Thursday 24 December 2015

Poem for Christmas

This poem by Robert Louis Stevenson was shared on In The Boat Shed a couple of years ago and I really like it so here it is again. Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas and fair winds for the new year.

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.
They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But 'twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to go about.
All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.
We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:
So's we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.
The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every 'long-shore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.
The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it's just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessèd Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.
O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother's silver spectacles, my father's silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.
And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessèd Christmas Day.
They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
'All hands to loose top gallant sails,' I heard the captain call.
'By the Lord, she'll never stand it,' our first mate, Jackson, cried.
… 'It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson,' he replied.
She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter's day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.
And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Towel sail yawl.

Just came across a new blog to follow, Its a new lobster boat being built at Hegarty's. You will probably have to hit translate but will be nice to follow. Most of the current one's were built in the early 2000's so I missed it all.

Thursday 12 November 2015

2015 done and dusted

I've been very lazy with writing anything lately, Partly due to trying to finish the house before Christmas and probably more so I started re-watching Lost on Netflix. Don't ask why.

We did however finally get the boats back to Oldcourt and just in the nic of time with the way the weather has been rolling in.
We had a hard time getting the engine bled out after that, Even when finally running it was sounding rough for a good 5-10 mins and I was starting to lose hope in it but then after restarting it again it sorted its self out.
A couple of days later we made a dash and motor sailed round, We made good time and the engine ran sweetly for the full 6 hours. The wind and tide were in our favour but there was a decent swell running and the wind was slack at times giving a pretty rolly day out so it was nice to finally make it into Baltimore and up the river. It was slack low tide on the river and we kissed a sand bar passing Innisbeg boathouse. Nothing more than a mild bump but now we can calibrate the sounder at least.
First thing the next morning I brought the Boy Scott around too and struck a line through boating for this year. I'm not sorry as even as there have been some nice days out there has been so many bad ones that incentive has been low.
I have some things I want to tinker with on the mechanical side of things with Teal this Winter and I am going to leave the rig standing so we can get a proper sail and cockpit cover made before next season. I left her the other day drying on the slip with the bow spirit off and a cover on so she may well be out next day I'm down there.

That cleat is crude and needs sorting out but it is a god send

Saturday 24 October 2015

I had the perfect opportunity for a nice sail to Oldcourt in a slack Northeasterly on Monday but I missed out on it as I had to check out the oil pressure issue and I wanted to do other things with the nice day. The oil pressure problem turned out to be just an electrical fault so was easily fixed and I later regretted not taking the opportunity to go. So when Thursday looked pleasant enough I grabbed the chance.
The wind was on the nose but I planned on motor sailing to make good time round.
There was a good lump in the Stags Sound and I was heeled well over. I had been worried she might draw air and just as I cleared the sound she spluttered out. Over half way to Baltimore. I headed on under sail for about a mile but I was going to have to sail along way South West off the coast to make Baltimore so I opted to turn and run.
I considered Castlehaven as it was close but I had no mooring and the wind was to come up over night so I headed back to Union Hall which was a pleasant enough sail. The wind became very light in the bay and eventually I ended up half a mile from the mooring utterly becalmed on a slack tide.
I was on my own so the plan was to get the engine bleed and running once in the bay and able to leave the helm but for various reasons I couldn't get it started again.
After 2 hours messing and dark setting in I called Ken to come and get Dads tender from the pier and come and tow me back the mooring which all took quite a while more. In which time I dropped my phone over the side. It was very calm, very dark and starting to rain by the time I was finally off the boat, exactly where I had started ten hours earlier.
As days sailing go, this one was frustrating !

Monday 28 September 2015

South Easterly Day break yesterday morning

I had a brainwave to do with Teals starter issue and realised that the problem with the starter could be related to the heater plug being wired to the ignition switch and sure enough once I disconnected it she started perfectly. I thought the key switch would have disconnected the heater plug as I turned it to start position but apparently not. Either way it was a quick fix. There was also never a charge problem as it turned out it was the oil light which was on. So either I have no oil pressure AT ALL or a dodgy sender. So either I need a new sender or a new engine. Next job is to check the oil pressure with a gauge. I would be surprised if it is a complete pressure loss as I can't think of anything that would cause that to happen that suddenly and it still sounds fine.

Saturday 26 September 2015

Wish I had something better to post but I don't really,
The place is teaming with wildlife at the moment, Humpback whales, Fin whales, Minke whales, Dolphins and even Bluefin Tuna so I have been getting out as much as I can to see them but mostly in my charter boat, We did take Teal out yesterday as a cheaper option and had a really nice day out, Mostly motoring as it was glassy calm most of the day but we did have a nice sail in for the last 4 or 5 miles.
It did show up a crop of engine issues, the starter has been sounding rough all season as yesterday it finally failed to start the engine from cold so I had to crank start it, It just about managed when warm. Next up the battery light came on and the oil light started showing at tick-over which unless I have a simple problem such as a bad earth could mean yet another new alternator and a bottom end rebuild to boot. None of this is the end of the world on such a small engine and at least we are nearing the end of the season.
I'm not sorry this season is nearly over. Between the bad weather, work,  minding the kids and trying to renovate a house it has been a bad one for sailing.

