Monday, 1 October 2012
Saturday, 7 July 2012
Sunday, 1 July 2012
Monday, 25 June 2012
The original John Watkinson design for the Drascombe Lugger mainsheet:
- End of the sheet attached to an eye on the aft deck starboard of the mizzen
- Sheet runs up to a parrallel double block at the clew of the main
- Back down to a single block on the traveller back up to clew of the main
- Down to an upright singleblock on the aft deck port of the mizzen
- Sheet led forward through fairlead under traveller track to fairlead on base of tiller
- Cleat, if used, is further up on the tiller
On Ondine, we've converted the mainsheet to an arrangement I was already used to from our previous Wanderer, and seems common to aft-sheeted dinghies.
Essentially, we replaced the parallel double block on the clew with an inline double block, and replaced the single block on the traveller car with an inline double-block and becket. The fixing and upright block either side of the mizzen are redundant:
- The mainsheet runs from the becket on the traveller block
- Up through the top wheel of the clew block
- Down to the top wheel of the traveller block
- Back up to the lower wheel of the clew
- To the lower wheel of the traveller block
- Out to the helmsman's hand
Sunday, 24 June 2012
Monday, 18 June 2012
Saturday came with a blow, with gusts touching 38kts, which even on a small lake like Frampton-on-Severn can be a little hairy.
We're right in the middle of junior sail training at the sailing club at the moment, and I'm running the Level 4 course, which is about developing the kids' skills in double-handers. I've got half a dozen lads, all halfway competent sailors already, and pretty resilient, as only teenage boys can be, so despite the bluster of, at times, near gale conditions we sailed anyway.
More a day for heavy weather survival skills than any hope of covering off anything in the syllabus, despite numerous capsizes the kids did well. No casualties and no breakages; I've got a good bunch this year.
Only downside of the day was that I spent most of it in the coach boat when I would much rather have been sailing myself!
Friday, 15 June 2012
Decision point. Double tide out on the estuary on Sunday; high water around 7am and 7pm respectively. Which means we could explore down channel from Lydney and still get back before dark.
Downside is that we've not been that way before so, whilst exploring unknown waters elsewhere isn't really a worry, dealing with the huge tides of the Severn Estuary on a 19' open sailing boat is not a challenge to be taken on lightly or in ignorance.
High water Sunday evening for the return is an 11.58m rise to deal with. And, of course, the thing with springs is that the high tides are HIGH and the low tides LOW, do there will be shoals and sandbanks galore to navigate.
In our favour is the weather forecast. It's going to blow like buggery tonight and tomorrow, and tomorrow brings the rain. But by Sunday it's supposed to drop off to a relatively moderate F3 southwesterly, a warmish day with sunny intervals. Perfect, in many ways, for a down-channel adventure.
We've discussed it, Dad and I, and have decided the decision will swing on whether or not we can convince any other boats out of Lydney to come down with us.
It's not looking promising so far.
However, the alternative plan is for H and I to race Penny in the Frampton Paddle, which is part of the club's Dave Evans Championship series. I don't normally sail enough of them to qualify, but this year looks like it may prove the exception.
We're currently ranked 5th out of 52 entries so far, but that's going to change as the series progresses and more boats qualify. If we can finish with a top 10 result by the end of the year then I'll be very happy as that will be a very satisfactory conclusion against what it usually a very strong field.
But I digress. Bottom line is that I don't know what I'm doing on Sunday but whatever it is, it's going to be fun anyway.
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Our gorgeous German Shepherd, a bolt out of the blue completely unexpected, she was barely three years old, and the picture of happiness and good health.
On Saturday evening she suffered some sort of catastrophic bleed on the spine that rapidly progressed to something akin to a stroke and was rushed to the vets.
