Thursday 31 July 2014

Family trip

Loading up at the pier in Baltimore 

We took Teal for a family trip to see how it would go down with the kids, The wind never really let up for the 3 days so the sailing was a bit more lively than I would have liked with them onboard. Never the less we visited Crookhaven & Schull again and spent a night in Rossbrin looking for shelter, Rossbrin was very comfortable and once we had reached low tide at 2am I was able to relax knowing we weren't going to sit too hard. We co-operated with the tide on day 2 and 3 because the wind was strong enough that I didn't want to risk being in the wrong place coming on to spring tides. We made 5.5kts from Crookhaven to schull at slack water under just Mizzen and Mainsail and I sailed from Rossbrin to Baltimore under the same. I was essentially single handing so it made life a little easier, especially with buggies and the occasional kid in the cockpit. 

Sunday 27 July 2014

Crookhaven to Baltimore

We had a very comfortable night in Crookhaven, the weather was calm when we woke up with a slack Southeasterly expected so we hauled the anchor and motored out of the harbour at a reasonable time this time. We could have tacked for Cape Clear again but we were interested in going through Long Island sound which meant motoring for 4 miles and in the Man of War sound. Once in the sound I put up the sails with Ken giving me doubtful looks, but to spite him we actually picked up enough of a breeze to keep us moving in the right direction. Soon enough we were making 4kts all the way up the sound, past Schull and up inside Castle Island. We rounded Castle Island bar and through a very shallow channel between Castle Island and Horse Island. We had about a foot under the keel at one point. By sailing inside of Long Island and Castle Island you get about 8 miles of very sheltered water sailing. With a shallow draft you could continue on inside Horse Island and over the drying Horse Island bar which would give you another mile or two. We continued on out through Gascanane and east along the outside of Sherkin back into Baltimore. Teal is now in Baltimore for a while to aid sailing West abit. We had planned on heading on around the Mizen head and on as far a Castletownbere but the wind just wasn't playing ball so that had to go on hold.
If I can get enough consecutively free days with suitable weather I would love to get up as far as Skellig Michael this season but we will play it by ear.

Motoring East, Crookhaven astern

Entering Man of War sound

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Schull to Crookhaven

Once we had dealt ( We, I should say I, as Ken stayed happily in his bunk while I went out in the rain to sort things out ) The rest of the night was pretty comfortable, The wind was strong from the South during the night which left us a bit open at anchor in Schull so we were rolling around a little but not badly.
The morning was lovely, so after going ashore and grabbing some stuff for breakfast we got off to a very leisurely 1pm start.
Of course that meant we had missed most of the favourable tide but the wind was SW which let us make it to the west end of Cape Clear and all the way to Crookhaven on the other tack. It was a much nicer day and a nice break from the previous day.
Crookhaven is a beautiful inlet tucked in just this side of the Mizen Head and one which I have wanted to sail to with ages. The pier is tidal but there is loads of room to anchor so you can keep your anchor watch from one of the pubs.
I could easily spent a couple of days there to fit in a walk to Mizen head, Barley Cove and maybe Goleen, Goleen has a small harbour and a very pretty hidden inner harbour but I'm not sure if its suitable for Teal's draft.

Flying Fish

Monday 21 July 2014

Union Hall to Schull

We headed off Tuesday morning with reaching Crookhaven in mind. We had a couple of hours of ebbing tide to help us along and we needed it as the wind started off very light. We sailed with the genoa and topsail until we were through the Stag sound but it was starting to freshen up by then.
We still don't have a sheet to set the topsail properly so we had to lower the main to untie it from the gaff and at the same time swap the genoa for the jib. No sooner had with started changing sails when we were hit by squally showers and mist which made it more of a challenge than it needed to be.
By now we were nearing the Kedge islands in a force 5 Southerly, into a 6 in squalls but we were now going against the tide so our speed over ground was only about 4kts.
We considered the sensible option of heading into Baltimore and continuing on inside roaring water bay but although it was raining the sailing was very pleasant and we were surrounded by dolphins so we carried on with the plan of sailing West round the bill of Cape. More rain and mist came in as we headed West so we made a change and decided to head in through Gascanane sound.
Now we had a fair idea it could be a horrible place in the wrong weather but we didn't consider the day to be that bad and although the tides were still reasonably big we were coming off springs and nearing the top of the tide as well. We could see the overfalls to our West as we approached but it seemed as if we would miss the worst of them and we made a final call to carry on through.
Pretty quickly we were deeply regretting it in a confused breaking sea. We were running under full sail but when we checked our speed we were only making 1kt, We quickly started the engine and under sail and engine we were making 2.5kts. For the next 15 minutes or so we got beat to hell, I went from worrying about crash gybing to not giving a dam if we lost the whole rig as long as the boat stayed together to get us out the other side. Ken sat on the bridge deck looking back at what was coming and I held the tiller with white knuckles trying to keep her going straight. I assumed the dinghy had been lost at that stage until we resumed speaking as we eased out the other side and Ken muttered that it was still there and that it had been hit right on the beam by 3 or 4 breaking waves.
I had just been reading about Andy Rankin surfing Teal in the breakers on his way into Limfjord the night before and had been thinking he was mad but this matched his description very well although thankfully for us she didn't broach.
Plenty of people seem to have made the mistake of ending up there at the wrong time and although I've seen the sea state pick up badly in comparison to the weather in other places I was very surprised how bad it was there. Thats what I get for not composing the mandatory Gascanane poem the first time I went through.
Following that we had had enough for the day and decided to head into Schull for the night, We dropped the anchor around 9pm and following a few pints retired for the night only to be woke up at 2am by the tiller banging around which meant going on deck in the pouring rain to lash it over (twice because I rushed the first time) . So it had been an eventful first day but cruising wouldn't be cruising without a little hardship and a few frightening moments I guess. For the record Teal didn't take a drop for the beating she got and the dinghy shipped no water whatsoever.

