Early on Monday 14th November, around 05:45, we set off from our home in West Norfolk and drove down to Mersea Island in order to haul Naiad out of the water and bring her back to the workshop. The forecast was still good promising light winds and dry conditions but with the possibility of foggy patches.
I had packed everything the night before and fixed the guides to the trailer and thus it was a very short time between getting up and leaving. Just time enough to feed the cats and horses, brew coffee and leave.
The trip down was uneventful and we arrived about 90 minutes before low water.
Having parked the minibus and trailer on the foreshore we unloaded what we needed and launched the dinghy.
Low water was going to be around 0.9m above chart datum and that is still a long way out.
We used the launching trolley to take Sprite as far down to the water's edge as possible when not wearing wellies and then took the trolley back to the minibus and put it back inside.
We rowed out to Naiad, still afloat, thankfully, with the fog rolling in.
Not a lot of wind, so far the forecast has been spot on. Hopefully Naiad will not be aground at low water but we would find out for sure after about another hour as at this time, the tide was still ebbing.
The fog and rising sun lent an ethereal quality to the Bessom Fleet.
There are still a number of boats on the water despite many having been hauled out for the Winter.
Still, nice as it is, there was work to be done. We lit the heater first thing and Tina put her head down for a nap whilst I readied Naiad for the trip ashore. The bird netting was removed, rolled up and stowed, the rudder was put back on the transom and a few things sorted out whilst we waited for the tide to turn.
We paddled Naiad over to the public slip aided by the flood tide and picked up a vacant mooring while we rowed a shore and got things sorted out. The trailer had to be brought down to the water's edge but not so far that the wheels were in the mud. The minibus was also driven down but some distance away since getting her stuck in the mud would not be a good thing.
I then donned chest high waders, rowed back out to Naiad with a long rope, attached the rope to the sampson post, rowed back to the shore and then we pulled Naiad in to shore until she grounded. Then we waited.
You can't see the trailer here, only the guides are sticking up out of the water. It was a very peculiar feeling being up to my waist in the water at times when I pushed on the transom but not wet or cold. Still, once Naiad was on the trailer Tina slowly drove the minibus up the beach and the long rope pulled the trailer and Naiad out of the water.
Once Naiad was as far up the beach as we could get her without encroaching on the yellow hatched area on the slip we chocked her wheels, put blocks under the trailer and waited for the sailmakers to arrive and start their measuring as seen in the photo above.
We had thought at this point that one of the tyres on the trailer was nearly flat and the other was soft and we suspected that the nearly flat one had a puncture. I made arrangements to put Naiad into the West Mersea Yacht Club car park for a few days if required. The idea being that with the boat and trailer on the car park on blocks, I could return home with both wheels and get them repaired and inflated and then return at the weekend to take Naiad home.
We took a few moments to go to the Blackwater Pearl cafe and have a coffee and a bite to eat. We noticed on our return to the trailer that it only looked as though the tyres needed to be inflated, neither had gone down any more then when we had left, so the trailer was jacked up high enough to get the wheels out and I took them to a local boatyard where they kindly let me use their air system to inflate the tyres to the correct pressure. In the meantime, the trailer stayed safe on the wooden blocks while the sailmakers finished their measuring.
Once they had gone it was a race to get the boat ready for towing and as you can see from the photo, we had to pull the boat further out of the water and onto the hatched area. We couldn't go any further up the slip without starting to block the road. Still, we managed to get everything done even though the water had reached the trailer wheels but the time we were finished.
Then it was a long drive home travelling well below the speed limits in order to reduce the bumping. Nothing went wrong during the return journey and here you can see Naiad on the concrete hard outside the workshop after we had arrive home. We didn't bother to unpack anything, we were too tired and went to bed pretty much as soon as all the animals had been fed for the evening.
This is what Naiad looks like today. The spars, excepting the mast, and lines have been removed, the cockpit cover put on after removing all of the soft kit from down below.
The Reolink has been mounted on a pole overlooking the fields.
Naiad is safe and sound, ready to be worked on once the workshop has been tidied up.
The stern brace is there to prevent the trailer from tipping when I get into the cockpit.
This is the area in which I think the leak is originating. Somewhere between the top of the waterline and the top of the skeg.
The trailer is also up on blocks by the wheels which stops the trailer from rocking when I'm climbing in and out.
Before Naiad can be moved into the workshop, this lot needs to be sorted out and a place found for everything.
The chest high waders were a very good investment and once they are cleaned and dried they will live onboard Naiad.
A lot of work to be done, I'd better get on with things.