I am delighted to announce that Naiad was successfully launched and is now on her new mooring.
We made everything ready last night and went to bed early since we had to be up again at midnight. Having got up and fed the cats, made some coffee we set off from home at just before 1am. This was deliberate since I didn't want to be towing Naiad in any significant traffic. I was going to drive slowly. I also didn't want to negotiate a couple of the streets in Colchester when there was traffic since there are cars parked on both sides of the street making it a bit of a slalom if anything is coming the other way. Not an easy thing when you are towing.
The drive was totally uneventful and my plan worked well.
We arrived just after 3am with less than an hour to low water, which was perfect. We scouted the shoreline before setting to work. Firstly we had to undo all the ropes that I had used to tie things down and that meant undoing them in the reverse order to putting them on to prevent tangling.
As I undid the ropes I noticed that some of the rigging was missing. The pelican hook and bottle screw from the forestay and the four bronze belaying pins. I had forgotten to mouse the shackle holding the bottle screw to the end of the forestay and to tie the belaying pins in place. The forestay was going to be an easy repair since I had spares but the bronze belaying pins are very difficult to replace being custom made.
A short while later and after a few more ropes were untied I found all of the missing items, including the small and light shackle pin, on the side deck wedged under one of the lashings that held Naiad to the trailer. I guess driving slowly had an additional benefit that these Items were not shaken overboard and completely lost.
Once everything was freed up the bowsprit was mounted and the shackles moused. The gaff and boom were laid aside on trestles as I didn't want them to lay in the mud and Naiad, still on the trailer, was turned around and pushed down the shore to the edge of the now rising tide.
The mast was raised, the boom and gaff fitted and a very long rope attached to the trailer and another to Naiad and laid out back up the shore.
The trailer was then pushed back into the water as far as we could, we had wellies on, not waders, so that wasn't far enough to let Naiad float off. The dinghy was brought down to the water's edge and and we returned to the car to wait for the tide to rise far enough to allow Naiad to float clear of the trailer.
Which it did about 20 minutes later. I used the dinghy to tow Naiad out into deeper water and moored her to a vacant buoy before returning to the shore to retrieve the trailer which was now completely underwater. This was easily done by pulling on the long rope that we had laid out for just that purpose.
By this time it was mid-tide so the current was at its strongest and since Naiad's new mooring was up-tide and Naiad does not have any form of motor, we had to wait for the tide to slacken, We also had to wait for there to be enough light to find the mooring which was about 300m away from our launch site and not visible in the dark.
Finally, about 2 hours before high water, we rowed out to Naiad, boarded, trailed the dinghy behind and paddled Naiad to her mooring.
This is Naiad on her temporary mooring while we waited for the tide to slacken and daylight. Can't see her? No, nor could we which is why we were waiting.
A bit later on and the boats are now visible. Naiad is centred in the image, more or less.
I zoomed in to get a better picture, but the low light conditions made it not so good.
The same two photos but taken nearly an hour later in full daylight.
Such a nice boat.
Finally, on her new mooring as we are leaving.
As you can see from the lack of waves there was no wind at all and the ripples you can see were made by either the still rising tide or the oars as I rowed.
There is still more to do on Naiad before she can be sailed, but we were very tired by this point and still had a two hour drive home so we made sure that Naiad was safely moored and left the rest for the next visit.
I can't wait !!!
Time for a cup of tea.