Sailing with Dolphins

Friday 18 July 2014

Wonderful Apple Pie

Just got back yesterday after a few days sailing and just before the massive thunderstorms last night.
I'll write a post about the whole thing soon.
I had a bit of a rush to have the Apple Pie dinghy ready in time to go, but I thought we were going to lose it the first day out when ended up somewhere we shouldn't have been, It put Teal seriously to the test and we thought the dinghy didn't stand a chance but it came through without taking even a drop of water. If you are looking to build a small dinghy to tow this one is seriously well behaved.
Its a quick little boat to row and quite comfortable with 2 people on board, A little wobbly to get in and out of but then it is tiny. Its also very light and can be lifted by one person with a little effort.

I just took a complete guess at where to fit the rowlock mounts, I need to move the back ones back about 6 inches so I can sit a little further back when I'm on my own to lift the flat bow a little higher out of the water. With two on board I can sit all the way forward.

Saturday 12 July 2014

Nearing the end of the Dinghy build

Iroko runners and keel epoxied on. 

I glued on the inwales and gunwales today using stikaflex.  They should have been epoxied on but after filleting in the seats, sheathing over them, sheathing the outside of the hull and gluing on the runners my epoxy was once again gone. Thats 6kgs of epoxy now and I'm not buying anymore, The weave will have to be filled out with the epoxy primer I have.
I could do with just a drop more to reglue the skeg, I was very nearly out of hardener and as it turns out there just wasn't enough to get it to set hard so it needs redoing.

Seats all sheathed over

I had very little timber lying around to make the gunnels, so I ended up cutting them out of the base of Teals old mast which just happened to be long enough. I bought 4 nylon rowlock mounts, They are cheap and used with nylon rowlocks should be nice and quiet. I may get one more for the transom or else cut a skuling notch.

Need to sand it all down now and get it primed, Gonna need it early in the week. Topcoat may have to wait.

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Dinghy build

We're hoping to get a few days next week to go sailing and hopefully take Teal a little further afield so I'm trying to squeeze in work on the Apple Pie dinghy when I can. It has been set aside for the last few weeks because I needed to buy more epoxy which I couldn't because there was still a fair amount of bills outstanding following the rush before launching Teal, rigging, survey etc etc etc.
Anyhow I bought some the other day and got the outside of the hull sheathed. Last night I filleted the seat bases in place and this morning I glued the seat tops on and filleted the edges, I think I will sheath over the seats also.
The plans have the seats in the same arrangement but they are mounted on twart supports and don't provide any buoyancy. I considered making them that way to save as much weight as possible but concluded that it wouldn't add much weight for the benefits of having some built in buoyancy. So I have made the seats as per the plans but they are sealed boxes instead. The longitudinal seat and dual row lock positions are a great idea because they allow the rower to sit further forward to trim the boat if carrying a passenger.
I sheathed it in 195gsm woven rovings and it has so far taken about 4 kgs of epoxy including the fillets. I don't know if I will have enough to completely fair it after but I do have an abundance of epoxy primer and paint which I figure will almost do the same thing.
I need to get some solid timber for the skeg, runners, gunwales and knees.

I put an extra layer of matting on the corners because no doubt they will get knocked about.

We went down to Teal yesterday to fit the chain pipe on the foredeck so we can get the anchor set up properly and then headed out for a sail.
We sailed off the pier and out South of the robber bank about 5 miles South of the harbour, then back in and sailed on to the mooring, Its great when the engine can be avoided altogether, Teal seems to make headway in the absolutely lightest of breezes, if time was never an issue I can see how she would be just fine engineless as you would imagine any boat of her era would have had to have been .

Next season I will lower the waterline aft, I don't think she needs anymore ballast now, She had several waterline marks and I went with the last one which was used, Presumably she had been sitting lower and lower as the years went by.

Thursday 3 July 2014

Learning the ropes

It was blowing a good force 6 Southeasterly on Tuesday dropping throughout Wednesday down to around force 3. A Southeasterly is the worst wind direction of the lot when it comes to Glandore. It brings with it steep short waves that shoal up alongside Adam island and run straight up the harbour and cause a really confused sea in the sound as the tide goes against it.
With the wind dying we took the opportunity to stick our noses out and see how Teal liked the slop that remained. We sailed out with the mizzen, full main and staysail. She did well to windward with that arrangement but without the jib she was heavy on the helm. We let her go to see what she would do left to her own devices, she points up to wind, just about luffs up then begins to fall back on the same tack before instantly pointing back up again. As a result she seems to stand her ground very well with her nose high up to the weather. I was afraid she would fall off on the other tack with the boom against her backstay but she continued to fall off the same way.
We swapped the staysail for the jib to counteract the weather helm. It did balance the helm much better but pressed her harder than the staysail did. We also find it easier to go to windward with the staysail as the luff is hanked on, unlike the jib which curves its luff no matter how tight its hauled She acted the same way when we let go as with the staysail.
We sailed back in on a broad reach at 5-6 knots then made a few short tacks back a forth across the harbour before taking her back on to the mooring under mainsail. A good days messing is great for getting to know her better. I thought she would take some water after a bit of a clobbering but her bilges remain dry when I checked this morning.
No pictures taken so a random one instead.