Tuesday, March 12, 2024

2024 Plan A is a dud before it starts

I need to clean the bottom of the boat before departing and that is not going to happen in time to leave on the next neap tides to use the Portland inshore route, even if the weather improves next week to make that possible. I was due onto the piles at 04:00 on Friday the 15th but there is no way to get in and particularly out of the dock with 18 - 33 knot winds and single handed I probably would not get back onto the trot mooring either.

The UK met office forecast for Friday as on Tuesday. It gets
marginally worse later in the day. the ECMWF and GFS
models are similar with slightly different timings.
Sancerre is now booked into the maintenance dock at 04:20 on Sunday March 31st, unfortunately that is a weekend and bank Holiday so I can't start power washing early and I'll only have a little over 2 hours with all of the boat out of the water, plenty of time for power washing but not enough for a full coat of anti-fouling below the boot line as well as that takes just over an hour to apply on a good day. However she had three coats in July and since then I have only been to The Scillies and back so it should be OK for the first cruise, I'll touch up a few places that are vulnerable - like the leading edges and perhaps re do the boot line which ablates quickly because of my hand cleaning. 

I picked up some scrapes to the gloss paint work in a 60 knot storm earlier in the year, the boat behind was out of the water so at a low spring tides Sancerre dropped back onto one if not two buoys with limpets attached, if its a warm day I may just have time to touch that up but I'm not holding my breath. 

With the shops closed on the 30th (and disrupted trains) logistics will be a little complicated but at least the club launch will be operating Sunday and Monday so the plan is a dash home on Sunday after getting the boat back on the mooring with the dinghy and outboard on board, then go back down on Monday by train leaving for the anchorage at Hurst that afternoon and Portland Harbour on Tuesday with no need to avoid the Lulworth ranges that will be closed. Them I leave at 05:00Z, 06:00 BST to go through the inshore route around the Bill about two hours  later than optimal due to lack of light.

If the weather gods permit!

Update: The weather gods allowed a scrub a day late but at the time of writing more bad weather is forecast so Easter weekend still looks favourite, IF we get some decent weather. Click here for the next exciting episode where I spend much of my time watching paint dry.

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