all, but causing a 1 metre bow wave for us to climb over was pretty unnecessary as if they had passed further away it would not have been such a wave and reducing speed would only have cost them a few seconds. Oh well...

We hove to a couple of times - once for a 'bucket and chuck it' break and once for lunch. As we were approaching the airport a 747 came right over head. We were approx 3/4 nautical mile from the end of the runway and didn't get any significant jetwash, so I wonder how close you would have to be to be dangerous. Not covered in the Day Skipper Course!

The broad reach followed by down wind run was good fun and enjoyable. We then gybed out of it into a beam reach back to the club. Was pleased with the gybe out of it - it was a textbook smooth gybe while bringing in the whisker pole at the same time. I suppose having two Day Skippers on the boat, so it should be!

Only issue, one of the snap shackles holding the masthead buoyancy up has lost its spring so it no longer works. Will have to replace that.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

6 June 09 - Pila & Dhekalia

19 nautical miles

Originally I had been going to sail today with Tim, but having broken a rib sailing on SAGA III, he was still having pain and decided, quite rightly, that discretion is the better part of valour.

So late yesterday evening I SMSed to friends and then took their kids out. Here's Jacob again at the helm... happy as can be!

We sailed over to just past Pila 2 buoy, turned, hove to and had lunch. The water was really beautiful and sitting in the out there to eat lunch a real blessing.

Marie also took the helm some of the trip, but having turned and made for Dhekelia she developed a bit of a headache. Best thing for that was to get her head out of the sun so she rested on the leeward side of the boat with her head in the shade of the main sail.

How much was rest and how much was sleep was difficult to tell, but the net result was she felt better!

We passed close to Dhekelia Power Station. Closer than I think I have sailed before.

You cannot quite see the new power building they have constructed hidden by the main sail.

We then headed on towards Dhekelia Sailing Club, but all the boats were in - no bosuns to chase around like we sometimes do!

Turning back for Larnaca, the wind came up a bit as you can see from the graph below, from Bft 4 to nearly 5, with waves to match. This was much more exciting sailing back to the club.

Jacob wanted to splash through the waves, but Marie had a gentler hand on the helm and didn't splash so much. When we got back to close to the club we practiced tacking in higher waves which was a useful exercise.

All in all an very enjoyable sail and the start of the kataklismos weekend.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

3 June 09 - Happy Birthday Jacob!

5 nautical miles

This was a birthday surprise for Jacob!

He'd been saying for some time 'What I really would like for my birthday is to sail the boat alone with Richard'. We kept making no comment and Wedneday is normally a full work day for me, but I left work early and then went round to Jacob's house and said 'Like to come for a sail?' His face was a picture!

So, with his Dad to help get the boat in and out of the water [Neil and Paula also helped get it out] we went down to the club for a quick sail.

The wind was light to start with. We sailed after Neil and Paula who were out sailing themselves... and then the wind dropped... and Neil and Paula sailed right into the calm too.... and stopped.

But actually it was turning. The late afternoon offshore wind picked up and was really nice, though gusty which Jacob found a little difficult to deal with, so I hove to, reefed the main and everything was better.

Coming back to shore was interesting too... see how many tacks I did to try to keep within the boat lane.