Saturday, 5 September 2009

5 September 2009 - Last sail before UK trip

14 nautical miles (AM - yellow, PM - cyan)
This was my last sail before 3 weeks in the UK, and I am not expecting a sail there sadly. Tim is away in the UK/USA so could not make it a long sail which would have been great, but delivered on my promise to Lukas to take him out... so... the morning (yellow track) was Lukas, Katie and their mum Shiela.

Lukas is keen to sail, but is about the same age as the 'boy Roger' in Swallows and Amazons and Sheila is reading it to him. Katie is younger, but obviously picking up the jargon as sha asked 'Is the genoa OK?' when we were sailing even before we had mentioned it. Sheila is still feeding their youngest Helen so a one hour sail was about the longest we could manage... but next year I think she would like to learn to sail in earnest.

We sailed out to wards SEAGAS - one of the LPG gas carrier ships and then I handed the helm over to Sheila to let her sail for a bit. Lukas and Katie kept thinking that SEAGAS was turning round - rather than realised we were sailing around her!

In the past Lukas has got restless, and Katie managed about 10 minutes... both did extremely well this time, I don't think Lukas got bored at all and Katie managed about 45 minutes before saying she wanted to go back to the shore. Obviously Swallows and Amazons is working!

I took back over the helm for the downwind run back to the club, brought Galini round, tacked and took her in on a broad reach, which is safer than running straight in to the beach.

Then a break for lunch and Neil and I went out in Galini (cyan track) for a fun sail. I was helming all the time and was really enjoyable. First tack out from the club I had pulled in the main sheet as much as possible to bring us close to the wind and then had considerable weather helm, which is why the track is wobbly. Neil noticed this and when I slackened off the main sheet she sailed much better and the weather helm disappeared... but didn't get very much further off the wind than we had been. Tim always says to me when sailing 'when in doubt, let it out' [as far as the sheets are concerned] and I was pinching again and sailing slower.

On the downwind run we couldn't get her to plane all the time (Neil's boat Blue, being a Laser 16 probably planes much more easily than my Wayfarer) but she surfed the waves beautifully.

I have Holt swivel leads and cleats for the genoa sheets but the fairleads on the cleats bring the angle of the cleat up slightly. That 'slightly' is enough to make the release of the genoa sheet somewhat tricky... not for slow cruising like in the morning, but when Neil and I were pushing her a little more then releasing the sheet was difficult.

So I think I will try removing the fairlead and just have the rotating lead on the swivel as a first step and then put on an over fairlead if that works. Having the swivel cleats without tracks certainly makes the boat better for cruising as there is more deck space to sit. Neil and I talked about moving the cleats to the seats - which is where many racing Wayfarers have them - but the seats a great for non-sailors when I take them out so I think I prefer to keep the cleats on the decks.

All in all a very enjoyable days sailing.