Sunday, 20 July 2008


This weekend we had SWMBO's sister along and her husband Charlie and kids..... now, this works perfectly for me..... not only do we get along with them like a house on fire, and the kids are all good friends, but also SWMBO's husband is a very keen and experienced dinghy sailor, and also sails some fairly extreme dinghies.... like an 18' skiff..... so he's always up for a 'proper' sail....They couldn't get down until midday Saturday, so we had a fairly lazy start on Saturday and had a lay in until gone 09h00... I always sleep well on the boat!As soon as they arrived, we stowed their gear, and cast off the lines.... it was obviously a bit breezy, but with Cahrlie on board it wasn't such a big deal, as there was no lack of helping hands to hoik up sails, and winch... plus someone who was happy on the helm in that kind of wind....We decided to have a bit of a sail out to sea, so we headed out past Harwich, with most of the sails set, then dropped in an extra reef when it hit 30kts.... but great fun!..... a broad reach out to Medusa with between 6 and 9kts on the log..... only downside was that the main had jammed.... it hadn't gone away well last time (v windy, and big seas), so it proved troublesome to get out....We eventually had to turn back though, and head back in.... and with the tide pushing us, it was almost a beat back..... but nonetheless great fun again....Saturday night was interesting.... with us all having had a bit of a rufty tufty sail, then a decent meal and a couple or three pints at the Bristol Arms (not to mention having kids!), we were all shattered, and the collective yawning sent us all scurrying for our berths by 22:30.....Sunday dawned promising.... not quite as windy as the previous day, and much less of the grey skies...... so after a hearty breakfast, we set off out again, and this time decided to go up the river..... and what a ball of a sail that was!The wind was on the nose up the river, but with a strong crew onboard we sailed instead of motoring..... I kept a bit too much sail up simply becuase it was great fun to sail her right over on her ear for a change....with the wind at about 20kts, and slightly stronger gusts coming through we flew upwind.... and with the narrow channel in places were tackign every minute or so on occasions..... but it felt like 'proper' sailing..... and was grin inducing!We beat all the way up the river to the Orwell bridge..... some 8nm upwind in a narrow channel, so we tacked plenty!!!!After passing under the bridge, we tacked round, and the apparent wind dropped, it got even warmer, and our guests youngest daughter took the helm for the first time in her life on something other than a dinghy, and definitely the first time with a wheel and sailed her beautifully back up the river as Charlie and I concentrated on getting the sails in the right spot, avoiding gybes and generally doing the trimming..... she held her goosewinged for ages too.... a fine effort!Sadly, all good things come to an end, and this marvellous sail had to....... but we set of home with glowing faces, exhausted kids, and me with a smile like a cheshire cat!

Miles logged 29nm
Miles this season 374nm
Miles since this blog started 3,311nm

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