Sunday, 24 June 2018

June birthday cruise to Pyefleet

High and dry: dawn in Pyefleet Channel
I haven't had much luck recently. Quite apart from needing to get the trailer serviced, Daisy II finally hopped from her trestles (see previous post) back on to a supposedly (see below) newly serviced trailer only to be stuck in 100 minutes of stationary traffic on the A14 last weekend.
Stationary for 100 minutes, but safer than the motorcyclist, a few hundred yards up the road, who the emergency services had to peel off the road.
Once moving again, there wouldn't have been much time to enjoy Rutland Water, so I returned home, determined, this weekend, to do some sailing.

Imagine the joy, then, of being stuck on the A130 with a red hot offside trailer wheel, whilst trailing down to Bradwell.  Hailing the AA, efficient as ever, we diagnosed a bit of a problem with a sticky offside brake.
It had by now freed itself, and the mechanic suggested the recent 'service' perhaps wasn't of the best quality.  However, with a few adjustments, it seems now to be working properly, and there were fortunately no further dramas for the remainder of the trip down to Bradwell Marina.

The 150 minute delay meant that I had missed the tide and, indeed, almost missed the chance to launch altogether, rush-launching the boat an hour before LW at the muddy end of the slipway, doing the remainder of the rigging whilst afloat.  Finally, I was ready for a sail.
Finally launched after a disappointingly dramatic journey.

I had intended to slip up The Wallet to the Walton Backwaters, but had missed the tide, so opted, instead, for a more leisurely sail across to a calm anchorage in Pyefleet, returning with the tide the following morning.
Mersea Island's battered sea defences
Unusually for me, on the return trip, I left Pyefleet about an hour before HW.  In previous visits, I seem always to have left at or around LW, perhaps ready for a trip up the Blackwater with the tide.  So, it made sense to capitalise on all of this water and sail in close to Mersea Island, something I don't remember doing before.  I had to dodge a few sand banks which seem to extend a fair way out to sea.  I also spent too much time listening to the endless drone of these ridiculous jet skis.  What people see in these things, I'll never know.  Only good for unsettling an otherwise pleasant sea, and making loads of noise.  Otherwise, it was good to sail in close to the island for the first time, although I do fear for its battered sea defences in places.

The other relief on this trip is that the outboard, which on the previous Broads trip had developed a marginally worrying rattle, seems to be working fine - which suggests my theory was correct - that the rattle could have been some object stored elsewhere on the boat.  Will continue to monitor...

White track: June 23rd Bradwell Marina to Pyefleet.  11.1nm.  Red track: return trip: 9.4nm

Sunday, 3 June 2018


Daisy II off her trailer onto trestles
This has been a long time in the making but Daisy II was finally tempted off her trailer onto 'terra firma' - using a set of trestles.  The initial design for these came from this link and most of the woodwork was done during the winter.  However, in an attempt to beef up the design, a keel support has been introduced, carving up a railway sleeper.
Today, the final deed was accomplished, made all the more complex by the trailer design, the various sets of rollers getting in the way. 

Back-winching, the rear support was in place first.

rear support
At the time, the rear of the trailer was just in front of these, and the trailer was already tipping backwards with the boat resting on a combination of this support and the trailer keel rollers.  As back-winching continued, the keel had to be jacked up in stages as the trailer was slowly pulled out from beneath the boat. 
Eventually, the final position for the keel support was in place, and the balancing forward trestles were pushed in place.

Forward keel support and balancing trestles.
Technically, the hull is now much more accessible for work, although it make take a little courage on my part to spend much time underneath the boat.  However, the whole thing seems pretty sturdy, particularly with the introduction of the forward keel support.  The key motivation for doing this now is to access the trailer for servicing, whilst I have a few weeks with no immediate sailing commitments.  Plans are well advanced, however, to trail Daisy II to Cumbria in July and to Cornwall in August, so the trailer needs to be in tip-top shape! 
Depending on time, I may start chipping away at some of that old antifouling - I'd quite like to get back to the original hull, and perhaps repaint beneath the waterline - that may all have to wait until the close season.