Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Last of the Summer Wine

With the lift out arranged for Monday, it seemed a shame not to try and ring out just a tad more from this years sailing season.   Paul was taking Lapwing out at the same time so we planned a mini cruise close to home.
It was a lazy start, getting to the yard around 11am and after showing a prospective new member around the club we were ready to set sail by noon.
Leaving the harbour with a bit of a chop.
Our first stop was to be Studland with a Coracle expedition to the Banks Arms.  It was a bit choppy in the harbour with wind over tide.  I had to hold while the Chain ferry crossed the entrance but once in the Swash Channel the surface was calm. With the tide flowing out I saw nearly 7 knots on the GPS.
Moored and paddling
We got to Studland within an hour, inflated the coracles and paddled ashore and plodded our way up to the Banks Arms.  Despite it being nearly the end of Oct the weather was good enough for sitting out in the garden.. in fact because they had a fire going inside it was too hot in the bar.  
Banks Arms at Studland
 After sampling some of their finest Ales we made our way back to the boats,  we had to wait a short while for the tide to turn so we rafted up and had a cuppa before heading back.
Back to Poole
It was getting dark as we re-entered the harbour and absolute pitch black by the time we reached Poole Quay.  

After an evening of food, beer, pub quiz, pool and juke boxes I headed back to the boat while Paul went home to a comfortable warm bed;  who cares, I was afloat and ready to sail at 6:30.   The lift out was booked for 12:30 so I figured I could fit in another little tout of the harbour.  Sadly my iphone battery is about as useful as an ash tray on the pulpit so I have no photos for you.
I left the marina just as the sun was peeking over Sandbanks, the breeze was quite strong and gusting but that didn't put me off. I sailed over to Brownsea to brew up a coffee before making my way around South deep, it's a privilege to be out in the harbour early with no one around... especially out in the quite zone, it could be any year in any century.
I made my way to Pottery Pier for another brew up before it was time for me to make the last leg over to Salterns.. making a quick detour to check on the tender first.

The lift out went without a hitch, Ciao Bella and Lapwing were out on their trailers by 1 o'clock.  We got the masts down and tucked up at home by 5pm,  Erm to keep the theme going we nipped out for a pint to celebrate  :)

Friday, 24 October 2014

Harbour pottering

I'll start by apologising for the quality of the pictures... You'll be glad to know that the iPhone4 has now been replaced with an iPhone5s... We'll have to wait and see if the picture quality is better.   Lets hope we don't have to wait until next season :)

I had booked a cheeky Monday off in the hope that the weather would be ok for a sail.  The forecast was for a bit of a mixed bag but there was nothing scary in it.  The pic above kinda sums it up.. blue skies, dark clouds, sun and rain.

After re-attaching my boom, which had decided to go freestyle, I got away from the mooring around 11am. There was a good breeze, I had full main and about 3/5th of the Genoa out.  I should really have reefed the Main but struggled on as was.
Another sandbanks house bulldozed to make way for the next over the top incarnation.
Initially undecided about where to go I felt it would be nice to potter around the quieter areas of the harbour, so I headed straight on past the chain ferry and off to South Deep.  The channels are quite narrow in this part of the harbour and a great deal of tacking was required to avoid the use of the engine.

I seemed to be facing the on coming traffic as I went around Furzey and Green Islands.  There must have been at least, huh, eer four other boats out here.

All of them looking like they'd come straight from another era, although I suspect there was a substantial amount of GRP in their construction :)

As I turned the corner into South deep the clouds darkened and the breeze picked up,  with a Westerly there was little protection here so plans of anchoring were shelved and I set a course for Shipstal point.

The next half hour/ hour was particularly wet,   glad I'd brought my wet weather gear with me.   The approach to Shipstal, 'Upper Wych Channel'  can be very shallow and is quite narrow.  This was not made any easier by the arrival of a fleet of dinghies, each crammed with shouting and singing kids intent on crowding me out and aiming straight at me..  I felt ever so grumpy for a while and then realised that they were doing nothing wrong and I should be happy that another generation is out enjoying sailing.

I think this magnanimous feeling arrived shortly after the anchor had been dropped and the kettle had boiled.   Life improved even more when the sun made an appearance along with my Tomato soup.

Once I was warm and dry and no longer hungry I pulled up the hook and made my way back down Wych Channel with the intention of anchoring off Brownsea Island so I could go for a stroll.
The wind picked up again making the paddle in the Coracle a quick one to the Island but worrying me that I might not be able to get back to Ciao Bella if it increased while I was ashore.  It was also raining again.

