Finally, after what feels like an eternity, Arwen and I managed to make it out onto the water yesterday, accompanied by a very close friend Dave. And he was as glad to be out on the water as we were too!
The weather fell perfect or nearly so! A day of sunshine forecast with light winds around 5 knots from the east. As it was, clouds did close in for part of the day and the winds rose to around 12 knots making one part of the day somewhat uncomfortable.
The great thing about Dave is he's patient. Good job as it took me an hour to rig Arwen instead of my normal 35 minutes. It never ceases to amaze me how many times I forget how to rig her after a prolonged absence from the sea! In the space of 45 minutes I managed to attach the down haul the wrong way, the top boom the wrong side of the mast and two sets of parrel beads completely wrong so that they would jam on various mast cleats. Dur! But our Dave, just pottered helping assemble boomkin, rudder and various bits and pieces. A patient man is all I can say!
Once clear of the marina (a big hi to all at Queen Anne's Battery.....good to see you all again after such a long winter!), we motored into Jennycliffe Bay on the eastern side of Plymouth Sound and pointed head to wind. Surprisingly sails hoisted rapidly with only one imperfection (sail bottom wrong side of boom......again!) and off we headed with the wind behind us into the mouth of the Tamar.
Now this is difficult to believe but this is only my second sail up the Tamar and I've never been under the bridges. Dave helmed Arwen skilfully as always, because winds were fickle. They blew from the north east around to the south and back again. Only later in the day did they start to come from a constant direction. At times he was having to pinch close to the wind in order to keep a good course. Light winds also meant at times we barely made forward progress, carried along just by the incoming neap tide.