Sunday, March 19, 2023

2023 March 18th - Scrub and Anti-foul.

A quite evening on Friday lit by my posh new oil
lamp that replaced a now rather battered hurricane
lamp, my only non-essential purchase for the
boat in at least 12 months, certainly a record πŸ˜‡.
It is fully gimbled and the base rotates 90 degrees
 to hang on a bulkhead or my mast support..
On Thursday, Saturday suddenly looked good for a scrub with light winds  and, unusually one day after neaps, there was likely to be enough water to get in and with the evening tide being higher there was no danger of being "Neaped". The maintenance dock was available and it was too good to miss so I quickly booked. 

First high water was at a sociable 07:43 and there would be sufficient water to get out of the dock from 19:30 - 20:00 which would allow me to get onto the mooring with the last of the flood tide. All good except it would be dark with no moon for my return.

Saturday broke with intermittent light rain and little wind so I was expecting a straight forward albeit damp departure from the trot mooring but it was not to be, the pick up line swept under the boat and caught the keel, the first time it has done that, so I had to get back on the mooring, disconnect one end of the line to clear it, now under time pressure to get off the mooring before the stand / second high which would be a bit lower and fearing a repeat I left it like that and later went back in the dinghy to reconnect everything.

With little wind and on the last of the first flood getting onto the piles was relatively straightforward although there was a narrow gap and a tricky left / right turn between the pile and one of the clubs launches, unfortunately the part time bosun's were not starting work until 09:00 or they could have moved one or more.

On the piles, in a little under 2m of water now a long wait for the
stand to end and the tide to drop 1.5 metres before I could start
work in knee deep water, wearing waders.
The A9m officially draws 1.67m / 5ft 6"  but with a bigger engine lots of batteries and fuel Sancerre has put on some weight so 1.7 - 1.72m is probably nearer the mark. The tidal gauge shows the depth about half way in to the dock.
Sancerre about to settle in 1.8m of water, the spinnaker
halyard is out to the right and tensioned to ensure the
boat leans against the piles. Helpfully the auto pilot
control unit measures heel and the plotter can display
it (not a given, the other NMEA 2000  instruments can't)
so I cranked on 2.5 degrees and maintained that as
she dropped.
Touching forward - the dock floor slopes down to the river. 
1.6m of water and the aft lashing to the pile had to be eased so that
the stern could drop.
I had just finished power washing when the light rain turned heavy, just when I needed the boat dry, so I retired to the bar for a quick pint as the squall past. Power washing is harder work than you might think, the industrial unit is powerful enough that you have to brace yourself or get knocked over so the rest was welcome. No pics at this stage because of the rain and I was busy.

Job done, two coats of white antifoul to the boot line which was
raised last year in something of a rush so it was rather thin on
the part of the boat that gets the most growth. Some of the
blue was touched up, leading edges get the most wear and
knocks and was a bit thin in places.
Surprisingly the shaft anodes, one over a year old and one 8 months were almost as good as new so were not replaced, the year old small anode on the P bracket was badly eroded so was.

Getting out of the dock is tricky with prop walk more a hinderance than a help until past the end of the pontoon and the three launches moored to it. To help I put a long line to the stern of the middle launch and used that to haul her back and then into the launches as the tide took Sancerre away from them. With almost no wind I was then able to motor out slowly backwards then turn with he prop walk before heading back to the mooring.
The line going to the second launch in the pic and was a big help,
if there had been more wind I would probably have run my long
(100m) line over to the finger in the next door marina and turned the
boat there before going out into a stronger wind and tide. 

A berth at that marina would be about six times what I pay for a
mooring 2 cables down stream and that is not cheap.
Pulling three and a half tonnes of boat fore and aft single handed in still water is not a problem but pulling one sideways or with a tide running is; so on top of the other work it is going to take me a day or two to recover 😞. 


The tide is good to leave for points west on or about the 29th but the weather does not look promising [Edit: and a few days later looked even worse], not being as fit as I would like I would prefer not to start the cruise by taking on a 30 - 36 hour direct trip to Start Point or Plymouth so to get a good tide through the Portland Bill inshore route, I will not get away until Wednesday April 12th at the earliest, disappointing but hopefully it will be a bit warmer and I will have a few days chasing trout πŸ˜€ after the season opens on the chalk streams in early April.

I'm now on Plan C, see the next post.

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