Sunday 29 September 2013

Water Rat

Pleasant hour out on board Glenshane last week pumping her out, checking on things and generally taking it easy.  Might have gone for a short sail in the harbour if I had had the time.  But the boatmen clock off early these autumn evenings….

Like water rat there is nothing as nice as messing about on boats. Or something like that. ( there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.)  OK. I googled it.

I pumped her out then thought I would try and find where the water might be creeping in.  This involves clearing out all the clutter and sponging all the water out of the bilge when the pump has done its best.  It’s still difficult, nay impossible to find the gentle slither of water into the hull.  Up at the bow, where the most pounding happens is the obvious place to search.  Here and there the bilge paint seems to be lifting, another good sign.  But its hard to tell for sure.

Then I espied a white breasted cormorant drying  its wings.  Not sure if there is such a thing as a white breasted cormorant.  Had a go at getting a photo.  Its perched on the hi tek ferry terminal.

An old codger passed by in a day sailer, I cleaned up a rope end with my needle and thread and tied off the jib halyard with a gilguy.  A Sigma 38 passed by and I started dreaming.  By then it was time to go as the launch arrived.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

More America's Cup stuff

I may complain about it but the Americas cup is absolutely compelling viewing.  As it proceeds it would appear that the boats are very well matched, something  that has not happened in the AC for a very long time.  And that has resulted in some very exciting close racing.
But to get there, there are very many negatives.  Are the boats really sailing boats?  Certainly not as anybody outside the handful of sailors who design build and operate them would probably agree.  The wing masts have to be removed as soon as the race is over.  Otherwise the entire structure would be simply blown over.
They will never be sailed again.  They will never lead to a racing class using wing masts which even very wealthy yachting enthusiasts might get involved in.  It’s a dead end, a cul de sac.  The rig and the technique reminds me more of some type of kite flying.  These guys have built complicated kites which they hoist up into the air and control very skilfully and skim them across the surface of the water.  Its not sailing, and it will not become sailing.

They use the rules of racing as we know them but have had to modify them.  This is most obvious at the start.  Gone is the hallowed upwind start, the most significant part of sailboat racing since day one.  I’m not sure why, but apparently it has something to do with safety and/ or the fact that these boats can do little unless they are moving on their foils at about a minimum of 20 knots speed.  So if they were trying to tack and jybe in a conventional start they might get blown over!

If money is the deciding factor then Oracle can win.  They have two boats.  NZ have only one.  On the last race with NZ facing winning the cup all Oracle has to do is take her out in a strategic crash.  Both boats go down.  Oracle, with its back up boat, goes on unopposed to win the cup.  I would not put it past Ellison. 

But its compelling viewing with all the professionalism of American sports broadcasting brought to bear on a sport which traditionally is not a spectator sport.

Thursday 5 September 2013

Heavy Weather sailing

Heavy Weather Sailing

Last nights race  (Thursday 1st Aug) was a humdinger.  The race officer put the wind at Force 4 but I think it was gusting at times well into force 5.  Well at the limits of where these wooden boats over 50  years old should be racing.  But it makes for much more exciting sailing than drifting about in the tide hoping for wind.  Which has been the situation for the past month or so.

Jerry was crewing.  And he also managed to get the time to take the attached photos.

We got a super start, more by accident than anything.  Simply good timing and then tacked immediately to clear our wind and beat into Scotsmans Bay avoiding the end of the flood.  I judged the tack back on to starboard to fetch the first mark spot on.  Other Glens took a safer course and in fine style we rounded the first mark in the lead.

It was all down hill from there, holding on to the rail but being overtaken on the long downwind leg.

Laser Worlds

End Of season distractions

With the world Laser Championship taking place out my front window and the weather continuing its exceptional mild run it seemed like a sensible thing to do to sail out and check it out. Here is the view from the front of the house:
A  nice chap on a GB rib dropped us on board.  I asked him if he had any Olympic medals to which he replied he was just a Youth Coach and then he lit a cigarette.

On the starting line all was confusion in the 20 knot wind.  We trashed back and forth getting wet from the spray.  The OD was having difficulties too.  Three times he tried to get the fleet away but had to recall the lot.  Joshua was very patient and put on my oilskin but was probably just as glad when I said we would head for home. We picked up the mooring and had our sandwiches and coffee.

Good luck to Finn Lynch and all the other Irish boats.  I doubt that the America Cup boats would have gone out in those winds.

From Sandymount
From Sandymount