The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2022.08.07 - What is Going On ?

The last few months have been a little traumatic and Naiad has suffered as a result. Well, not Naiad per se, but rather trips to Naiad. One of my brothers died unexpectedly in May and any suitable Naiad visiting weekends after that were taken up with events from his death. Shortly after that my Dad went into hospital, not that unexpectedly since he was 92 at the time, and visits to him in hospital took up several more suitable Naiad visit weekends. 

He died a couple of weeks ago but I did finally manage to get a trip to Naiad the weekend after his death, travelling down in a Friday night and returning on the Saturday afternoon.

I timed the drive to arrive around high tide and was on board by 20:00. Oddly I was exhausted and turned in shortly after arriving. I didn't even wait to have a cup of tea. 

I slept like a rock.

I don't think I stirred until the alarm went off at 05:30, my normal getting up time. Then I had a cup of tea and ate my homemade baked bean breakfast.

This visit I managed to get Naiad off the mooring and out into the River Blackwater for a sail. No photos unfortunately since several things needed to be adjusted during the sail and by the time I'd done that and settled down to some sailing I was too tired to get out the camera. Still, I had a two-hour sail, albeit drifting with the tide for a goodly part of that time. But the sails were up so even though there wasn't enough wind to drive the boat along at times, I still count it as sailing.

As things would have it just as I ran downwind to pick up the mooring the wind picked up and I shot past the mooring like an express train. Well it felt like it anyway.

One of the thing I am going to have to sort out is trying to pick up the mooring under sail whilst there is a dinghy tied to it. I could trail the dinghy behind Naiad, but that would severely restrict her sailing speed. The current plan is to try and set an anchor 10m or so away from the mooring with a block attached in such a way that Sprite, the dinghy, can be hauled away from the mooring to lie to that anchor before Naiad leaves the buoy. The line would be tied off to the mooring but with a weight on the line to sink it out of the way. Then Naiad could be sailed off and onto the mooring without having to worry about the dinghy. Then, once Naiad is safely back on the mooring with sails and ropes stowed, the hauling line could be retrieved from the buoy, Sprite hauled back to the boat and the anchor retrieved.

That's the plan but we'll see how it goes.

In the meantime I now have to wait for suitable sailing weekends. This weekend, for example is a lovely sunny two days, but the wind yesterday was nearly a flat calm and today it is not much better.