The Boss and I arrived at Baltic Wharf on Friday to find that they had nicked our boat and put it beside the launch slipway. There seemed to be quite a bit to load on, food, clothes, and stuff, but there was stuff to get rid of, including the power cable and ladder.
Rowan had completed the canopy and the cockpit enclosure ( a good case of “just in time”!). It proved its worth during the next 3 nights afloat. Thanks to LNR Marine.
Anyway, the guys were very good, lifted us into slings, gave us plenty of time to antifoul the patches where the chocks were and under the keel. The launch went smoothly; I checked all the seacocks and were, at the time, fine. However, when we were sorting ourselves out alongside, I realised that I had not checked the depth and speed transducer mounts. Both were unusable; the depth ‘cos I couldn’t get the depth transducer fully into the mount – probably caused by debris and muck at the bottom of the mount. The speed log blank was seized solid! We later found that a heads seacock needed tightening.
The trip down the Dart from Totnes to Dartmouth was event-free. We had booked a berth at Darthaven came in alongside Starboard side to, but like our Rival (the previous Cuchulainn) she kicks to Port in astern which makes stopping at a starboard berth a bit more of a challenge.
By this time, we had created another list of bits we needed, for example, torches and a replacement hand water pump, ‘cos the old one leaked air back into the pressurised side of the water supply. This made the pump operate at the wrong times! The pressure switch appears to be a bit dodgy so that may need replacement but it’s old and may be unavailable which equals a new pump! We also discovered that the water tank leaks from the inspection cover and, in several places, around the fibreglass cover. This is a winter job and, despite tightening up all the screws & bolts, it will still weep a little bit of water, particularly when heeled or overfilled. (Moral: don’t do either!)
Our launch coincided with a Cargreen Yacht Club Cruise to Dartmouth, so on Sat we joined 6 others at the Floating Bridge pub for dinner.
The forecast for Sunday was W to NW 3 or 4 occasionally 5, with thundery showers; we were going west into the wind. Great! No chance for a proper first sail! It was a motor all the way back to Cargreen from Dartmouth. The weather was very sunny, all the clouds were nearly all inland and around Yealampton, there was a substantial thunder storm with loadsa rain. We left our berth at 08:30, topped up with some diesel (and discovered another winter job – replacing the filler hose and bleed hose!). We cleared Dartmouth just after 09:00 with a light tail wind. Within an hour it was about 8 knots and enough to fill the mainsail when I raised it. You can tell that this boat has been in the Mediterranean with all the Saharan sand/dust still embedded in it despite the serious cleaning it got this winter!
We did manage to sail with both sails up and no engine for 15 minutes! The wind had backed enough to the SW but it didn’t last, genoa came back in and the cast iron genoa came back on!
By the time we got to Start Point, the tide was beginning to turn foul against us so our average speed dropped a couple of knots and once clear of Bolt Tail SW of Salcombe we were managing only 4 knots over the ground. (No boat speed or depth!) The adverse tide lasted all the way up to our mooring at Cargreen where we used the tried and tested method of the Boss driving and the Skipper picking up the mooring. It was lovely and quiet after the bustle of Dartmouth. The meal was from out-of-date tins and lots of Lee & Perrins! The Skipper was heard to mutter nasty things the next morning – the resident gulls clearly had had a party on our brand new cockpit enclosure and left lots of nasty white muck. &@$£%€∞#s!!
Our small dinghy was full with the bags that we brought back from the boat and we were met by D & A who were very kindly giving us a lift back to our car that we had left at Baltic Wharf. We are very grateful to them.
It was a full-on 4 days but the boat is just about ready to go; the list isn’t endless but grew a bit during the trip.
PS Photos afloat to follow…