27th to 30th of May 2016 - First sail of the season
|Crew :||Helen and Andy|
|Destinations :||Ipswich and River Stour.|
|Distance :||21 miles|
After a delayed launch due to things, as ever, happening slower than expected, we finally got the sails back on Speedwell and tried the new tender on for size. It fits our new davits, though it is less certain how we might inflate or store it on the boat. Something for another day. The stern light was wired onto the new stainless steel post and Andy wired in the fittings for our new solar panels. We have decided to have 3. One permanently mounted on either side of the stern to new stainless steel rails. The 3rd will be more portable and will be attached somehow to the top of the davits. Andy experimented and we were pleased to find that in full sun we were managing to get 7 amps from one panel. Given that our old panels give 1 amp each we are very pleased.
On Saturday evening we left the marina on free flow, saving us the effort of tying up while the lock fills. We sailed with the wind on our beam, down river and then up to Ewerton Ness on the River Stour, where we anchored. On Sunday we spent a few hours working hard cleaning and servicing the cooker, doing more electric wiring and testing our new electric outboard. Despite returning across the river against the wind and tide and trying quite hard, I was unable to get Andy wet with the spray. This is a definite improvement on our previous tender. We spent two nights at anchor, in the wind, returning on Monday morning to berth before the really strong wind hit.
Only two problems were identified this weekend. The log continues to malfunction, so the distance we travelled was over the ground rather than through the water. We will have to buy a new instrument. Although I'm tempted to get a towing log given the problems we have had over the last couple of years. We also found a couple of leaks when I was washing the decks with salt water. The first leak wasn't technically a leak and was caused by me throwing a bucket of salt water through the forward hatch which was open at the time. That was easily fixed by closing the hatch. Fortunately it was sunny and windy so the upholstery dried fairly quickly. The other leak was more of a mystery and we initially concluded was due to a leaky stanchion base. However, on further investigation, we concluded the cause was the same as the first. It's amazing how water can find it's way to distant parts of the boat along various channels, and without leaving a trace of it's progress through the boat.
The new genoa is looking very smart and seems to work. In addition, over the winter, we have invested in a heavy duty sewing machine. My repairs to the spray hood seem to have worked and the webbing straps for the life raft and tender nearly worked. Just a few adjustments and they will be perfect.
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