Arwen rolled off her trailer this morning. It took two big shoves but she rolled back and then floated off in a controlled manner. Her wheels were submerged fully but I had packed them with grease (using a grease gun) before hand so I am hoping very little salt water got into the hubs.
The sea on the slipway was clear and clean; little sparkly reflections of sunlight dotting its surface. Arwen waited patiently alongside the pontoon while her trailer was taken up to the top of the slipway and unhitched from Zebedee (our car).
I have discovered something and I cannot explain it in any way, shape or form. A real strange one. I can rig Arwen quicker when she is on the water and tied up at the pontoon, than I can when she is in the marina yard on her trailer!
I know! I can't explain it either but on average I'm 15 - 20 minutes quicker. I literally launch her and then do all the masts stepping and sorting from in the boat alongside the pontoon. Its taken me twelve years to discover this!
I had no particular plans today; what I call a 'potter about' day. High tide was 0948 - a 4.8m one. Winds were from the north east going around to the south - around 6 knots or so. Plenty of sunshine with a temperature of around 17C. One of those spring blocking high pressure systems for a few days.
We motored out into the sound and off Jennycliffe, I raised sails but not before I had a second epiphany. For some reason, I know not why, I decided to alter the downhaul block and tackle slightly. And it had an immediate effect. I was able to crank on more tension and the sail crease that has plagued me for so long almost disappeared entirely. Go figure!
It didnt last long reappearing around midday, but for a time I actually sailed creaseless. Blissful!
The promised winds did not appear today. The shroud telltales barely flickered. They remained apathetic and on strike all day! Arwen just drifted listlessly for the first hour or so, carried towards the breakwater on the outgoing tide. the sun shone, the sea was flat calm, pieces of driftwood overtook us. Very galling!
And then another highlight. A radio call from Matt Goss to say that he and his wife Cher were on the water in his newly built navigator 'Cher Maria'. They were just coming around the breakwater.
Being somewhat deaf - I misheard and thought they meant the main breakwater and so I headed across under motor towards some small boats in Cawsand Bay. Poor Matt was talking about the Mountbatten breakwater and must have wondered why I was trying to create a greater distance between him and me! have I said before I'm not the brightest in the pack?
His boat is stunning. it exudes high quality craftsmanship and sensible well thought out adaptations from the plans. An off white hull and whitish sails with blue sheer plank, she looked a sight to behold.
We tried to sail into Cawsand and gave up - no wind. we tried to sail the northern face of the big breakwater but gave up - no wind and a a ripping tidal current making us ferry glide towards the western end and the lighthouse rocks.
When we managed to head north with the wind from astern, the outgoing tide against us bought us to .....a standstill.
It was quite funny really. we drifted along, had a natter across the expanse between us and then went our separate ways. I had to be back early due to evening commitments.
Back at the slipway, I had a somewhat curt encounter with someone. Not me being curt but someone who has a tenancy at the marina wanted to know if I had paid, if I had asked permission to be on the slip or in the marina and that he had rights as a tenant! Given I wasn't in his way and that there was room enough to pull out two boats, I just ignored him but it sort of left a slightly sour taste at the end of a lovely day.
Arwen went back onto her trailer far more easily albeit still a little crooked. I have discovered that removing the masts and outboard, I can lift her over the few centimetres to centre her, before putting mast and outboard back in the hull for the journey home. A minor inconvenience and I will do some thinking as to how I can sort this problem.
Matt, it was lovely to finally meet you both and your boat is absolutely stunning. Congratulations.