I think that everyone will agree that this has been a %$£* year for sailing, camping and any other outdoor activity. But we’ve managed several shorter trips this year but I haven’t posted the recent ones.
Here they are:
Mon 21 Aug
We braved the August holidays and went down to the boat to set off off sailing the following day because, for a change, the weather seemed half-decent, even fine!
Evening View from our Boat at Cargreen looking up-river towards Weir Quay
Tue 22 Aug
We had a lovely sail to Fowey, albeit upwind and made very good time, and spent a couple of days there, moored up-river at the Gridiron.
Wed 23 Aug
We tried out the Cafe at Mixtow, which proved to be very good, but unfortunately was not going to be open that evening for supper. From Mixtow, we walked around the area and having some difficulty finding the route of some of the tracks that we were trying to follow! But we managed to get back to the dinghy and the boat, if a bit muddy.
The showers at the Gallants Sailing Club (http://foweygallantssc.co.uk/) were excellent and still only £1. Fowey was its usual August chaos:
View from Gallants SC with only some of the chaos when the racing fleet is out
Our meal at The Lugger was also good.
Thu 24 Aug
Our trip back home was downwind, so we used the motor on a fast tickover to keep a reasonable boatspeed during the longish lulls. However, the Boss heard an odd knocking which the Skipper investigated and found that the new alternator had shredded its new belt. So we had to sail all the way back up river to our mooring. It was a bit slow going down-wind but once in the Sound we made good speed up the River Tamar. Too much so that when we came to pick up the mooring under sail alone, the tide swept us past the mooring and there was insufficient wind to stem the spring tide. The Boss was picking up the mooring for the 1st time for a long while and the Skipper put the engine on for about a minute to get back to the mooring without hitting any other boats.
This was a very pleasant short (for us) trip to probably our favourite port. It also proved that the fridge had definitely failed.
The Skipper talked to Gavin at Mount Batten Boathouse (http://www.mountbattenboathouse.co.uk/) who suggested that the alignment of the 3 pulleys may be the problem. After measurements with straight edges and adjustment with various thicknesses of washer, it was sorted – see later for proof.
The Skipper bought a new fridge from Gavin and set about improving the cold box in the galley. The inboard wall was drilled in the hollow-sounding parts and more foam was injected into it, it seemed most of it came back out again! But, it sounded solid. The base was filled out with a cut-to-shape piece of Celotex foam, covered with a sheet of ply sealed with epoxy and sealed in with more epoxy. During the winter, we’ll finish this with more filling and fairing and a final covering with polyeurethane paint to waterproof the finish.
Tue 3 & Wed 4 Oct
This was our final short trip to Fowey (again). We sailed upwind there and expected to go dead downwind back (again).
Sailing “Full and Bye” towards Gribben Head
Dolphins, this year were like the old London bus joke, “you wait all year for nothing and then 3 sightings appear within an hour or so!”
The Boss got very excited, but she always does with dolphins! The Common Dolphins came twice and swam in the underwater pressure wave in front of the boat. There were also plenty of gannets diving into the water for food and about 300m off the boat as we got closer to Fowey, we could see a pod of dolphins fishing with the gannets.
The way back was a repeat of our last trip, as expected – downwind with the engine helping with the fairly lumpy seas which occasionally got the boat surfing for short period. The Skipper briefly saw 8.5 knots on the speed. We got back home before the weather broke.
The ice block to keep our cool bag was still frozen after 2 days with the improved in the fridge. Now that’s a bonus! The alternator belt was still fine after several hours of running.
That’s our final trip done, we will be lifted out at Weir Quay (http://www.weir-quay.com/) next week with plenty of jobs to do. We will save loads of driving time going to the boat there instead of the Yacht Haven Quay or Boating World.
This winter, we’re fitting a wind-generator, a very superior autopilot (too expensive really, but the Skipper hopes to prove it’s worth it next year) and the fridge will be finished off. Plus, there are all the usual maintenance and servicing.