Instead of setting out for a full tour of the Island I took a fairly direct route to the Cafe by the Castle. Coffee and comfort food was required.     One bacon, cheese and onion slice down and I was ready to go in search of my furry friends, the Red Squirrels :)

With the days getting shorter, I couldn't hang around too long so I quickly made my way back to Ciao Bella, fortunately the wind had abated a bit and the paddle back was both easy and dry.

I pull up the anchor again and made my last few tacks of the day back to pottery pier then had a nice easy sail at over 5knots back to my mooring.
The track below tells the story, 51 tacks... that's a lot of tacks and my shoulders felt it on Tuesday.  Despite the grumpyness I'd really enjoyed it and will hopefully have another installment before she gets lifted out on Monday.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Wareham consolation prize

Last week end we had planned to go to Weymouth.  Liam came over from the Isle of Wight on the Friday with the intention of heading further west.  We would have to set off early on Saturday to catch the tide West, unfortunately the weather had other plans.   Force 8 Southerlys were forecast for the morning accompanied by a deluge...
Saturday 4th Oct:

A plan B was required.  The weather was set to improve in the afternoon.  We couldn't go West, not much point going South, so that just left North... Not easy on the South Coast. :)
We Set off on the rising tide and  had a play in the harbour.  The weather was a spirited Force 4 from the Northwest.

After having a cracking few hours in the harbour we arrived at the river entrance, where I almost immediately ran aground.  Arrgh!  I was well within the stakes but I had been caught out here some years before.  Liam couldn't get near enough without grounding, eventually Paul got his Corribbee close enough and after a struggle I manage to break free.
We rocked up at the quay to find a huge crowd waiting for us, I expect waiting for a pleasure boat to pick them up.  Liam arrived just after me and Paul just after him.  Nothing quite like having  a crowd to watch you moor up.... Especially when you realise, just too late, that they are not waiting for a pleasure boat but are all watching one of their loved ones ashes on  a  small burning raft in the middle of the river and we have just stolen the front row seats :(.
We had a good night in the town, returning to the Quay for a night cap or two.  The Quay (Pub) was getting a bit punchy so we went back to the boats.
Liam had already turned in as he needed to be away by about 7am if he was goung to get back to the Isle of Wight by a reasonable time.  Paul and Myself could afford a lie in :)

Liam sent this too late for me to include but I not going to leave it out... apart from anything else he's got a decent camera. 

Sunday 5th Oct:
Paul and I had been struck down by a mysterious illness which resembled a hangover.. Can't think what it could have been.  We went in search of a bacon sandwich and lots of Coffee to cure it.
We left the quay around 11am with not a breath of wind blowing.  Back in the upper harbour I optimistically raised the main sail.   An hour later it came good and the breeze filled in nicely and we had another cracking sail back to the mooring.
I couldn't get back to mine as the tide was out so rafted up with Paul and had a cuppa until the tide came back.
A great consolation to our original plan.  It's not often we have time to just mess around and not care about the heading or what time we'll get there.  The season is nearly done but I intend to get out at least one more time before before she comes out.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Hurley 20 for Sale.

If anyone is looking for a good, well looked after Hurley 20, then Liam's 'Peggotty' is up for sale. Here she is, sailing in Poole harbour this weekend.

Late 1960s bilge keel Hurley 20 (20 foot) sailing yacht in very good condition for her age.

This is not a project. She is ready to sail away.

Good seaworthy boat
Can be easily sailed single handed or has room for 4
Usable mainsail and genoa
Cruising chute / asymmetric in excellent condition
Storm jib
Roller reefing genoa
Reef main around rolling boom
Ultra-reliable 2 stroke Yamaha 9.9HP outboard (not the steaming pile of crap shown in some of the pictures)
Engine bracket for accurate steering in forwards or reverse
Garmin chart plotter on bulkhead
Bulkhead compass
NASA Anemometer (direction not accurate)
2 x 10w solar panels
Phone / gadget charger
Lights (forward mast light needs new bulb)
All running rigging is set up for spinnaker use and is in good condition
Main halyard could do with replacement in next year
Lots of rope and fenders
Gas cooker
4 berth accommodation
Pontoon mooring (Folly/Medina) paid for until end of year
Possibility to take on mooring
Will deliver to south coast