Friday, July 24, 2009

At Anchor in Ria de Camarinas

Well I have been waiting for the right moment and it was good to leave 24th July, left the berth at 3.15pm on passage for ethier Finistere or Bayona depending on wind/weather, plenty of wind so had to tack out of the Ria and by 6pm I took pics of the 'Tower of Hercules'
As expected the last effects of the Low pressure system were evident and a few rain squalls with F6 came through during the next few hours, however the swell plus wind waves gave a confused sea, the swell at approx 4mtrs and crossing waves at about 2-3mtrs made conditions a bit rough, I expected this to calm down a bit when I crossed the 500mtr contour which it did.
At about 3am 24th in a nice F5 and whilst making a cuppa (Fred has been doing the helming) we were hit by an enormous wave, then another wave and I heard an almighty BANG! thinking it could be a stay may have broken I checked the rig but could see no problem all seemed in good shape, I went down below again an again another wave hit ( think they were the wakes of big ships that had been passing) anyway another big BANG! it was then I spotted the outer jib was a bit slack on the luff, as I checked I found the boom end Cranse Iron had snapped in half, uh oh, thank god I had fitted the new Jib foot fitting otherwise I would be in all kinds of trouble, as it was the Jib Haliyard was supporting the mast but it was bouncing on the Backstay alarmingly, I was doing about 5-6 knots so I had to slow down by heaving too, hoping the haliyard and mast would not bounce so much, the backstay fitting is not so good anyway and a new one is on order as well. This worked, speed now was down to 2-3 knts and as the planned voyage was over I looked for an alternative. So here I am at Ria de Camarinas at anchor outside the harbour. Position: 43,7.74N , 9,10.47W
The wind outside has gone perfect to carry on but Im stuck till I fix this prob, have taken a photo which ill post later the 2 bangs were 1 the band cracked apart at the weld, then 2 with a split band it disorted with the jib/mast forces until it snapped at the bobstay attachment. Having checked this afternoon no other damage was caused.
Will also post the story of my last nights farewell that turned into a party later.
PS its a lovely spot to be stuck.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Redes and race

Isabel with her Dad, they came with me to Redes to take part in the race, Bacho's boat (in the lead) Martins boat close behind with GL taking the picture, of course chasing them.

Fun in Sada and Redes

A series of photos taken after finishing the major fitting job, and the test trip to Sada, also visiting Redes for their classic boat race. GL came 3rd of the bigger boats and received a prize for taking part.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wind Pilot Test Day 16-07-2009

Well folks after quite a while Guiding Light is on the move again, the installation of the Hydrovane itself was completed during the week with loads of help from the girls and on Wednesday afternoon with a final bit of help from Carlos! Done! So Thursday was Test Day, Wednesday evening...thurs morning was spent with Sonia and Isabel culminating in 'La Madame Sans Gere' in celebration! with Patricia and Bacho as well. Sonia a very competant racing sailor and also teaches Yoga, (big boats) joined me at 9am later Thursday morning, and when ready for sea, we left the berth and fueled the boat. The wind was quite strong F5ish which made that a bit awkward, as we left in glorious sunshine, Carlos now with changed job as Sailing Instuctor, came alongside with his students to say good sailing, and Sonia + me began hoisting we were in the middle of that..... a rain squall came across the port F^in F6! Sonia dived below to get our waterproofs but to late for me! soaked dosent really describe it. Whilst we were in this condition I engaged the pilot for its first test, left Sonia already fully waterproofed watching it, and went below to change! SUCCESS!! the Hydrovane was driving the boat no problem. The test journey was to 'Sada Marina' at Sada in Ria de Betanzos Position: 43,21.51N , 8,14.79W, a double barreled reason, second part was for a social visit as well, during the next couple of hours we were close hauled, beam reach, broard reach and downwind on both tacks, the pilot performed perfectly, I couldnt help staring at it steering the boat with my tiller lashed amidships. Slight adjustments to the heading on the control line had imeadiate effect every time WOW WoW WOW.
Sonia lives in Sada and has her friend Anna a portrait painter staying with her, Isabel was born here, she is a Galizian through and through and has sailed these waters since she was 3 or 4 years old with her Dad! amazingly enough we found out only Wednesday that we share the same birth date of 7th April! how amazing is that! she is a local television actress, the television studios are in Santiago and because she was working recording her latest soap series was joining us later, her family live here too.
On arrival at Sada we were greeted by Casper! he is a very large Dolphin who visits Sada very often, I have to say so similar to 'Fungi' the Dolphin at 'Dingle' in southern Ireland, he played with the rudder and the boat for about an hour, all the way to the berth and while we were mooring, amazing.
With port formalities over we headed for Sonias house (with my wet laundry), Anna cooked a traditional Galizian lunch of grilled sardines and potatoes, small green peppers, some so hot they burn (we were all caught out), bread, pie and Sonias dips with Isabel's cakes for afters, Isabel arrived and joined us and we sat in Sonias garden veranda with the dogs and cats having a wonderful lunch, UNbelieveably good occasion. The evening was so lovely we all went back to the boat at 2000 for an evening sail, going there and back to 'Redes' Position: 43,25.06N 8,11.90W Anna had never ever been in a boat and when asked how she was enjoying it replied "I'm on a different planet" on the way back answering the same question said "it feels like I've done this all my life", Isabel and Sonia were singing traditional and some not so traditional songs at the top of their voices and much fun was had, sunset was specacular like the eye of Gandor as it came below the distant cloud bank and dipped below the Atlantic Ocean sea horizon, we arrived back at 2315hrs and off for a meal next to the Pirate bar, we were going to visit there as well but we were all too tired so decided to call it quits.
Today Friday 17 is catch up day for me.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday 13 July, not friday

