Lunch Break at the Rice and Cole mooring
Back at the slipway
At home, nicely cleaned
Tucked in bed
I have recovered from my excursions of yesterday when I took ‘Pike’ for a trial sail at Burnham-on-Crouch.
Conditions couldn’t have been more perfect.
Unlike my other boats, ‘Pike’ is light enough to have a combination trailer with a piggyback launching trolley. Being able to launch and retrieve her on a trolley is a big advantage, because the business of reversing down a slipway is eliminated and she can be taken to slipways that are unsuitable for road trailers, or launched from a beach.
Launching and retrieving her at Burnham Yacht Harbour was relatively easy without the need for getting my feet wet.
I rowed her to the entrance of the marina, and made sail. I found that she rowed well. Because the sail was brailed up, all I had to do to make sail was to free off the brail and sheet in. Immediately she came to life, and I took her on the wind towards the Burnham moorings. A strong spring tide and a headwind made getting to windward a challenge, but I was pleased to find she did magnificently, while making about ten degrees of leeway. Her unique, hinged rudder worked as it should, with a bungee keeping the lower half submerged. The deep daggerboard showed no signs of lifting. She never failed a tack. I preferred not to use the tiller extension because I could sit far enough forward without it. The shipped oars happily remained in their rowlocks with the blades protruding slightly over her gunnels. Thus stowed, they were ready for instant use.
After two hours beating two and fro between the moorings ‘Pike’ arrived at Rice and Cole where I picked up a mooring for a rest and to have lunch. There I removed the sprit and rolled the sail around the mast to stop it from flapping and making a noise.
By the time I had finished eating, it was coming up to high water, and the wind had freshened. I therefore reefed the sail and got underway. Five minutes later, the toggle line that held the throat of the sail to the mast gave way. I could have continued sailing, but the sail was creased and extra strain was being placed on the next toggle line. I decided to take the sail down and to row back to the Yacht Harbour. By then the ebb was running swiftly in the opposite direction to which I wanted to go.
I found I could power the boat faster than the current because she slipped through the water with little resistance and I had a helping hand from the wind. The hardest sections of the row were when going past the outer ends of floating pontoons – all three of them - that extended into the river. By rowing close to the shore wherever I could, I was able to avoid the worst of the ebb.
Apart from the throat toggle rope giving way, there were no other incidents, but back at home I discovered there was a little quantity of water in the forward, so-called watertight locker. A close inspection in the region of the foot of the stem post revealed that there were thin cracks between it and the hull panels on both sides. Sealing them should not be difficult.
A noticeable outcome of yesterday's excellent sail became apparent this morning when I sat down for breakfast; I discovered that my gluteus maximus muscles were somewhat tender!
Gluteus Maximus Muscle