Thursday, 14 July 2016

Moving home

Last week I helped a friend move his boat from Torquay to Poole. The trip started with a pre purchase survey on a Southerly 100 at Trouts boat yard in Topsham which Nick had organised.   Interesting to see the Southerly dangling over the hard while the keel was operated.

With work out of the way we made our way to Torquay,  I loaded the boat with our provisions while Nick stashed the car somewhere out of way.   We settled in for the evening with a tinny or two and Nick rustled up a Chilli and rice.  The third Amigo 'Roger' arrived by train at 9pm.. stepped out of the station straight onto a bus, perfect timing.

Nicks boat is a rather splendid Poncin Harmony 34.. Slightly roomier and a tad quicker than Ciao Bella... BUT I WON'T BE TURNED :)  Torquay Marina is quite nice but it has to be said, the showers and loos leave a bit to be desired.  Smelt like I was showering in a urinal. 
Up at about 6:30 I was sat in the Cockpit with a cuppa when I noticed a Hurley 22 across the marina.

Trying to squint through the sleep in my eyes to make out the name on the transom I could see it was Strider on route to Plymouth for the Bring your Hurley Home event.   As it hadn't been there when we turned in, I guessed he wouldn't appreciate being woken at 7am just for a chat :) We set off towards Portland under sail, the forcast was for a WSW 19 knots.. direction was about right but there was little strength in the wind. We had to run the engine if we were going to make it around the Bill.

We had cut it fine and arrived at the Bill just a little late.  The race was starting to set against us so we moved further south and cut across a calmer section.  We then took a turn north to head fo Portland harbour.  In hindsight we should have motored from here as under sail alone we soon good dragged into the race.   It's not a pleasant place to be and took a long time to motor out of it but the boat never felt like it was in danger, kept it's course and didn't slam.  The worst part was when a wave broke over the transom and soaked me, filling the cockpit with sea water.

It was good to eventually get moored up in Portland, time to dry out and grab some food.  Saturday was a more civilised start to the day, setting off about 9am.   Out off the hrbour and heading east the wind started to build so we put a reef in the main.  Within ten minute the wind had dropped again and and we shook out the reef.  An hour later and the engine was back on again.
Quite an uneventful trip back to Durleston but then the wind picked up again and we were able to see what the Poncin could do.  We had an exhilarating ride back to Poole. Before entering the Harbour we rolled away the jib and entered under main alone.   The boat still felt well balanced with just the main up.

With Omega swinging on her new mooring we had a sandwich and a cuppa before packing up for the weekend..  An enjoyable couple of days with a couple of great mates.  Cheers.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Time for a catch up

Looks like I've been neglecting the blog.  Although the weather has been a bit pants, to say the least, I have actually been out on Ciao Bella a couple of times.

OOh... fast
Back at the end of May Lapwing Paul and myself made our way to Yarmouth, we had intended to go to Cowes but the wind didn't really help and we decided it would be nicer to sail to Yarmouth rather than motor to Cowes.

Lapwing on route to Yarmouth

 The wind was unhelpfully from the North East and ranging from F2 to F1 so had to make big tacks (100 -120 degrees on port & 005 - 025 on starboard) with occasional motoring.
Yarmouth was really busy with it being a Bank holiday weekend.  We were both rafted out but not together.. Paul was four boat out and I was five boats out.  Despite paying for a walk ashore it was easier to inflate the tender and punt between the two boats.
Tender inflated
The tide for the return leg on Sunday was mid afternoon so instead of killing time in Yarmouth we whizzed across to Lymington with a full main and reefed genoa.  The breeze had really picked up and it was a great 45 minute blast.
Rafted up at Lymington
After a wander around the pubs shops and ice-cream parlours it was time to head on back to Poole.
The wind really helped today, much more consistent and nicely on the rear quarter.
Getting blown home

The next trip was not until the end of June, I went for a weekend to Weymouth with John as crew. The high tide at Poole was around midday, which gave us time to help Bede drop his mast and re-step it on the mooring so he could sort out his jamming jib furler.   The weather was, once again, unhelpful.  A F4/5 SW on the Saturday made us take the outer route around St Aldhelm.  It was a bit torturous and we eventually got into Weymouth around 9pm.
There was very little space in the harbour as the Cove was reserved for Squibs which must of been having a substantial meeting. We ended up rafted out five deep again, at least the neighbours were nice :)  After a trip into Weymouth to find some food and a couple of pints in the wonder that is Wetherspoons, we made it back to Ciao Bella for an early nights sleep.

The return on Sunday was at a civilised 0830. This time the weather was with us and we had a cracking sail back to Poole.   As we came flying back into the harbour I even considered  going around the islands but thought better of it. Felt good to be back on board again, seem to be having long periods off the boat this year.