Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Out she comes

Following our trip to Lymington I checked the forecast for a suitable day to take Ciao Bella out.  As I now have to be a bit more canny with the pennies, the luxury of having a crane out would have to be forfeited this year.
Tuesday 21st Oct was looking pretty good, light Northerly wind and sunshine.. followed by a week of high winds and rain!!  The plan was to drag the trailer to the club, sail across to Baiter, get James to drive me back to the club to pick up the car and trailer go for a swim, drag her out and go home... Simples.
The club was quite busy, it may have been mid-week but the good forecast has spurred the a few people into a late sail.  I managed to blag a lift out to Ciao Bella, which mean't I wouldn't have to go back and retrieve the tender from the mooring.
The weather was perfect so there was no way I was going to motor over to Baiter,  the sails were up in a trice and it was surging across the harbour.
My good friends Roger and Nick were out on 'Big Easy' doing some trials on their Ocean Steer product.  It's an emergency steering device for blue water sailors.  Oceansteer is a simple and effective device which is easy to store on a boat.  I said that I'd swing by and take some photos for them.
After our play in the harbour it was time to head for the slipway, timing was everything today as I had to get the boat on the trailer bang on high water.  I saw James driving into the car park as I was pumping up the coracle.. all good so far.  Trailer retrieved and it was time for a swim, I pushed the trailer right to the end of the slipway then paddled back out to Ciao Bella. Engine on and aimed her slowly at the trailer.  At this point I'd like to say that she floated majestically onto the trailer.
Unfortunately, because I hadn't done this for a couple of years, I'd forgotten to widen the docking arms.. D'Oh!   With the tide starting to fall I jump off and was able to pull her through the posts and onto the trailer, panic over.
After wrestling the trailer back up the ramp, James jumped in the car a pulled her the rest of the way out.   Paul arrived in time to help lower the mast and before we knew it she was on her way home.
Well that's it for this year.. already missing it and looking forward to next year.
Just a foot note, I spent some time last month digging out six tonne of soil from the front garden, hand barrowing it around the back garden and replacing it with six tonne of Crush limestone and Limestone chippings.   It has made manoeuvring much easier as the wheels don't sink into the soft turf and I no longer have to try and cut the grass around it :) I think it looks so much better than it did at the beginning of the year.