Sunday, March 17, 2024


Plan A turned out not to be a complete dud, the winds certainly arrived for Friday but a bit earlier than expected and by mid day on Thursday it was clear that Saturday would be OK and I was able to book a space. I went onto the piles at 05:00 a day and an hour later than planned back in September, this was just before 2nd high water in perfect weather although I could have done with a moon to light the way; why does sailing always seem to involve early starts? 

06:37 waiting for the tide to drop.
As predicted she touched ground a tad after 06:00 and I was able to start power washing at 07:20. Hamble is reported to have the worst fouling area in the country, here is an example of what that means, Sancerre had three coats of a top of the range anti-fouling paint in July last year since when I have just been to the Isles of Scilly and back.

What a winter on the Hamble does to your boat, it would be
worse in summer with warmer water and more light.

The power wash took an hour but apart from the boot line, some of which is a bit thin after I raised it last year, the anti fouling was in good condition. I just had time to repaint the boot line and the leading edges which ablate quicker than the rest. A new anode went on with the water over the sill but I just managed it with wellies and did not have to resort to the waders.

Job done and ready to head off as soon as the wind and tide serve.
It was then a long wait, after an initial rush of incoming water the "New flood stand" resulted in a four hour wait from paddling in the dock to floating off, it is frustrating but does give the anti foul chance to harden a bit, most of the time there is only c 18" of water in the dock which makes the wait seem even longer. 4 days after springs, it was 9 hours 15 minutes from LW to 2nd HW.

Waiting for the water to return, it was pretty much at this level for a
couple of hours.
I just missed my chance of warping onto and along an empty pontoon when both the launches came back from delivery / pick up trips but I got the "bosuns" to take my lines and I was safety through the narrow gap with room to turn, then back to the mooring with quite a strong tide and a breeze on the nose but with the boats up and down stream of me out of the water for maintenance it was a straight forward operation.

The wind forecast for the coming week is not encouraging, and the week after I would have to commit to an overnight crossing of Lyme Bay so unless the weather is particularly benevolent my likely departure date is Easter Monday / All Fools Day to take the inshore route around The Bill at daybreak on the 3rd or 4th. One can only hope.

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