From a sailing point of view, 2019 has not been that good. With the local geography restricting the conditions in which I can safely sail, the chances for me to get out on Naiad have been few and far between. What sailing I have managed to do has been good although quite frustrating at times.
I had hoped that Naiad would have been out of the water by now but, and this is the bad news, my frozen shoulder makes it impossible to sail Naiad especially to lower and raise her mast which is required when sailing to Ely where she would be hauled out of the water.
This also means that even if I were able to get her hauled out and onto the hardstanding at home, I'm not going to be able to work on her. So I'm just going to have to wait until the shoulder has freed up enough to make all that possible.
These delays have a knock on effect. I can't get the boat out of the water for several months and when I do I then have at least a month or two of work to do before she can be put back in the water. Realistically this means that she would not be back on the mooring until the Summer at the earliest and that then begs the question of whether she should go back in during 2020 at all. To be honest it is looking like she will not get back into the water until the Spring of 2021.
Whilst this is a bit depressing, and I'm making light of the situation here, it does have a couple of plus points. By the time my shoulder has recovered enough to work on Naiad, it should be warm enough to make things much easier than trying to do the work in the cold of Winter. To start with I'll not need to be wearing gloves nor thick boots and coats, nor will I have to light up the heater in order to be able to work on the inside.
It also means that varnish and paint will be much easier to apply and the epoxy will be within its working temperature range instead of below it.
So all is not completely doom and gloom.
It just feels like it.
As I mentioned in my last post, this weekend is the working party for the cruising club and as my shoulder is still in fairly good shape I went along. The new bank capping I did for my own mooring was so well received that my task for the working party was to complete the mooring bay so that the mooring next to mine is also new and to do the next bay over.
I won't bore you with the details as it is pretty much the same as for constructing my bank capping.
Instead, here is the completed bank capping for my mooring and the next mooring...
...and here is the completed capping for the next mooring bay over. The owners of the two boats in this bay are physically unable to do this work themselves due to old-age and/or illness so they generally lent a hand where possible and I did most of the work with the occasionally assistance from others when I needed more than two hands.
I did get to do some rowing on the river as we had a few clumps of Floating Pennywort around and these needed to be taken down past the club so that they could continue down river and over the Denver Sluice where they will then die in the salt water. At the moment the moored boats prevent them from moving and hence the need to move them.
Here is a short clip of a patch of Floating Pennywort drifting past the club house two weekends ago, complete with a passenger which is why I filmed it:
The Denver Cruising Club is, as the title of this post says, a member's club, meaning that the members are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the club. For the most part this means that you keep your own mooring neat and tidy but twice a year the club has a working party weekend where all the outstanding jobs get done by the members attending.
It is not compulsory to attend the work parties, but miss one or two and your mooring will not be renewed as per the agreement the members signed when joining the club.
So our next work party is on the first weekend in November but I suspect that I'll not be able to do much by then since I am developing a frozen left shoulder. I had one in the right shoulder a few years ago and I know what the pain feels like from that and I also know what to do and what not to do. I'm at the stage where the shoulder does not hurt much unless I jar it, twist my arm outwards or try to reach behind me. If I do any of those then the pain is excruciating. In a month or two I'll be at the arm in a sling stage.
So, assuming that by the next work party I'm not going to be able to do much, I set out this morning to replace the bank capping on my mooring.
And here's why. The old capping is falling into the river as most of the wood is now rotten. And it looks ugly and untidy.
The rot extends all the way along my mooring and the mooring next to me, but I'm only able to do my side since there are batteries and boxes on the bank the other side so I can't get to the the river's edge.
Here I have two planks, liberally coated in a pseudo-creosote preservative...
... and three ten foot scaffold poles.
By this point I have cut away the old capping and taken it to the wood pile in the back car park and sunk two of the poles into the river bed, one down as far as needed and the other one still up a couple of feet.
The poles are sited as close to the piling as possible but not too close or the capping will not fit.
The reason for leaving this pole too big is so that the output plank can be bolted to the first pole and then the holes for the second pole can be drilled in the correct place since I can easily draw a line where they need to by made by sliding a pencil up either side of the pole. this would be difficult to do if the pole were all the way down.
Here is the outer plank now bolted in place. The middle pole was not done the same way as the two outer ones but instead the holes for the U-Bolts drilled first and the bolts put in place and the pole then slid into the bolts and then down into the river bed in exactly the correct position.
You can see the ends of the U-bolts here where the nuts and washers have been recessed into the plank.
The top piece was screwed to the outer plank using long timber screws and this is the result.
A new, sturdy bank capping that should last a few years.
This took about 5 hours to carry out but I did have several cups of tea and a lunch break during that time.
I also sealed the underside of the poop deck. Self-adhesive neoprene strip 15mm wide and 3mm thick was place on the three appropriate side of the deck.