Thursday 3 September 2015

I brought the sails in South of the harbour as I was about the get hit by heavy showers, There was no wind by then anyway so I wanted to stow them away dry. I on the other hand got absolutely soaked, such a nice day I didn't bring wet gear, By the time the boat was tied up it turned into a beautiful evening.

Monday 31 August 2015

No mooring so back to Union Hall on a 4.4 meter tide

Heart shaped hole in the Kedge

Probably a good warning not to go near Gascanane in these tides

The Stags from the East

Saturday 22 August 2015

We motor sailed down stream then sailed across Roaring water bay before the wind died entirely, We motored the rest of the way, We would have had to anyway with about 3 knots of tide against us at Turk head, Even at that it was nearly dark when we got back to Baltimore. Lovely trip back either way. Definitely better than the torrential rain we sailed back in last year

Thursday 20 August 2015

Heading down stream

Bit of diesel assistance to get out in the open 

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Ballydehob Gathering of the boats 2015

We left Baltimore in plenty of time in a nice breeze, It was low water so we planned on sailing around South-west of Heir Island instead of the much shallower route to the  North-east. This meant beating out almost to Gascanane sound to round Toorane rocks and pass West of West Skeam. Once heading in the right direction a fleets of boats appeared in all directions and true to form we were stone cold last to enter the river. Jeremy Irons's Willing Lass then sailed out and sailed in behind us so we weren't quite at the back in the end.
First up to the pier this year were Peel Castle and Sile a Do, Easily the biggest of the local boats which make for a very nice center piece.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Fastnet to Baltimore

I hove too at the Fastnet and ate my lunch and savoured the moment a little before turning and heading for Baltimore. I managed to sail for a mile or two before the wind dropped off entirely and left me cooking in the sun.
I motored back almost to North harbour in Cape Clear. A little pleasure boat was making its way back with its little auxiliary after presumably breaking down at the Fastnet. She left me for dirt.
From there on I got to sail on and off and ended up having a nice sail back through the catalogues, down the sound and avoiding the dinghy's in Baltimore harbour. It had to be one of the most glorious days of the Summer as a bonus.

I wanted to get this photo with a while. A long while. 

A self portrait just because I was in my element

Cape Clear from the West

Friday 14 August 2015

Horseshoe harbour to Fastnet

After a great nights sleep I ghosted away out of horseshoe nice and early and headed West along the coast of Sherkin. Soon after passing Cascanane sound what ever breeze I had left, I was still making a knot and a half with the tide but I needed to be in Baltimore again by the evening.
I was planning on rounding Cape and sailing back up through Roaringwater bay but I had it in mind to head for the Fastnet if I reached the Bill of Cape early enough so I did what was called for and motored the whole way to the Fastnet. Totally worth it !

A very calm Cascanane sound 

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Glandore - Baltimore - Horseshoe harbour

With a forecast for calm weather we grabbed the opportunity to get Teal round to Baltimore in time for the Gathering of the boats, I also blagged a night away so I had all today to sail as well.
Yesterday started fine but we were soon motoring into a very light but very cold head wind. We ended up motoring against the tide for its entirety. Ken's brought a few guests as we expected it to be sunny and pleasant but they ended up hiding in the cabin from the cold.
We got to sail the final mile into Baltimore were I dropped them off. My plan had been to head on to South Harbour but it was later than planned and I was cold and hungry so Horseshoe it was.
We had a great encounter with Dolphins earlier in the day with a large group staying with us for at least 20 minutes, They seem to like staying under the dinghy and one was hanging around right behind the prop, presumably enjoying the turbulence.

Pics from Horseshoe harbour


Saturday 8 August 2015

International 12

A shipwright friend of ours is selling his 1937 International 12 sailing dinghy, Rebuilt by him a few years ago and ready to sail it would be a great buy for someone. I'd imagine it could probably even be brought to the UK if not in too much of a rush (don't hold me to that though ) There is a link to it here. If I didn't have a million other things to pay for I wouldn't pass it up. Link

Next up for us is the Ballydehob Gathering of the boats. The weather looks promising for the week ahead so I have fingers and toes crossed that I will get away to do some sailing and have a night away. I was thinking about it today and I guess even if we aren't managing much sailing this season the best place the boat can be is there on her swinging mooring. I do wish I had a better sail cover and a cockpit cover sorted though, buts thats 2 more things on my list to buy.

Monday 3 August 2015

Teal and An Suire, Photo courtesy of Tim Cooke

Wish I had more to ad but unfortunately we are once again weathering the storm.

Thursday 23 July 2015

Glandore 2015

We headed down as planned on Sunday for the parade of sail. Sunday was a beautiful day for it and we had a great day out followed by enough Guinness to skip rowing back to the boat and opting to sleep it off in Kens campervan.
We went to the briefing on Monday morning but with a forecast of 32kts SW the sail in company to Baltimore was called off so we decided after a very leisurely full Irish breakfast to try and get to Castletownshend and go exploring the shallows in the skiff.
We set out with a well reefed main and jib and got a few miles South before tacking West. When we tacked West we had a fairly big sea right on the beam and were making a fair amount of leeway and rather than spend hours tacking back and forth we decided to turn and run while we had the room. We had a hell of a run back in the harbour though and soon enough we were back in the pub.
We did at least manage to stay on board the second night.
Daily races are still going on for the week and it is great to see all the beautiful gaff rigs around the bay but Tuesday was the last day I could spare.
I only started to take any pictures as soon as I was back fishing.