A Grand Send Off from Ashdown Sailing Club
Horns blasting and flags snapping in a brisk NE breeze our friends waved goodbye at Lymington, it does seem odd that we will be back in The Solent later this year having sailed the long way round.
The last few days had been a bit of a whirl getting the boat ready and saying goodbye. We expected Chris & John on Raggamuffin to be leaving early too, but they are on their honeymoon.
Then a swift spring tide took us out of Hurst Narrows and via the North Passage in to Christchurch Bay. There the sun peeped through clearing skies and the wind eased a little. Off Anvil Point a cross swell gave a lumpy ride before it was possible to head down in to Weymouth Bay and anchor in Portland Harbour. Our friends Mike & Hilary on board Champers were already tucked up in the marina.
Monday morning at 07.30 the inshore forecast, confirmed by the moaning rigging and rain slashing on deck was SE Force 5-6. Portland Race or a comfy marina, guess where Taransay went.
03/05/2012, Port Solent
Our house is rented, we moved out about 10 days ago and the new tennants have been in a week already. Almost everything we own went except tax papers and a few boxes which are at Colin's mum's.
We leave Port Solent tomorrow Friday afternoon, we feel the need to leave. But may stop on our old mooring overnight for old times sake, the tide is wrong for Lymington in the western solent by the time Colin gets back from dropping off the car. On to Weymouth Sunday if there is enough wind if not Studland Bay or Worbarrow Bay may be a good anchor spot. The budget starts tomorrow. Good job too 2 x gaz bottles a tank of diesel and a couple of Tesco trolly loads and 3 nights in Port Solent. How expensive, but it will all be worthwhile. The fact that I can drink two glasses of wine without feeling sqiffy might be a reflection the building tension...
Looks like we will get to Dartmouth next week as planned Colin was asking about a jazz festival he thinks is on...I feel a delay coming on.
After 28 years of home ownership 17 of which spent in the current home we have moved out, no storage unit, cleared out to the bare walls. A poignant yet liberating process, all those possessions gone, the loft, garage and shed are empty, 'stuff' free feels good. The kitchen gadgets and most of our clothes were gifted to charity and anything saleable sold. Our tenants moved in today and it is Colin's last day at work too.
However there are yet more very large bags of 'stuff' to be stowed aboard. Something has got to give. Maybe Colin won't notice those coils of electric cable being ejected from the bilge. We need space for essential provisions like tonic, limes and Ainsley Harriott's chicken and lemongrass cup-a-soup (the only thing for a queasy stomach on our boat)
Next weekend, weather willing, we sail out past The Needles bows pointing westwards. The long range forecast looks great, our fingers crossed.
This week we are living in an empty house, well almost empty, we do have two chairs and a TV set.
This state of affairs can have its advantages. Choosing what to wear is simple, clothes may not match but they work for everyday decency, just got to figure out what I have left for the hen night and wedding being attended before we leave.
Colin has found an unexpected advantage as well, he usually has a problem finding things in the rather full kitchen cupboards. Frying an egg Saturday morning he was pleased with the result of our clear out when looking for the fish slice. "This time", he said, "No problem, I opened the cupboard door and it was the only thing in there"
All those little jobs around the house have also been completed, it looks so good I could live here myself. But that would be missing the point.
The Isle of Wight ferry asks the crew of Taransay Mhor for their tickets
A light wind trip to Lymington checked that everything works on board after our winter layup. The weather was cooler than Easter last year when we spent 4 sunny days anchored in Poole Harbour. However meeting up with the Ashdown Sailing Club rally for a convivial evening in Lymington Town Sailing Club more than compensated. A few more jobs were ticked off the list before even lighter winds meant motoring all the way home. Spring tides gave us 9 knots SOG at times and three hours for a passage that usually takes five.
Cramming yet more gear from home in to the already overflowing lockers we realised that you just can not get the contents of one house in to one boat.
Penguin starts his research
Penguin has volunteered as researcher for our round UK trip we left him aboard after the weekend with suitable reading material and a box of tea bags.
Moored on the 'Oyster River' at Auray
The 'will they, won't they' discussion that you all may, or may not, have been having has at long last reached its conclusion. On the 5th May we sail for Scotland, Jobs resigned and voluntarily homeless our eyes on the northern horizon.
And yes I did say North.
So..... Colin has talked me in exploring some of the most beautiful places in the world, and they turn out to be right on our doorstep. We are heading west about to Scotland with a plan to circumnavigate the UK. There should be a chance to take Taransay Mhor to visit the island of Taransay in the Outer Hebrides and even to reach the Orkney Islands. By the time we get back to Gosport this winter we will know for sure that this is the life for us.
On a different note Colin and I sent an entry to the Cruising Associations Log competition this year and were pleased to be awarded the PBO Prize for the best photographic log submitted. As inspiration I used the book I was reading 'Oyster River' by George Millar, based on a voyage to the Gulf of Morbihan where our photos were taken.
Although Colin says there is nothing left to sell take a look at my Facebook page where I have posted photos of what we are selling off.
Colin refitting the refurbished steering pedestaal
Using epoxy primer and paint left over from treating Taransay's hull for osmosis saved precious pennies and it looks good too. The old paint came off with a little help from some paint stripper. The epoxy 'rules' were soon remembered and we serviced the steering gubbins at the same time.
Our 'job to do' wish list has had to be pared back to a 'must do' before we launch list. The same process was applied to the 'to buy' list, and now there is nothing on it.
25/01/2012, 50 47.05'N:01 07.0'W
Soda Cystals, they don't look flash but they are versatile and inexpensive.
The uses are many mix with hot water for a solution that degreases anything, shines up the galley sink and even takes the blood stains out of your work gear.
There will be at least one bag on board Taransay Mhor this year.
Somehow whenever we start to work on Taransay we get too involved, dig too deep, then end up desperately trying to get everything back together again just in time for launch day.
In 2010 the heads were stripped back, down to the last seacock, yet we only wanted to install a holding tank. Not this year we swore, reciting a vow of restraint with one hand on the log book the other, fingers crossed, behind our backs.
Although the job list is long three major works have fought their way to the top.
1. Replace the seal under the rocker cover on the engine.
2. Repaint the steering pedestal, a job 8 years on 'the list'
3. Make the anchor locker door watertight.
Those of you that read of our adventures in the Alderney Race this summer will understand why No. 3.
We can't help worrying about the engine, 33 years old and still running fine. But why did the filler cap on the heat exchanger corrode to the point where it fell apart after just a years use. There should be a connection to all the work we did in 2010, but what?
Each new task is a challenge, like the vertiginous slopes of Everest starting from the ignorance of base camp we crawl painfully through layers of knowledge to achieve the summit of understanding. Led lights are a perfect example. "Don't forget they need to be regulated" advised a friend when we looked at switching from normal bulbs. What? Why? Really, how are they different to, say, a motorhome?
A reply from some ever wise forumite on Google, imparts the wisdom of a budha. Boat electric systems are subject to multiple charging sources at varying voltages, engine, shorepower, wind, solar, and the bulbs must be regulated to cope, apparently they have a tendency to burst in to flames if not.
A Merry Christmas to you all from the boatyard, where ever may find yourselves.