Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Folly again

Arctic RoseHere is Arctic Rose, back at the Folly again.

Soon they will be thinking I want a permanent berth there.

The original plan was that we would visit Newtown, but the weather had other ideas.

So much so that poor Patch was quite seasick before we were even halfway, so we got blown into Cowes and onwards up to the Folly instead.

Together we had quite a bit lot learning on that trip!

It must be said that we felt quite sorry for the IOW festival goers, as the wind overnight was howling with rain while we were tucked up snug in our bunk.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sailing onto a mooring

SailingProbably the one thing I did worst on on my day skippers course was sailing onto a mooring buoy.

Here you see the results of my first attempt at this in Arctic Rose, that green buoy you can see off my port bow was the objective, and this was as good as it got.

I clearly need to work at this a bit more.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lusty in my way

Sunday's weather was so much better than Saturday's, a bit like chalk and cheese really.


Patch and I took Arctic Rose out for a little practice with setting sails and general manoeuvring, seeing as we could.

Sailing along gawping at the spectacle that was HMS Illustrious towering above us provided somewhat of a distraction for a while.

Glen you will be so jealous, as we pretty much had a beam reach in either direction the length of Southampton water.

It feels like I need plenty of sea room to do anything at the moment, and tacking and/or gybing without a bit of engine assistance is still a bit of a hit and miss affair. More miss than hit at the moment, it must be said.

Pretty much the entire time was spent experimenting with just the main sail then the main and mizzen sails, trying to make sense of what the wind was doing to us with various sail settings and wind angles.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Too windy for me

WindThe wind on both Friday and Saturday this last weekend was unrelenting.

This was me on Saturday, left staring wistfully under the Itchen bridge, while the wind raged on.

With it being far too windy for me to even consider venturing out of the marina, I spent most of Saturday ensconced in the wheelhouse, nice and cozy, reading about sailing instead.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Storm damage

Storm damageThe big storms and winds last week took their toll on a few boats at our marina.

Arctic Rose and the boats on either side of her took some rubbing damage due to the high winds we had. Apparently the wind swept right up the Itchen, and straight at our boats.

You can see the result of a burst fender on Arctic Rose's blue hull. What I've learned from this is to concentrate more fenders at the rounded part of the boat, rather than leaving them evenly spread out, as I did before.

What was interesting was the bow of the boat next to me was chewing up the pontoon directly ahead of it, this as a result of stretching her nylon springs. Springs are the ropes that stop a boat from sliding forwards or backwards when tied up alongside.

I would never have expected those springs to have stretched so far, but obviously they did. Another lesson then, is to ensure nylon springs are snugged up tight before a big wind as they really can streach an amazing amount with a load on them.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sailing with style

Mike & GlenHuge grins from Mike, on the left, and Glen, on the helm, as we cruise down the Medina River, through Cowes on the Isle of Wight, in Arctic Rose.

These are not made up smiles for the camera, but the genuine article as we all really enjoyed what was a challenging sail in capricious winds and a somewhat lumpy Solent on Saturday.

I met Glen and Mike on that day skippers course I did a few weeks ago, and this has been the first opportunity for us to sail together since then.

Both Mike and Glen are regular dingy sailors, so well know 'the ropes', though Arctic Rose, being a ketch, caused some head scratching and we did have to resort to a few engine assisted tacks/jibes early on in the proceedings. All good learning though.

Save for a near collision with some idiots in a yacht, who should have known better, it was a fun day for all of us.

I'm looking forward to what will be somewhat of a class reunion next month, with all five of us from the course out on Arctic Rose for the weekend.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The man

One person who looms large in this phase of my boating journey is Tom Cunliffe

The TV series, boatyard, he did on other peoples work restoring boats was of great interest to me while I was working on Lady Jane, which is where I first heard of him.

As I briefly mentioned before, I've recently done the RYA Day Skippers course, both the theory and practical, for which I prepared by buying and reading Tom's The Complete Day Skipper.

After the course, it was obvious I had to have a Channel Pilot which, co-incidentally, was written and compiled by Tom. My concerns on arrival in strange ports have been greatly eased by the descriptions he has given of the places I've so far been, and intend to go. It's also why I'm so keen to go to Yarmouth!

As part of my further learning, and yachtmaster ambitions, I also recently bought Tom's Complete Yachtmaster. I really bought this as his Complete Day Skipper was so easy for me to understand.

Anyway, this last weekend I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Tom when when we were at Bucklers Hard. What added to the pleasure was that Tom mentioned he was soon to be sailing a Fisher 37 to Greenland.

That Tom is doing such a journey in a Fisher re-affirms the good choice I made in buying Arctic Rose, capable of real adventures far from my home port in Southampton.

Tom if you read this, I'm the guy you did not shake hands with on the Jubilee weekend, as yours were covered in dirty oil! May the winds always blow over your quarter as you sail!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Out and about

BeaulieuOur destination for the jubilee weekend was originally Yarmouth.

Unfortunately, the combination of wind and choppy waves in the  Solent was making for an uncomfortable passage, so we ducked into Beaulieu for the weekend instead.

The harbourmaster staff there were extremely helpful, and we ended up in an excellent berth alongside at the marina.

I had expected the place would be heaving, what with the Jubilee weekend and all, but in the event the place seemed positively serene the entire long weekend.

Perfect for us.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Sleek boat

On the subject of other boats, here is one that I'm not sure if I like it or not.

It is a lovely sleek shape, built in carbon fibre, and I presume has the engine the hull seems to promise, so would likely fly over the water.

I note that even the points where the lines are attached to the boat are recessed.

From a boat perspective, I'm not that sure about it. For a start it appears passengers don't have that much to hold onto when on deck.