2018.12.30 - And Another Winter's Sail

The forecast for the wind today was marginal but the forecast for the last few days has overestimated the wind strength so I decided to give it a go.

As I walked along the pontoon to which Naiad is moored I saw a Kingfisher fly away from the end. It seems that the local Kingfisher likes to use the end of the pontoon as a perch from which it can dive not the river to catch its food. Nice.

I was onboard Naiad at 8am and as usual, or as usual in the Winter, I lit the heater and put on the kettle. Whilst they were getting started I prepared Naiad for a sail. The wind direction meant that either up or down river were just as good as the other so I decided to head down river. I pushed back out of the mooring at 08:30, set main and staysail and set off.

I remembered to take some closer photos of the club as I passed by. All the previous ones I had to zoom in and that's what caused the grainy photos.

Those are a bit better.

And the forward view. Still grey but look at the state of the river, not quite calm but not that much wind either. Remember that for later.

The cacophony I recorded yesterday was gone today and peace reigned so it was a great sail. Again the intention was an hour's sail out and then turn for the mooring.

Peace and quiet(ish) as we approach the generator.

I decided to mount the compass for the first time whilst sailing, I was interested in what the river was doing in terms of direction.

It sits nicely on the bulkhead and doesn't seem to be that much affected by the nearby fire extinguisher inside. I wouldn't use it for navigation with the extinguisher mounted but for today's purpose it is good enough.

I turned back just before nine-fifteen as I had reached the outskirts of Modney Bridge and the buildings and trees were sheltering the river. Tina phoned a bit later on to say that she was finished with one of the horses and where was I so that she could take some photos of Naiad sailing. By that time I was about 10 minutes from the wind generator so we arranged to meet up there. Tina was using a decent camera and took some great photos. Here are just a few:

It's so nice to see what Naiad looks like when she is sailing although the wind by this time was strong enough to warrant taking in a reef but since I haven't worked out how to do that under way on a river without mooring up I left the main without a reef. I had furled the jib and powered down the mainsail by letting it out a bit. Still, she looks good. Despite the reduced foresails and powered down main she is sailing along with a bone in her teeth, the phrase for sailing with a small white wave at the front caused by the bows pushing through the water.

You can just see the road on the other side of the river bank in the left of the photo which gives some idea of the height of the bank just here. It is also obvious from the camera angle. The photos are quite clearly taken from well above the water level.

Once of the things that is hard to gauge when sitting in the cockpit is the twist in the sail. It's clearer in this photo. The gaff at the top of the sail is further out that the boom at the bottom. This is a good thing as the wind direction at the top is different to that at the bottom and the twist takes advantage of this difference.

The twist is even more evident in this photo, as is the bone in her teeth.

Then the wind was cut off by the wind generator and the pumping station building behind the photographer. I'm having to stop the boom from moving over onto the wrong side of the boat as I know that...

... a few feet further on the wind would be back.

And off we go back towards the mooring.

Along with the photos Tina also took the following video clip:

2018.12.28 - Another Winter's Sail

Down to the mooring early again today, the wind forecast to be force 2 gusting 3 and South of West so a good chance to head down river.

Once again an attempt to get a good shot of the moorings but no better than last time.

The view ahead is pretty much like yesterday except that today the Wind Generator (made by Gaia Wind who have just been saved from administration) is not turning at all.

I said the other day that going the other way is not my favourite direction to go due to the traffic noise, well harken to this...

... that's a whole heap of geese (I think) in the fields the other side of the bank. You can also see the stationary wind generator despite the wind I have in the sails.

The aim today was an hour's sail down river and then to turn back. I wanted to be out for around 3 hours and applying Uncle Charles' rule about one third out and two thirds back gave me the turn around time. It was a very leisurely sail, the forecast may have been for force 2 gusting 3 what we go was less than force 1 gusting a little over force 1.I measured it with an anemometer!

I was back on the mooring about 10 minutes before my anticipated time and the whole trip from door to door was just over the three hours I'd allowed.

Good sailing!

2018.12.26 - Boxing Day

The forecast for today was fair so I made haste down to the mooring, prepared the boat and set off down river.

Here's the club moorings from the otters side. I really must try to get a good photo from this direction.

And the photo ahead. A grey day and not much wind despite the forecast. They did get the direction correct.

I took this short video clip to show the GOBA people (Great Ouse Boating Association) the rubbish that's been accumulating on one of their moorings. I don't know what it is but it looks like some piece of furniture upside down full of rubbish bags.

I also spotted a clump of bright green in the river.

I thought at first that it might be Floating Pennywort but it's not, thankfully.

After that shot the wind started to drop so I turned round and went back upriver.

We were invited to a Christmas Dinner with friends the other evening and one of the Gentlemen present mentioned that he thought that sailing on the river would be much to much hard work "all that tacking backwards and forwards" and I thought afterwards that this was a motor boat person type of comment. When you hear people who own Motor boats talk about their boat it's mostly along the lines of "we went to this place" or "shall we go to that place next week". It's the destination that they are interested in and getting there on the river. Talk to a sailing person and usually the opposite is true. "I had a great sail today, just trolling up and down" or "went out for a couple of hours yesterday. Had a great sail". Here the emphasis is on the sailing and not the destination.

So, I greatly enjoyed the sailing upriver from the moorings as I tacked to and fro trying to get the best out of the fairly awful sails. I wonder how much better Naiad will sail once I get a professionally made suite of sails.

I had a very good sailing the river today.

2018.12.25 - Christmas Day

Whilst Tina was out riding Rocky, a daily outing, I decided to have my next cup of tea on Naiad

When I arrived I noticed that there was just enough wind for a sail but decided against it as I neither have the time nor the inclination since I set out for a cup of tea aboard, not a sail. Besides which it's perishing cold out here today!

Here's the view I had whilst drinking my tea. Not quite so nice as yesterday but I'm on the river and on my boat and that's all that matters.

There's enough wind to blow the smoke from the heater away and more than enough to make me wear a decent cold weather hat.

Guess what I got for Christmas!

2018.12.24 - Not One Leak But Two!

Yes. Disaster. The end of the world as we know it. Naiad has two leaks!

Here's the first...

...and here's the second.

I put a container dawn the last time I was aboard and you can see that the leak is significant. There's about a litre of water in there and about the same in the bilge on the other side where I didn't put down something to catch the drips.

I have now as you can see.

This is the problem, the rain water collects here and the finds any gap it can which in this case is into the cabin. You can also see where the mould and green is growing as a result.

To fix this I need to cut a spillway in the bottom of the hatch runner so that the water as a way out without getting into the cabin. But to do that I'll need to remove the hatch. That's not too much of a big deal but sealing it all back up again is a problem since I need to to be dry or the sealant won't.

The forecast is clear of rain for the next few days in this area but that doesn't stop the boat from being wet. The humidity, mist and fog mean that although it hasn't rained today, the boat is still dripping wet. There isn't much wind until next Saturday so I may just have to take the hatch off, carry out the modification and then put a tarpaulin over the coach roof with the heater going for a few hours. That should dry everything out nicely.

It does need to be done before the next rainfall.

This is the scene from Naiad's cockpit this morning.

Not a lot of wind, even the smoke from the heater wasn't going anywhere.

I made a whole pot of tea this morning and once I'd poured out the first cup I put the teapot on the heater to keep warm. Didn't do any good, the heater just boiled the tea and it tasted funny, so I didn't get more than one cup anyway. Since I need to make a retaining guard around the top of the heater to stop the teapot from falling off when sailing, I'll build in a spacer or a diffuser so that the teapot doesn't sink directly on the top which should stop the tea from boiling.

We'll see.

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