Monthly Archives: August 2015

Maintenance not Sailing!

Some people have been sailing all over the place, one has got to the Scillies, but I don’t think that they were particularily comfortable! Rain then wind then sun then rain – that’s just one day!

The Boss & I have gone down to the boat several times between us to start getting the boat ready for the deck renovation plus other stuff as reported in the last entry.

Deck before scraping

Deck before scraping

The deck edge after the paint has been removed from the fiddley curves

The deck edge after the paint has been removed from the fiddley curves

Removal of paint from around all deck fittings

Removal of paint from around all deck fittings

We now have a properly protected sockets for 240v power at the chart table, galley and aft locker. Later, I hope to add an immersion heater if I don’t break the hot water tank trying to remove the brass blanking plug. We have plans to add a couple of other sockets in the saloon when I get the extra lockers built.

While it’s great to be close to the CLub causeway, however, we’re also very close to the roosting places for the Black-faced gulls who leave their calling cards.

Gulls - Don't you just love them!

Gulls – Don’t you just love them!

We have got plans for sailing in a couple of weeks before we are lifted out in early Oct.


Sailing in the Monsoon Season

We’re not sailing!

The plan was to set off on Wed 19 Aug for about a week, however, the forecast is and remains RUBBISH: Rain showers, gusty wind and poor visibility! Why would anyone want to go off in those conditions? We’ve therefore stayed at home. On Fri, the Skipper went to the boat to start installing the cabling for 240volts.

With quite a bit of a struggle, I managed to push two cables under the floor through the duct that holds the cold water feed from the tank to the galley and heads. (See much earlier, around March 2014, for the fun I had removing the old water tubing and replacing them!) I hope to install an water immersion heater during the winter which will use one of those cables; the other is for sockets in the galley. Cabling down the starboard side is very easy and will be done when I remember to bring drills to make holes in the locker to screw the box into!

The distribution box is IP44 protected (protected from splashing water) and is fitted into the locker in the aft cabin; if it gets splashed we’re really in trouble! . The inlet is inside the aft locker also protected from the elements. I just need to get the sockets and boxes, decide exactly where they are going, install them and connect them up in the distribution box. Probably an hour to install, 3 hours to decide where they’re going!

As the weather was rubbish, I waited until it had stopped raining and managed some more scraping of the old paint on the deck. The plan is to scrape all the fiddley bits and eventually sand them by hand, the rest of the flatish surfaces will be sanded with a machine when we’re on shore at the Yacht Haven Quay in Plymouth. (Already booked.) Needless to say, it started raining again, so I got wet again! I guess (hope) that I’ve done about half of the scraping.

I bought and have tested an impact screwdriver to remove the bolts holding the genoa track down; it works! I undid 3 screws very easily, which I thought would be very difficult after nearly 30 years since their installation.

Got back home later than planned and much wetter than planned – didn’t get much sympathy either!

Dartmouth and Home after 2 months

After the channel crossing, we found that Hopscotch had beaten us to it; there were just down from the pontoon in Guernsey. Their boat was longer and faster than us. We had a rest day, intending, on the following day, to go off for a walk or go up the river, however, the Boss suggested that we listen to the weather forecast during breakfast (10:10 broadcast from Falmouth Coastguard) and discovered that the weather on Monday was forecast to be S force 5 – 6 veering to SW with rain. Not a good idea, Sunday was forecast to be S 3 – 4 and no rain, another quick change of plan saw us getting the boat ready to leave with the tide back to Plymouth. Hopscotch was doing the same!

It was a high spring tide, and very choppy in the entrance to Dartmouth; we’re glad that we put up our mainsail earlier! The wind was force 4 but from the East, with significant swell and chop, so we risked going over the NW end of the Skerries (quite rough for about 20 minutes), continue SSE until we were about 1.5 miles South of Start Point (again, quite rough for a while). Once clear, we goose-winged the main and genoa (on opposite sides of the boat) and motor-sailed for another hour or so until the wind had strengthened enough for us to sail downwind at 5 to 6 knots. Superb!