I think this should be thick enough to do the job.
The forecast for tomorrow is for torrential rain, so we shall see if this is sufficient.
I made up two bungs from the legs of the broken supports.
Time to test fit...
... and this bung fits snugly.
Now for the other side and ...
... this one does not fit. I'll have to take it back home and sand a bit off the sides.
Still, a good day's work even if I didn't get to sail.
Well, not really, but I couldn't think of a better title for this post.
I have made it a habit to take the Friday before and the Monday after an event as annual leave since it makes the event a lot less stressful than it would otherwise. We then have plenty of time to pack, drive, unpack and recover.
Last weekend was our last event of the season and you may have noticed that it rained a fair bit. The Saturday for us was fairly dry, but the Sunday was pretty much a washout and when we returned home we found out from neighbours that the rain on Sunday had been worse than torrential.
Now what has this got to do with Naiad I hear you ask and I'm glad you asked that question. Since I had Monday off and it was a fairly pleasant day, I went down to the boat just after lunch to check her over and to have a cup of tea. The tea bit failed as I forgot to talk along any milk and the powdered milk I keep on board was now powdered cheese after the hot Summer weather so I had a cup of soup instead as those were still good.
Sitting in the cockpit in the sun and relaxing I noticed that there was water in the lazarette where a rib prevented the water from flowing into the bilge. I checked the bilges and they were fairly dry, so not much water had got into the boat, but the question was from where had it come?
I keep the folding bucket, washing up bowl and drainer under the poop deck and on investigation I found these full of water as well as the bucket lid which, for some reason, was not on the bucket but by itself on the other side of the boat. Sill, the question was answered.
There are three placed that the rain water can get into the boat, even with the cover over the cockpit if the rain is very heavy and these are the two holes in the poop deck for the cockpit tent support legs and the after part of the deck where it meets the upstand.
You can see one of the holes in the poop deck in this photo and there is another one on the other side, but since the deck is curved, you can't see it from this angle.
This is the underside of the poop deck during construction looking towards the aft and port and the aft joint between the deck and the upstand can be seen starting in the upper left of the photo and ending near the middle. Even in this photo you can see that the joint is not very good and has large gaps.
Now, the poop deck is removable and so that joint is not sealed in any way and when the rain is heavy, this joint and the two holes allow water to get inside the boat.
The fix is relatively easy. Firstly I'll stick a thin strip of neoprene on the poop deck where it meets the upstand which will seal that joint but still allow the deck to be removed. I have some neoprene strip left over from sealing the forehatch. Secondly, I'll make a couple of bungs to fit into the leg holes.
I have to admit that I saw bungs in these holes in some photos of Shoal Waters but decided that, since the cockpit had a cover, these were unnecessary. I was in error thinking this, so bungs will be made in the very near future.
Fortunately, water only gets in when the rain is torrential, the cover keeps the rain out otherwise.
Considering that it is still the sailing season, it is astonishing that I've not been able to sail on Naiad for just over three months. Either I've not been here when the weather was suitable or I have been here but the weather was unsuitable.
Today, however, that changed. I'm here and the weather is suitable, for a change. As soon as I finished work I packed a few things and drove down to the club, made a cup of tea (Huzzah. No longer on the diet), prepared Naiad and then set off down river.
The wind was a little fickle to start mostly due to the turbulence from the club buildings, and the surrounding trees, but once clear of that I had a good time beating down river. As you can see from the photo above, the sky is blue, the wind light. You can't see it in the photo but the was also temperature warm.
A view on the same tack but down river instead of up.
The sails have suffered greatly from not being used these last three months. I do have a piece of light canvas that I use as a sail cover mainly to keep the ultraviolet rays during the Summer from damaging the sails, but the canvas is not waterproof so the rain gets it. The result, as you can see, is lots of green on the sails. They will need to be well washed and dried this Winter.
I sailed down river for about two hours before turning back for the club. The way back was mostly a run so both headsails were furled and I sailed under mainsail alone. The turbulence from trees and the bank did cause the wind to shift on occasion, but nothing traumatic.
The view astern. You can see that the wind has dropped from when the prior photo looking this way was taken, but that is the forecast for the day, so I think I turned about at trust the right time.
I sailed down river until I had just reached this landmark, a huge stack of straw bales. You can see it on the online maps:
Latitude & Longtitude: 52°32'01.5"N 0°21'40.1"E
Decimal Latitude & Longtitude: 52.533738, 0.361151
Google Plus code: G9M6+FF Southery
What3Words code: ///strutting.glimmers.silence
Still, Once I had reached this point I turned back.
The wind was light enough on the return trip for me to be able to hold my iPhone and take a short video clip. I really must charge the other video cameras and start using them again.