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Tough Start


Good afternoon all,

It looks like my computer is going to be a pain and keep doing strange things, it brings the bottom grey bit up to cover the writing, one line per key stroke which is fairly normal stuff for me and computers but pretty irritaiting still, I have to keep dismissing it and then it gives me more white paper to work on. Anyway, you may be able to see, I’m Making slow progress down the Irish Sea at the moment.

I set off yesterday, Monday, morning from Rothesay having topped up with milk, pork pies, vegetables and salad and was sent on my way by Sue with half a dozen fresh eggs from her hens, very welcome. To start with there was little wind but I was motoring in any case whilst stowing fenders and lines from the overnight stay in the marina. Initially it wasn’t raining so I managed to stow my dinghy away dry. By the time I’d finished tidying up a wind had picked up from the West and we set all plain sail and made good speed as far as Brodick, 8-9 Knots mostly From Brodick the wind increased and I put 2 reefs in the main and rolled up some genoa to settle her down a bit which worked for some time, the wind carried on increasing, gusting to 30 knots so I ended up furling the genoa, which I needed the winch to help me with, because of the wind, and when the rope had finished coming off the drum there was still some sail left flapping about. I ignored that for the time being, set up the inner forestay and hanked on the Staysail. Once set this had us going again and we carried on, I sorted out the furler by adding some turns to the empty drum so as to fully stow the sail which worked well, although at one point it jammed and I was worried that I had a halyard wrap, but it turned out to be the knot sticking on something underneath. The wind instrument was also being annoying and not working often, it’s done this before and I’d thought that it was to do with telephones and I pads interfering with the wireless signal but turning everything off didn’t seem to help. A bit of a pain, then, more alarmingly, when the wind was blowing pretty strongly a knot came undone (I’d seen that it was close to the bitter end and I’d not done anything about it) and a solar panel flipped violently over onto the staysail winch, It’s bowed it out a bit and some glass is broken but it may. Still. Be working, I’m not sure as I’ve had almost no sun.

I was confused as to where all the wind was coming from because on my forecast it looked like just 1-2 beauforts for us, however it turned out that I was being stupid and was looking at the wave heights on the forecast not the wind speed, once I had this dialled in it went to all to reds and oranges which was more like what we were getting. It’s a programme I’ve not used much since being away on Freya a couple of years ago so I’m getting used to it again. It’s quite good if you know what you’re doing.

It got quite rough in the Irish sea last night and the anchor which I’d had. on the roller in case I needed it was banging so I had to heave to and bring that into the anchor locker, this meant pulling out all the fenders and mooring lines, tying them onto the guard rails, cursing a bit when getting submerged in water as the bow plunges into a wave and then heaving it aboard, turning it upside down and stowing it in the locker whilst trying to keep my balance as the boat dances around. I then put a third reef in the mainsail and we carried on overnight. C0me morning the wind had died away despite the forecast now opting for gales we were going really slowly with everything banging and slatting as the sea threw us around. I shook out the reefs and we motored for a bit to keep going and to top up the batteries (which are not enjoying 100% cloud cover so that the solar panels can’t do anything.)

I had some scrambled egg for breakfast, delicious, with toast and layers of butter and a huge cup of tea in one of my Parent’s mugs from Salmo and their voyage. The forecast is still for horrible weather from the West, I had Easterlies in the morning but it has now gone Westerly so will probably become horrible later, we could use a little more wind as we’re only pootling along at about 3 knots at the moment, it doesn’t help that there’s still a big sea running whcih knocks the wind out of the sails.

Well I’m going to make some lunch now. Will maybe blog again later.



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6 Comments


margogonggrijp
margogonggrijp
Sep 19, 2023

Hi Jock, we enjoyed your lively report of the start of this without any doubt great trip to Cuba and beyond. You can do it! We think of you on this unpredictable irish sea. Fair winds, margo and joris

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Nothing like a relaxing and easy start to the trip to get used to it all again, and to get confidence with solo sailing offshore! Checking the Marine traffic there seem to be others in similar seas. Hang on tight and hoping it calms down soon. Love K

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Gilly Dean
Gilly Dean
Sep 19, 2023

It WILL become more fun. Take care.

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aracolyer
Sep 19, 2023

Blimey - that's quite a start!! Hope the weather is kinder to you and your tech plays ball!

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hughcraigcowley
hughcraigcowley
Sep 19, 2023

Same thing happened with our furl er in about 30-35 knots this season. Really enjoy your updates as you have a great gift with storytelling🙂 Hugh & Gillian

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