Bottom Scrub

In the haste to bring Capella back from Leigh-on-Sea* the saildrive leg never got antifouled, there were also some other jobs that would benefit from the boat being stable, such as moving the forestay back and getting the navigation lights working.  So on the Friday me and Ken brought Capella on to the scrubbing post at the club, the boat seemed a bit sluggish under engine but we were towing the dinghy.

While we waited for the water to go moved the forestay.  Not a trivial job – loosen all the rigging, rig a temporary forestay using the spinnaker pole up-haul, disconnect the clevis pin at the bottom of the forestay and reconnect it ‘simples’ J.  It actually went OK but we could only move it back from the forward to the middle hole as one of the bolts holding the bow roller on fouled the rearmost one.

The whole boat got pressure washed and the hull antifoul seemed to be doing its job.  The saildrive and the prop especially were covered in barnacles, no wonder the engine was struggling to move the boat through the water.  Lot of scrapping later they were clean and almost ready to paint tomorrow.

There is something strange with the electrics but neither of the navigation lights are getting power – but it was a very hot day and too warm to spend with your head in dark corners of the cabin, next to a still warm engine – the light will have to wait for another day, and some more diagnostic tools (OK  a battery and croc clips to trace which wire is which)

Next day was lot of cleaning by Wifey, painting on antifouling and retuning of the rigging.  While waiting for the tide to come back and float the boat we had a little row through Bourne Bridge, you can’t go very far because of the sluice gates but quite interesting all the same.

Soon Capella was afloat and it turned out to be an easy departure, and back to the mooring.  We had a brief chat about going for a quick sail down the river – but ended up relaxing on the deck enjoying the sun. (Fortunately it was one of the days there was no smell from the sewage works just across the river)


*Leigh-on-Sea always sounds like it’s the subject of a KT Tunstall song i.e “Suddenly I see Leigh-on-Sea, this is what I wanna be etc.” 

Just the two of us

After a couple of trips with a 3 aboard we decided it was time to go it alone, just me, Angela and perfect weather.  Nice smooth release from the moorings gentle chug though the bridge, only a slight change of direction to put the main up.  Pull out most of the Genoa – reefed again as it’s a bit big for beating up the river and we were away.  First few tacks where mostly working out what Angela could do and how best to work the boat, still needs some practice to get the short tacks slick but given time to prepare we’re near enough there.

We needed the short tacks when working out way close to the Wolverstone toppers, the dinghies were ok and but a rubber boat (not an official safety boat) decided to try and put up a moving blockage in case we invaded ‘their’ section of river, reasonable concern for the kids I guess but felt a bit heavy handed.  We’re used to working our old yacht Cupido through there and always keep a close eye on the dinghies; working out the course they are using and timing our tacks so as to keep as much out of the way as that narrowed section allowed.   We passed Jeremy on KR on her way home through there but no time for much more than a wave before the next tack.

On we went beyond Nacton Quay and almost to Butt before deciding that tea was more important tangling with other boats so we turned to for a run home, drinking tea and avoiding crash gybes.  Getting the main down was ‘interesting’ as we tried to do it on the run – we got there eventually but the skipper needs a bit more practice on that one.  Funny thing about having the wind behind you, you feel like you’re not moving but actually you making reasonable progress up the river and reach the bridge in no time.
The two of us are going to work this boat fine – and every sail make me more sure she was the right boat for us

Hottest Day of the year…

… and only one place to be was on the river.  We arranged for our friend Ken to come with us, much to his wife Laurie’s delight, it was Wimbledon Men’s Final Day and she would be able to watch it in peace with a couple of likeminded fiends and half a ton of strawberries (ok perhaps not half a ton)

Wind was a bit light at best so we motored down to Pin Mill and picked up a mooring for lunch.  Just as we settled down the wind pickup of course but we sat and had lunchanyway, enjoying the fresh air blow across the deck. We sat for a good hour chatting and watching the world sail passed with the occasional ‘interesting’ moment  – like the bowsprit coming towards you for some time before moving neatly round our stern at the last minute.  While we sat there the wind increased and we decided not to beat into it (too lazy) instead we just slipped the mooring, pulled out the Genoa and raced back to the Orwell Bridge with just couple of gybes to keep the wind in the right place.  For once we attempted to sail through the bridge, but the wind was all over the place so we quickly started the engine (so nice to be able to do this) and motored back to the mooring. 

After a great day out on the river we were still home in time to see the historic final set of the Murray final – what a match that was.

First Sail!

We went out Saturday afternoon with Wifey and Jeremy for our first sail.  Angela is not quite fully recovered needs a bit of help with the sheets so we’re going out with 3 aboard until she gets back to full strength.

To leave our trot mooring we needed to move the span ropes across and so we would get blown off, which while taking a bit of time in the preparation worked well.  Once through the bridge we were chatting away about the old causeway, which can still be found with the echo sounder and as it turned out the keels – yup we ran aground.  Seems that the previous owner had turned off the shallow alarm and we (me) weren’t paying close enough attention to the display – still we now that 0m means aground.  We did what should be done in these situations, ‘Don’t Panic and Drink Tea!’  The tide was coming in and we sat there with the engine gently in reverse until we sensed some movement and then gave her full throttle and off we came.

Once back on course, with the wind on her tail we pulled out the enormous 150% Genoa and sailed nicely down passed Wolverstone, where we put DugDug back on furled the Genoa and turned for home.  Then we pulled up the main, and around ¾ of the genoa to beat back, this is where the fun and the work really starts.

Capella  is must less skittish than Cupido, her much higher ballast ratio helps here and she is really stable leaned over giving us confidence in her, needed that reef in the Genoa though  (no ‘Wooh’s from Wifey so that’s a good sign).  Like most J25s Capella has a bit of ‘lea helm’, not a desirable trait and something we’ll have to work out how to cure eventually but I can live with it for now. 

So several tacks, and a lot of usful experience later the wind started to dieaway as we got passed Freston so back on with DugDug and a largely uneventful trip back to pick up the mooring and back to the club.

A great day out with our sailing guru on board