Thursday, 12 April 2007

Shall I go or Shan't I!

Well the weekend is supposed to be the hotest April ever so that is always a little bit of an incentive. However a slight crew shortage is an issue. No brother as working this weekend and unAble seaman Rob is doing so filming. I had plans as well!

Every cloud does have a silver lining though. FOG, that is what's forecast so may be thankfull. Will be checking the Skeggy webcam! Click on the piccie for the latest image.
Over at the ship on Friday as need to battern down for 7.3m tide on Monday and also get the engine sorted.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Sailing in the Wash

Just got back from a couple of days away at the boat. Travelled over on Thursday and took the boat out at 7am on the Spring Tide. The weather forecast was for a NE 3-4 and that's what we got. This being the first time for Aretia on the sea we thought it prudent not to travel to far but to make the best of the weather and explore around a little. First we had to navigate the channel and it really helped having walked it the other week. Still only a metre or so under the keel but we were pushing it a little. See the seagulls standing up next to us! Once out of the channel it was up Wainfleet Roads to Skeg. The easiest guide is to remain 200m off the beach and follow it up as off to starboard is a knarly little sand bank. With the headwind we decided to motor it to test out the engine. On motoring up the roads Ian Martin the local fisherman over took us with Challenge on his way up the coast. A little while later we had a call from Challenge to let us know a new floating pipe had been laid out from the coast. Presumably to catch unwary Yachts! Good of Ian to let us know though even if we were off to the SW. Once level with the Pier it was sails up and heading over to West Lynn. We weren't actually heading for West Lynn as this wasn't on the chart but hey every buoys a help. Must update the chart! It was a little choppy by now with the sea having a long fetch from Scandinavia and the water here reaching 45m. John wasn't feeling so good so I was taking turns navigating and helming whilst concentrating on eating my sarnies! Once we could identify Woolpack just off Burnham flats we decided to have a look at the Parlour channel which cuts through the sandbanks. Figuring the weather was good and low tide was approaching this would be a good opportunity to try and squeeze through and if we did go aground only a short time to wait. So a course of 250 was set from North Well fairway and bang on we reached the entrance to the Parlour. Most disconcerting having the sandbanks towering over you and seals basking above you. Sails down, engine on. We picked out the first channel markers and had a good 7m under the keel. The next port hand marker could perhaps do with moving a little as it was aground and then so were we. A little swearing, frantic reversing winding the keel up and we tried again. Bump! This time we went for the more disturbed water to Starboard. Hey we got through! Then we came across the shallow and narrow section of the channel. Zig Zag ing across the channel with a close watch of the depth sounder we made it through. Off down to Long Sand before turning north ad heading to Wainfleet Swatchway. A couple of buoys missing including Pompey and Swatchway but visibility was good. Once in the neighbour hood of the Wainfleet Channel entrance we decided to scour the area with the depth sounder to see what we could find. After getting to 1m we decided to anchor. A coffee and a read was in order. By this time it was 3.5hrs before HW so a little time to wait. Another yacht from the Humber arrived to await enough water to enter. 2hrs before HW we decided to follow Challenge in keeping close to the Starboard entrance marker. A very strong cross current here meant we were entering the channel sideways, Ian must have been kissing the bottom as we were. I'm glad we only draw 60cm and the depth was only 70cm in places and we did do a little ploughing in places. See Photo. Finally with the light fading Aretia was back on her berth. Damage. One scrape noted down the side of the starboard stern quarter, which we think has been caused by floating debris rather than a boat. Coving line has come unstuck at the bow. Bloody T-cut! Presume antifouling off the keel. Groundings 2 maybe 4 if you count trying to push in the channel. Bonus' my new boots, all very comfy. Work to be done adjust the outboard tick over for starting. Get John on his sea sickness tablets. Next outing. Possibly 15-17th either to Hull or over to Wells depending on crew and weather (must be sunny!)

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