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Life After Little Else......or Rambles with Reg!
Liz Ju and Jack burn rubber, in campervan Reg, to tour coasts and inland areas, armed with maps, Cobb barbecue and anti-midge cream.
Nearly...but not quite
05/04/2013, Ardfern

She went back into the water last Wednesday, and I asked the yard to put her on the pontoon so I could prepare for the weekend and the Loch Spelve muster.

Everything was go for the weekend, except the weather forecast. It was unutterably bad, south westerly force 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8, and not much better on Sunday. So sadly I decided not to go for it. The first sail of the season is going to be a bit of a shakedown cruise, sorting out the things that inevitably go wrong because they always do, and I wasn't prepared to do the trip in heavy weather. So I didn't go.

Just as well I didn't, because as I was unloading the fresh food for the weekend out of the fridge, I noticed it wasn't cold. As luck wo9uld have it I spotted Ronnie, the guy who installed the fridge, and he came by and sorted it out in no time!

I had a problem earlier as my burgees, which I hoisted yesterday, came apart and one was stuck in the crosstrees, the other was dangling deep under the boat! I had an interesting time recovering the overhead one, with the help of loads of string, the wind and a boathook! I was successful in the end!

Plan B for the weekend then!

Fitting out

After a busy week with the grandchildren, time to turn the attention to that other member of the family, the boat! She came out of the water on Wednesday last week, and I spent Thursday washing and polishing her. Friday was busy also as I did most of the antifouling, including the propeller. Time ran out, however, as did energy, so I left the rest of the work until Saturday morning, when mercifully it was sunny.

I took Sunday off, but on Monday morning in strong winds and threatening rain I managed to remove the old hull anode and replace it with a brand new one which I've been carrying in a locker for a couple of years. Fact is, Little Else doesn't cause the zinc anode much corrosion in a year, so it has actually lasted for ages!

The big job was installing the new Raymarine Speed log, to replace the old one which doesn't work any more. FInding a solution for where to put it and how to mount it took most of the day. I found out that the bracket Raymarine sell for it costs around £45 so I opted for the cheaper but more labour-intensive option to make a mount out of plywood myself. That took most of the day, but it looks good and will serve the purpose well. I intend to mount it beside the VHF on an overhead mount.

I wired it up latterly to the autopilot, and tested the log. It lighted, it played, and with me birling the impeller with my finger it showed a positive knots reading. Awesome! All I need now is for the yard to install the impeller in the thru-hull fitting, and we'll be sorted!

I can;t wait to get her sailing again. This is going to be a good season, I just feel it!

West of Scotland waters beckon....

Back from Lagos at the beginning of March, suitably tanned and rested, only to be greeted by a really challenging wintry month of March weather here at home. Snow, gales, the lot! I was rather preoccupied with my eye operation, which happened last week and seems so far to have had the desired effect of restoring my vision, and repairing the detached retina this time.

So now it's a question of getting the boat ready for this season's sailing here in local waters. I have a number of organised events to base the programme on - Royal Highland Yacht Club muster, and sail in company to Belfast, Rival Owners Association muster, and the Ocean Cruising Club's Round Jura sail in company. In between times, who knows?

Here's another look at Little Else sailing up the Sound of Mull in 2011 on her way to Tobermory. Photo courtesy of Ian Clement

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Who: Liz MacInally, Ju Randall, Bagshaw, Jack
Port: Ardfern, Argyll, UK
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