The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2022.03.26 - Getting More of the Tasks Done

During the week the forecast for today showed that it was likely to be a sunny and fairly warm day with light winds from the East or North-East. Yesterday evening that forecast had changed slightly so that the winds were force 3 gusting 4 but nevertheless the weather was likely to be good. I decided to pay Naiad a visit and get some more things done. The intention is now to get her in sailing trim by the Easter Weekend at the very latest.

I rose at 03:30 and was on my way by 03:55. As I drove along the road to Feltwell a red waning crescent moon hung in the sky just above the trees. As I drove further long the road to Mersea the moon rose in the sky but remained ahead of me for most of the trip.

On arrival at the hard at 05:55 the tide had just turned as was beginning to ebb. Despite it being neaps I did not have far to go in order to get Sprite into the water. It was then that I realised that I had left my wellies at home so I resorted to bare feet in order to get Sprite afloat and man, was that water cold. By 06:15 I was aboard Naiad and there I found that I had also left the milk at home. So black coffee it was.

My first task was to take a photo of the temporary repair with the foaming polyurethane glue I did last visit. 

And here it is. As you can see the glue has certainly foamed but also as you can see, it has not entirely stopped the water ingress. The end of the wooden batten holding the plywood against the frame is dark at the end where it has soaked up some of the water coming in. Even so, the amount of water in the bilge was negligible and was easily soaked up and wiped with one cloth, there being so little water that there was no need to mop twice after the first mopping had been wrung out of the cloth.

So, I consider that this temporary fix is done and will do the job until Naiad is next out of the water for maintenance.

This is the view from the cockpit as I sit and drink my first coffee of the day. A beautiful day although the wind is a little cold out on the mooring and I have the heater lit to keep the cabin warm.

With the ebb running Sprite trails easily behind although I still have to put a small anchor in the water at her stern so that the tide overcomes the wind and keeps Sprite away from Naiad. I must finish making the small sea anchor for Sprite.

Having finished my coffee I decided to mop the Seagull mess off the superstructure and deck, there's bits of crab shell and class everywhere to say nothing of mud and droppings. It didn't take long but I will be happier once I have found a way to discourage the flying rats from camping out on the boat when I'm not there. After that chore I tidied up the berths so that one was clear and the other neat and tidy and put my head down for a nap. Paying the toll for getting up at 03:30 .

This is the sight that awaited me once I awoke about 90 minutes later. A very nice nap, I have to say and I thoroughly enjoyed the first sleep I have had on Naiad for two or three years.

Naiad is on a swinging mooring that is very close to the muddy spit that runs to the North of Cobmarsh Island and if the wind blows anywhere from North-West around to South-East via the top half of the compass, she will ground on the mud even on neap low tides. On the other-hand, if the wind is blowing from the bottom of the compass rose, then she floats even at low water springs.

Interestingly, you can see an impression of Naiad in the mud just above Sprint in the photo. It's about 30 feet away from where Naiad is currently floating and the round depression in the mud is where the rudder gets pushed around by the tide as Naiad is aground and digs a shallow hole.

Not much later and Naiad is now aground at the stern. It is quite surprising to me at just how little depth of water she requires to be afloat.

She is right on the edge of the mud spit as you can see here. It's about 2 hours to low water at this point.

I went onto the foredeck for about 15 minutes to do some work and since Naiad was still just afloat at the bows, my weight lifted the stern slightly and she slowly slid down the muddy slope for about four foot. That gouge in the mud is cause by the bottom of the rudder in the mud as I have tied the tiller off to starboard to keep it out of the way and so as Naiad slid forward, instead of the rudder making a knife-like slice in the mud, it did this instead.

I tried to get a photo of the rudder in the mud but I'm confined onboard and this is the best I can do.

About an hour before low water I could see what I think is the ground chain for Naiad's mooring where it disappears into the mud . I presume that in the mud under there is a largish sink weight.

And here we are at low water. The yellow buoy you can see n the photo is floating right above the edge of the channel and even at spring low water it would be floating there. 

This is the view on the other side of the boat. You can see where the wave action has stirred up the mud in the shallows and how, just a few feet away, the blue water of the deeper channel starts.

I pulled Sprite alongside at this point as I wanted to put the crate that was going back home into the dinghy to get it out of the way. She slid easily along the mud until I had to move her sideways a bit as she bumped into Naiad's stern.

Here's the crate and I can now put things Into the crate out of the way as I finish using the items that need to go home.

I bought some iridescent tape with which to cover the boat in an attempt to discourage the seagulls. I had grand plans for a way to cover the entire topsides, but it didn't work at all, so I just strung up some of the tape were I could and hope that will at least reduce the number of seagulls on the boat. It does flap around a lot and is quite noisy, so it might work. In the meantime, I'll try to devise a way to attach the tape to the toerail for the future.

As the tide started to rise I found myself wanting to get ashore. I had completed the list of tasks I had made before arriving and also had a second nap but the only reason I was staying on the boat, apart from not being able get ashore a low water, was just to be on the boat and that isn't good enough reason, or not yet.

As soon as I was able I launched Sprite and rowed ashore. This is the view of Naiad still on the mud but with plastic tape flying everywhere. You can even see the Reolink camera attached to her mast just above the boom and gaff. 

Such a lovely boat.