We continued sailing into Plymouth Sound, across the Bridge at Drakes Island and finally took the sails down and motor on just South of the Cargreen moorings. It was a great end to the sailing trip.

Packing up the boat took some time and it was divided into what we needed at home and what we can collect later. It took 2 journeys to the clubhouse to ferry the “what we need” off the boat. I suspect it will be 3 for the rest later in the week!

Friends from Eilean who were looking after our car came to collect us, however, after 2 months of inactivity the battery was flat and a little Fiat 500 pumped the necessary into a Honda CRV diesel and got it started. D & A, many thanks for the super lunch as well!

The pile of washing was about 400mm high on the landing! We’re home!

Mixed Days in Guernsey and Back Home

We explored parts of Guernsey that we had been past on the round the island bus on previous visits. This time we caught the bus to Pembroke Bay in the morning to walk back to the marina in time for tea. It was actually good to get off the boat for a while. Guernsey does not have really interesting walks inland, so we had to put up with the East coast. The sands were good, but not in the cold wind we were having, so they were all but deserted.

The walk took us past Beaucette marina, which was rather disappointing, with narrow entrance, the pontoons were well below the top of the old quarry, so there was no view, even at high tide; there was not much space for many visiting boats, although we could have gone there. The other bays on the way back were interesting in their own way. St Sampson was not pleasant, but it is the industrial estate for Guernsey. With prior permission, we could visit one day, because it looks very sheltered.

From Right to Left: Sark - Jethou - Herm - Some German Cruise Liner - Castle Cornet

From Right to Left: Sark – Jethou – Herm – Some German Cruise Liner – Castle Cornet

The next day, we visited the German tunnel museum, fascinating place. I think that the Brigadier Snow, who was in charge of the liberation of Guernsey, used to live in the village on Exmoor where the Skipper lived in the 50s and 60s!

This is the first time we have been to the Channel Is in the holiday season; it’s nearly full all the time with boats coming & going, and not as sheltered as we thought. As it turned out, there has always been room in Carteret, ‘cos the boat rally was cancelled! Bother, as they say in the trade.

As a treat for the last night, we decided to go into the inner marina. We had ended up with 2 boats rafted onto us, unfortunately they left about an hour later than they said. We went to get some fuel for the channel crossing and missed getting into the marina. We were on the waiting pontoon for most of the morning by ourselves, but by the time the berthing masters were letting us in (about an hour after we could have got in) we had 5 boats rafted onto us! Anyway, we got a berth inside on a finger pontoon so we could get away at 05:00 the next day. This was another reminder that we have not been here during the holiday season!

Guernsey Outer Marina whilst it's QUIET!

Guernsey Outer Marina whilst it’s QUIET!

The Boss on Cuchulainn on the good day before we went into the marina. (Note the inner harbour and sill!)

The Boss on Cuchulainn on the good day before we went into the marina. (Note the inner harbour and sill!)

At very silly o’clock, we were woken up by the alarm, got ready and waited for the sill traffic light to go green; after about 30 minutes of waiting the Skipper went to see the depth gauge which read 2.9m (we need 1.4m plus a bit). The harbour master keeps it red when they aren’t around!? Off we went into smooth water, light wind for a 13-hour motor-sail to Dartmouth. This was the best forecast day for it and, for once, it was! The sun rose as we sailed up the Little Russell. Enough wind, from the forecast direction, for both the main and genoa to be well filled, but only enough to sail at 3 to 4 knots, but with the engine at a fast tick-over we were averaging 5.5 knots for most of the way. The sun was shining, the sea and sky were mostly blue, NO RAIN! We lost sight of Guernsey after 24 miles and were out of sight of land for about 2 hours before we could see England. On the last channel crossing, we saw at least 20 ships using the shipping lanes; this time, we saw about 6!

We sailed the last hour or so, making about 6 knots, which helped to reduce the crossing time to 13 hours. We arrived in Dartmouth in time for supper and an early night.