Monday, 30 May 2011

May 15th, Orwell in a strong breeze, F6.

Orwell, 7.2nm, season's total 140.9nm
 Day sailing in a stiff F6 breeze.  Single handed, and using reefed jib with mizzen.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Mooring Incident 7th May

11.5nm, 133.7nm total
I've used a mooring at Pin Mill for some four years now. Daisy II doesn't sit nose to wind quite so well as some larger boats, and this can provide for uncomfortably loppy situations, particularly when a strong breeze is across a running tide. However, she's always been ok. Until this week. 
Today, when I reached the mooring, the cockpit cover was full of water. The central string, which enables me to lift this cover to create a tent effect and allow rain water to drain off the cover and out through the scuppers, was broken. This was not rain water though. It was brown and muddy, east coast water and, on tasting, had enough salt to cure a ham joint! Additionally, one of the webbing straps holding the starboard side of the spray hood, which I keep raised on the mooring, had snapped. To be honest, this fraying strap has been an accident waiting to happen, so I'm not certain, but think the wind must have led to this giving way. However, on this same side, all three fenders, all normally kept in place, but within the gunwhales, were hanging outside the gunwhales. Could someone have come up alongside...?
In the cabin, lots of equipment had been dislodged, which suggests that the boat must have been subjected to a sudden, jolt, or a sequence of lateral heels. Fortunately, the hull is unmarked.
I was last at the mooring on Monday, when the strong easterly winds (F6)were blowing, and this created some extremely loppy conditions, but nothing that hasn't been seen before. 
Possibly a container ship on the way up through had created waves which crashed over the gunwhales. If this is the case, the more likely culprit would have been a big motor cruiser, since the ships glide through water often without leaving much more than a ripple! But, motor cruisers and ships go up through here all day (and all night, in the case of ships). Nothing unusual. 

I suppose I always take a chance by leaving her on the mooring and recognise that it is my responsibility to make sure she is left so as to minimise any potential damage caused by weather and tides. Beyond this, I often think, at such times, she is very much in the hands of her designer, and have no doubts JW did a fantastic job. However, today was a bit like inspecting a sorry crime scene

Anyway, all is cleaned up, and the only real damage is to the sprayhood webbing strap, and the cockpit cover... but....

...perplexed of Pin Mill ...

Obviously, none of this prevented a pleasant sail down to Ipswich docks and back!

Monday, 2 May 2011

May 2nd "Force 5 gusting 6 & 7"

9.5nm, Season total 122.2nm
Having spent all bank holiday weekend waiting for the weather to calm down, I gave up and went for a short cruise up and down the Orwell.  Motored downstream, against the tide and a brisk easterly, and anchored off Suffolk Yacht Harbour.  Then used a reefed jib for a run up to the Orwell Bridge.  Even with a reefed jib, the speed topped out at 6.3 knots!
By then, the tide had turned, and strong wind against tide makes for turbulent waters, so I motored back to the mooring, taking three shots at picking up the mooring, and clouting the dinghy a few times!  Not particularly dignified, but worth it, all the same.