All far too soon, and we are left distraught and confused.
|"Can I fetch? Can I? Please?"|
|Monday Night Supper|
Wednesday, 30 May 2012
9.3m to make the top slip tenable [B]
8.8m to make first landing area on second bend [A]
7.5m to clear sandbanks in river
7.2m for tide to make the mouth of the pill
Sat 7th July, 8.7m at Sharpness for 11.16am
Sun 8th July, 8.2m at Sharpness for 11.53am
Frampton is Sharpness + 15 minutes
Therefore HW Frampton 07/07 is 11:31am
Tidal flow "3 to 8kts through Shoots"
Closer to springs than neaps
Estimate worst case 5kts VMG
[4kts tidal + 1kts boat speed]
Pill entry viable after 11am
Launch latest from Lydney at 10:30am
Lydney slip viable to launch from 09:45am
Might need to rope off the landing area to prevent livestock interfering with boats.
|Transit for Entry [Pylon & Conifer]|
|Mouth of the Pill on 8.2m Tide|
|Wanderer entering Pill in 2009|
|Frampton Church Tower (from within Pill)|
|Navigating the Pill|
|Top of the Pill on 9.3m Tide|
cooling off and clouding over. Not that I'm too bothered. One more day
of grind tomorrow, then I'm packing bags and moving the family to the
sailing club for a long, long weekend of idling by the lake. No rain
would be a nice to have, everything else is a bonus. Not even overly
bothered by the lack of wind, as we're not racing and I want Nikki and
the dogs to enjoy themselves as well. Getting either or all out on the
water would be a definite plus!
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
|FOSSC Open Day|
|Perfect Weekend Weather|
|"I've got no strings to tie me down" [FALSE]|
|Admiraly Chart 1166|
We spent the next forty-five minutes tearing along on the plane in a series of broad reaches, the boat speed exhilarating but the actual speed over ground low and making them last forever with the tide now punching against us. Eventually the inevitable happened and the tide turned (again, as the Admiralty Chart relates, "There is practically no slack water" in this part of the world) and with the ebb the wind died to a whisper and the churning waters smoothed out to flat. We dropped off to a run and, goose-winging the jib, headed back to Lydney Harbour.
|10.76nm covered in 2:20hrs afloat, 4.81kts avg VMG|
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Our final result of the day was 10th place out of 27 qualifying boats, so I'm quite content. There were three boats ahead of us in the results that I feel 'Penny' should be beating by now, and one or two further ahead that we can now beat on occasion. The conditions of the day with a F2/F3 northerly however are, looking back over the logs, proving to be our most challenging. In a blow, Penny's weight is less of a disadvantage against the rest of the handicap fleet, and once we're reduced to a drift we just seem to be able to switch a gear and conjour pace out of nowhere. I suspect our relatively light crew weight and my few years of racing a British Moth probably helps.
Of course, all this means that what we really need to practice for consistancy is exactly these sorts of conditions. And, ironically, they've been the prevailing conditions for this season so far, which is showing in our results overall. So much for the promise of spring gales.
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Had hoped to join the Lydney mob with Dad and Ondine for a down channel cruise and overnighter at St Pierre Pill between the Severn bridges this coming Saturday, but my long suffering, gorgeous wife Nikki has vetoed the idea, fairly pointing out that this will be the first Saturday night we've had in together since the beginning of February. It's a pity to miss the chance, but I can't argue with that and there will be other such trips later in the year.
It does however mean I'm around on Sunday to race for the Rosemunde Cup at Frampton. I very nearly won this last year in the Europe, loosing out only after at tie on discard to an Enterprise (I think the scoring system used sucks!) There was so much wind it was all but blowing dogs off their leads on the day. I still vivdly remember the second race in particular, and the shock of seeing most of the Laser fleet ahead towards the end of it, having thought I'd gotten well clear of them ages
earlier. I fought hard to pass them, managed it and then finished assuming I was therefore somewhere in the top third of the fleet; only to discover I'd actually lapped them and was at least three quarters of
a lap clear of the nearest competition.
I love sailing the Europe. Really going to have to think about selling her though, as my time on the water these days is completely absorbed between Penny and Ondine.
Anyway, the forecast for Sunday is looking like it'll be fun with Penny. Although we've proven it's not impossible to win races with her, for reasons I can't really fathom our best results seem to always come in a drift, which this weekend will be not. However, I would rather sail Penny in good company with my crew and struggle to better a mid-field finish than sail the Europe solo even if that could give me a shot at the front of the fleet.
And looking at the rain in the forecast, camping on the banks of St Pierre Pill this weekend would have been a damp affair anyway.
On the subject of pills however, I'll be lacking a crew again a week on Sunday as she's planning to race a Topper to complete the Race Training course she's spent the last six weeks on. There will be a 6.6m due on the Severn around lunchtime however, so might try and get up to Frampton from Lydney with Dad and Ondine to take a look at what the mouth of the pill looks like on a neap tide. Dry mud, I suspect. But the Noose is always an adventure.