Most FCs this winter are more Neaps than Springs and this made a huge difference last Saturday. Coming from one of the Gulags in Chichester Habour, a neap FC weekend means no creeping over the bar at 6am at LW with little water under the keel to then fight a spring flood all the way, normally beating in a SW wind to foreign waters far way in the west. This weekend saw us up at 6am so an hours lie in compared with last year and the sail to the start was far easier and less tiring and stressful. So thanks to Graham for this and he has been made the Patron Saint of Ronhilda as a reward??
A great day of sailing.
Once again, the "Frostbite" cruise was anything but. Friday might have been wet and windy but Saturday was close to perfect. Winds between F2 and F4 from directions gradually working their way around from east to north-west; enough sunshine to break out the emergency supplies of sunblock and some great "fast cruising" (this is similar to racing, but with much less shouting and no protest committee).
Thanks to the indefatigable Graham Broadway and everyone else who made it all possible.
Dinner at the RSrnYC was good, though there were a distressing number of people wearing ties.
Sunday dawned grey and miserable and the rain started in earnest early in the afternoon, fortunately after Shearwater was safely tied up back home in Gosport.
The Baltic is the Mediterranean! A huge bowl of the bluest of cloudless bright blue skies sharply etched with vivid green trees and pretty houses washed white, pale yellow, red and ochre, each topped with a neat red-tiled roof, clustering around ports in the small towns and villages of Danish South Zealand.
Having duly arrived in the British Kiel Yacht Club and been deserted by my crew (why do they always have 'commitments'?), my next task was to get myself and the boat to Copenhagen to meet Catherine. But first I had to address a persistent transmission rumble which had been giving me some concern since the stern tube replacement (got to have something to worry about on long passages). I spent a morning re-aligning 100kg of engine to within +/- 5 thou relative to the propshaft. Eventual success and did a short sea trial up to the 1972 Olympic Village at Schilksee to purchase courtesy flags for Denmark & Sweden.
we've come back from our 4th trip, now the boat is based in Scotland. The scenery is stunning, and sailing challenging at times. The wildlife has been more than we hoped for. Only the weather has been mixed - with cold and wet, warm sunshine, stong winds and fog - all inone week.
The last few years have been a steep learning curve for all of us involved with the website, whether users or developers. The initial redevelopment was thanks to the tenacity of Chris Smith backed by rear commodore membership and marketing Kate Newman. Chris brought a huge amount of IT knowledge to the project and had the foresight to champion Drupal and CiviCRM - two open source systems (ie free). This has meant the Club has a website delivering a high level of functionality at a fraction of the cost of a bespoke system.
Earlier in the week the forecast seemed good for an expedition to France so I took off the Dutch Charts and put back on the French ones. Sadly the weather forecast turned unpredictable with winds in the North on Monday so I wimped out and decided to go east on the UK side.
So Saturday at dawn saw Ronhilda leave Chichester at dawn (the lock keeper saying we were the only boat to leave on his watch) and creep over the bar with less than 1.8m at LW. Wind was from the NW so we lowered the keel, hoisted full main and solent jib and set off.
With the last lap of this years’ cruise now in sight we arrived at the Crinan Canal entrance at about 13.15 on the 7th August and in company with a couple of other yachts hung around outside the sea lock for a while waiting to be called in. Nothing much happened until it transpired that a junior staff member was running the lock and was not sure how to get us all in and in what order. Eventually all came right and we locked in, paid our dues and made ready for the transit. After chatting to the now complete and ever friendly staff it transpired that due to the lack of rain over this summer and last summer there was a shortage of water to keep the canal full. Scotland? No rain? Surely not!
The Fastnet race started on the 11th August and the LSC is represented by a number of members. Charles Whittam has again entered Juno inclass 4 with Mark Blunden and Simon Hughes in the crew. See http://littleshipclub.co.uk/content/round-rock-again-part-1. Sally Pearce, an ex member is also crewing onJuno. Don Shackly is crewing on Puma Logic in Class 2.
I have decided that I am too old for 4 or 5 days of sleeping at a 30 degree angle but I went to Cowes to see the start yesterday. Unfortunately the majority of the fleet stated at the mainland end of the line so it was difficult to see what was happening. However the big VPLP 131 Trimaran, Spindrift 2, sailing to a whopping TCF of 2.232 crossed the start close to the Island shore.