I know everybody is checking and it appears nothing has happened for a bit,,,but,,,,,,well I havent moved except for turning the boat arse face about. Its difficult to explain, finding the people to do what you need is as difficult in UK as here in Espania, prob here is, for me, no Spanish, I am a Scouser however, and, I speak through my dnose and do a lot of waving my hands about (spilling drinks, OP's and my own) in an unknown and unwritten but internationaly recognised sign/sound language (if you can spell or draw pictures on beer mats as well) while pissed out of one's tree! in a strange bar, soooo,
I have achived the following here:-
1) at the sharp end, ermm, the end of the bow sprit, I fitted the jib sail foot fitting, it's only taken me 14 years to get round to that; Its been in the bosun's bag waiting all this time. Carolyn is right, but not only the house, my boat is also full of unfinished projects!
2) I found spinniker pole ends exactly 48m/m in dia that fit the home made (Dick and I) whisker poles (sawn in half dingy mast) fitted in Falmouth perfectly!! prob of losing jib sheets sorted. I did also file the sawn ends smooth.
3) Finding the right speck for the cockpit washboards, 2 sliding locks and 2 holes drilled, sorted! magic place. Dick & Sue should know exactly were they are now.
4) Main Sail! Llew can tell the story when off Ramsey in a F5 (I dont forget Llew's herculian heave with the Dingy), Llew holding the boat into the wind and me losing my grip on the boat and swinging overboard hanging on for grim death on the main halyard, pain in the arse, Ive fitted lazyjacks, dont like them on a classic boat but hell on my own its always been a bastard lowering the main, and energy consuming. tested and they work!! Sorted!
5) Running Backstays:- Well I've never figured out how to stop them rubbing the mainsail stitching away on the leeward side, Dick and myself came up with an option but no good, as on that side climbing out the cockpit is not the best idea when trying to tack on watch alone, 2 small blocks 1 each side and a piece of line running the backstay to were we had the idea. Sorted!
6) Finding a suitable wind steering device, measuring and ordering and receiving it here.
Im missing my golfing umbrella like mad. Cockpit gets wet! Dick had to go home with it.
7) Sourcing a Stainless steel supplier. Then an engineering company to bend it.
8) Sourcing a wood Yard who Has Teak! then sizing and receiving.
9) most important, designing a sympathatic to boat design, bracket mounting, trying to follow the lines of the hull for the Hydrovane auxillary rudder, then manufacturing and fitting it alonside in a Marina!
Soooo Ive been a bit busy to do a blog update. have crap internet, but will try and post some pics before I leave here.