We had to get a few things from the chandlery to rig our spinnaker pole, so on Monday headed down to anchor in Falmouth harbour for a few hours before heading over to St. Mawes for a few nights, if it wasn't too rolly.
We decided to make a new spinnaker uphaul rather than use our spare halyard so needed some 10mm line. This will run through a block fastened to an eye already attached to the mast about 2/3's of the way up. There was an eye on either side which would allow an uphaul to be rigged for poling out on either side, but rather than have the cost of 2 sets of lines, blocks and shackles, we put a long u-bolt between the eye on one side and the block so that it can swivvel around to the opposite side too.
For the down-haul we have made a rope bridle fastened to the underside of the pole with one end led forward and through the forward fairlead and tied off on the cleat there and the other end led back to the midships fairlead and cleat.
Spinnaker uphaul block up the mast
Then, depending on which side we have the pole set, we will run the appropriate sheet through the pole end and back to the winch in the cockpit. When we tried this though, we found our old sheets were too thick to fit through the eye in the end of the pole. We had bought new sheets for the genny that are thinner but had planned to change them after Biscay. Our old sheets came with the boat and we've always thought them to be too thick as they don't run through the blocks very well. They are also attached to the genny clew by 2 huge shackles which don't really help when setting the sail in light winds, so the news sheets are just bowlined on.
When we want to downwind sail we will pole out our existing genny on the spinnaker pole and rig our no.1 jib on the second track of our twin furling headsail. The no.1 jib will be poled out using the boom pushed out over the opposite side to the spinnaker pole with a preventer to hold it in place. This is the plan - we will let you know when we have tried it out I'd it works.
After lunch in Falmouth harbour (I couldn't resist the smell of the pasties) we mosied on over to St Mawes. There were a few boats already anchored there so we set ourselves to the west of the harbour, unfortunately right in the path of the regular ferries. I decided to guilt them into going slower with some friendly waving. Not sure if it worked..... Colin had to go up the mast to rig the spinnaker uphaul and change the bulb on our spreader lights and spent minutes clinging on to the mast as the wash rolled us about.
Once the ferries stopped running the anchorage rolling stopped enough to be hardly noticable so we stayed for 3 nights. We got the pole rigged, had a few walks and I had a paddle up the Percuil river, cut a little short when I realised I was floating on only 2 of the 3 tubes of my inflatable kayak, 1 of them having leaked all it's air out. It still floated pretty well though. Next job - find and repair the leak!
Today (Thursday) the wind increased from the east and was making the anchorage rolly beyond pleasant (Colin did an excellent 'soup sir' whilst bringing the morning coffee in to the aft cabin) so we've moved back up the river to Turnaware. There was a bit of anchoring fun and games but most boats have left now. We've now got the new sheets on the genoa; it was fun trying to drop the genny in a busy anchorage with occasional gusts of wind! A man on a boat in the anchorage is playing classical guitar which sounds fantastic.
Plastimo have finally got a move on and have asked for the failed liferaft part to be returned to them for inspection. We now have to wait on the results of that before they can release the liferaft back to us. Arghhhhhhhh!