18 July 2014 | Leverstock Green
You might be thinking this blog is dying a slow death. You are wrong, but I can understand why you would think it. Not much activity lately.
So, just a quick ditty to put you in the picture. What have we been doing lately? To be honest, since the storm tossed trip to Ostend: not much. Life/reality and to a certain extend the weather have once again been messing with our sailing intentions.
A bunch of daysails and a few overnight mini-cruises in local waters – that’s about the extent of it. All very successful and enjoyable but not exactly the blue water adventure we had in mind when we bought the boat. That is to say: not yet.
At the moment I am resigned to the fact that the near future holds the same for us: cruising the UK East Coast with the occasional venture across the Channel to France and Belgium. Time and the availability of crew (and, of course, the weather) will to a large extent determine what is feasible.
Realistically speaking, things will remain that way till we can get a mooring in Brittany (we live in hope that 2015 could be the year). The move west will therefore be our next big venture.
Short term plans for the rest of the summer: another mini-cruise in local waters (Channel crossing WX permitting) to tame the Monitor windvane once and for all. It’s my first experience of a windvane autopilot and it’s not proving as intuitive as I had hoped.
A two week cruise to Normandy is also on the cards. We’ll see what the weather gods throw at us, but the plan is to get to St Valery-en-Caux and back. We’ve done this before and it has always proven to be a realistic target for the given timeframe.
What has given me a certain amount of satisfaction so far is that all my ‘bright ideas’ for improvements to the set-up of the boat have in fact paid off. The way we now rig the gennaker in particular seems to be a great success. I had planned to be able to launch/fly and recover the sail singlehandedly (not tried it yet), but with just me and Yanni as crew it worked a charm. Launch and recovery took no more than five minutes. Given the size of the sail and the boat, I am well pleased with that.
The solar panels we installed last year still keep churning out the amps faster than we can use them. Certainly since we switched to all-LED for interior and navigation lighting. The biggest drain on the battery bank is still the stone-age fridge (to be replaced as and when funds become available – therefore: not any time soon).
Consider yourself up-to-date. I’ll do my best to provide more regular updates. In the mean time, enjoy your season. We certainly intend to.
PS: I have now added a ‘Summer 2014’ folder to the Gallery – Enjoy!