Saturday, 23 November 2013

Rutland Water on a cold November Saturday

It would be rather unjust to describe last month's weather as disappointing, since it did offer up a rather fine storm.  However, little sailing could be managed throughout October, so it is good to be back on the water seizing the opportunity presented by high pressure on this cold November day.  Any opportunity with the boat at this time in the year can only be viewed as sailing gained!

Cockpit view
The mizzen boom still makes use of my 'jury rig' - ever since the damage incurred from unknown passing traffic on the mooring at Pin Mill.
No engines permitted on Rutland Water.  If the wind drops, oars must be deployed.
Sailing without an engine is a liberating experience and I've only ever once needed to resort to rowing on Rutland Water - and that was for the final few hundred yards.  Today, Daisy II sailed beautifully throughout the day.
Sunset at 2pm?
Winds were pleasantly F3 NW but, as with most of my previous sailing on Rutland, which only ever takes place at the beginning and end of a season, it was cold.  As I drove in, the car registered 4 degrees, enough for its usual ice warning.  I was on the water by 12.15 and sailed non-stop through to 3.30pm by which time the Watersports Centre at Whitwell require all boats to return.
In the latter stages of the sail, before returning to Whitwell Creek, I managed a top speed of 6.1 knots.
Poor attempt at a panoramic view...

10.4nm, season's total 654.5nm
I think I'll keep the rigging on the boat just in case another winter opportunity arises!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Storm St Jude

It was no typhoon but, by our standards, a fairly big storm.  These pictures show the moments when the worst of the storm passed over the Orwell.  The weather report from Harwich suggested F10 gusts.
The owner of the upturned boat in the second picture must have been licking wounds afterwards.
Daisy II and three other Drascombes were just upstream from these pictures, and all survived unscathed.

Drascombe Coaster Bounty with owner aboard during the F10 gusts!  Daisy II lies a short distance upstream (left) of this picture.

 Many thanks to one of the local Drascombe owners for sending me these pictures.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Off the mooring

Daisy II now safely back on the trailer, having seen off storm "St Jude" from her mooring
We know that Drascombes are tried and trusted designs; herewith, yet more evidence of this.  I remain truly grateful for the quality of a boat which survived, unscathed, the ravages of last weekend's storm "St Jude"; that's more than can be said for a number of other boats moored at Pin Mill.  I noted F10 gusts on Monday morning at Harwich on the windfinder website weather report; Pin Mill was presumably slightly more sheltered but must, nonetheless, have been rather wild.  Subsequent reports suggest the eye of the storm tracked directly through this area of Suffolk.  I understand one boat slipped a mooring, another capsized, and noticed a few badly shredded jibs as I brought Daisy II back to shore in the dark on Friday night.  At the time of the storm, I had been in Cornwall on a short walking break but received a very welcome email following the storm from a fellow Drascomber at Pin Mill to reassure me that all was well.
Pulling her out in the dark on the 10pm tide, artificial light provided by the Butt and Oyster pub was extremely helpful.  Conditions were calm - a good reason for bringing her home then and not later in the weekend when another autumnal storm was due to strike - and she winched onto her newly serviced trailer with ease.

Now on the driveway, the hull has had a hose-down, I've run the engine through with unsalted water and checked the hull for necessary winter repair work.

End of season chores
I'd like to think the season is not yet over and hope to trail over to Rutland Water for the day later this month.  I'm also toying with the idea of taking her up to Honnor Marine for the winter to have her buoyancy upgraded and to leave the professionals to deal with a few other jobs on the wishlist.

Whilst October was a disappointing month with very little sailing possible, on the back of an otherwise superb sailing season, one cannot grumble too much.