Sunday, 26 October 2008

Back on the dock

Seasons end...

On Friday she came out the water for the winter and now is snugly parked up waiting on another trip to set up the covers. A bit sad really, seeing her back on land, out of her element - but there's a season for everything.

On the bright side, the hull still looks really good - some streaking from run-off from the scuppers but very little sign of the usual summer matting and fading. In fact it looks so good I'm keen to give her a wash and polish before the winter.. We'll see how the weather is when we come to do that job!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

The Ultimate Sailing Trip....

Which is to say, our last outing of the season... but for all that a nice trip too. A weekend outing out beyond Utö - which somehow always feels like the spot where the Outer Skärgård begins.

Friday night was Kolnäsviken, and after a somewhat slow day in light winds we made it out to Notholmen in good time for sunset. We'd not been here before but we'll definitely have it on the list of possibles in the future - a fine small island with a sheltered bay on the southern side. The north shore is steep and not too easy to come in to - and the eastern side is a bit shallow close in. We managed though to find a spot on this side with shelter from the easterlies predicted to come up in the night.

And indeed they did - though not to any worrying degree - but plenty enough for a quick trip home running or reaching all the way - and with that curious coastal phenomenon - cloud all round but somehow rarely overhead. Just the way it should be ....

But please... remind to get the outboard seen to - losing the cooling in reverse is starting to be more than a small inconvenience....

Details of the trip this time courtesy of Pål and Easytrail - let's see if this works....

Segling Notholmen

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Monday, 18 August 2008

Swabbing the deck

.. Back in port, and just the tidying up to do. Two nights under a tree and the decks and cockpit are sorely in need if a wash over. On the other hand the hull is looking great. None of the usual matting off as the season progresses. It's lovely to see her look so good!

But oh how I hate putting the sail away in the rain...

Flying low

Even before we set out they were forecasting strong winds, so it was no surprise to waken on Sunday to leaden skies and the sound of the wind surging through the treetops. In the bay all is still calm, but walk over the headland and the wind is not to be ignored. The water has that brushed look as gusts flatten the surface & white horses ice the wavetops.
Slowly the bay empties, most going out with the boom covers on, clearly intending to motor. The forecast though is for lighter winds towards evening so we opt to wait.
It's not the finest of days... grey and damp, but it has it's compensations. The stiller airs in the bay are just right to bring swallows and house martins swooping to feed. Lots of them...
The darting black shapes are all around, flying just over the water and then flicking away after some tasty morsel. Nature's air display on our doorstep :-)

Midafternoon and a light rain sets in.. but the wind has eased a little so we can pack up and head for home - on mainsail and a wedge of jib. Less wind would be more comfortable, as would less of that fine mizzle, but it's quite Ok - just keep a weather eye open for the gusts.

And that was that for the first trip of the season.. A little lazy there and back...

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Lazy days

"I'm busy going nowhere, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do..."

If it works for the Wizard of Oz it works for me. It's finally the first trip of the season and we've come over the sound to Kolnäsviken as a Friday night jumping off point. But now it's saturday lunch and we're quiet happy where we are thank you. Lazy I know but that's the point of getting away from it all.

The bay here is a well sheltered natural harbour, with a steady turn over of boats coming and going... Some like us still here from last night, some just dropping anchor for lunch, and some starting to arrive for tonight.
The strange thing here is that no matter how busy it is in the bay you can walk the hundred metres across the headland and find solitude on the other shore - strange because it's here you get to see the sun sinking over the horizon in a magic swathe of colour.

Still, I don't mind if we get it to ourselves...

...Enough of that.. I have things not to do. :-)

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Sitting on the dock of the bay..

Well... summer's here, the boat is in the water and the archipelago promises sunshine, and quiet anchorages, swimming, and grilling on the shore. Whatever happened to long runs under a ballooning spinnaker, and splashy beats up a wind whipped Mysingen?

Sadly, after all that work on boat maintainance the skipper's now in dry dock for some maintenance of his own. Right now I can do a good impersonation of Nelson's "I see no ships!"*

Hopefully I'll pass muster before the season is completely done for...

* ..or was it "I really do not see the signal"?

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Back on the water

It's that time again. The outboard is on, the tiller back where it should be and we are waiting for the crane. Time to get back on the water.

Here they slip the boat from a trailer with hydraulic arms that cradle her on the move, but let her free once she's in. But first the crane to lift her onto the trailer bed.
The guys here are expert, lifting her out from between the neighbours like picking a parcel from a shelf, and launching is just as smooth.
Clean plugs and the outboard is thrummimg into life, and free of the mast she heads eagerly out from the quay for the cruise round to the berth.
Friday's sunny potter is repeated twice on Saturday for a date with the mast crane. With utmost care the shiny new Windex goes on, and we winch the mast into place - and just for once the job is done with the Windex still in one piece. Miracles will never cease.
So, there she is... Boom on, sails clad and all ready to go!

?? How is it that some people think it OK to tie up on the quay by the crane and then go off to start preparing the mast. Guys... YOU ARE IN THE WAY!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Finishing Touches

The weekend saw us back at the marina taking advantage of the sunny weather to finish all that needs to be done before sjösättning. That meant painting the waterline, making repairs to the caulking on the deck edge, prepping & mounting the outboard, scrubbing out the cockpit, oiling the teak facias and generally making things shipshape.

It doesn't empty the joblist... the tiller is at home getting a lick of varnish, the sprayhood needs time with a needle & thread, there's a window that needs sealing, charge the battery and a final polish to last the season. Plenty still that can be done!
But on Friday she goes back in the water... and looking her best we hope!

Monday, 14 April 2008


After talking about it for seven years it has finally happened.... we have put the name on the the boat. ..and it looks great if I do say so myself!

Also after seven years I've fixed the seacock on the port side cockpit scupper... so now we are properly seaworthy :-) That was a job that used a tip from the IF discussion forum: We plugged the scupper and then it sat for a week and a half with cooking oil in to penetrate and lubricate. It still took a while to get that critical first small movement, and a while longer to free up the last couple of millimetres to et proper closure. But now it's done. No more wet feet when we have guests onboard!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

True blue?

That nice blue hull looks really nice when it's given a rub down and a lick of polish.. but somehow it never lasts the season loooking that way. It quickly matts off and looks patchy and streaky... The gelcoat has had too many summers in the sun.
But maybe this year it will be different?

We spent the weekend with sander and polisher, cutting back with wet and dry and going over again with rubbing paste to bring up the shine - a compromise between wanting to get rid of the oxidation and not wanting to cut back too deep... Time consuming but hopefully worth it - the bit that's finished looks really good.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

All in a days work...

It's that time of year again... the countdown to launch, and the clock has started!

Last weekend, amid the easter snow showers we were out to Karlslunds to take off the covers and give her the once over- which might have been more of a twice over if we'd remembered to bring the boat keys!

This weekend in the warmth of the spring sunshine it was time to start the work in earnest... and this time with a some new technical tricks to help things along (no not the brush!).

First, simplest and best was a long handle... usable with sanding block or roller for both sanding and painting the hull. .. and a very good job it did too. Much easier on the back and you don't end up looking like an extra from 'The Martians Have Landed'.

Next was the electric 'detail' sander - perfect for rubbing down the waterline... usually we rub it down by hand - but always in a hurry and it soon needs doing again. This year it was just as quick, but oh so much better!

And last... a natty new polishing machine for rubbing down the gelcoat. According to the plan we are going to do a 'really good job' this year. So far it looks much like it usually does after rubbing. Good - but still with room for improvement. We'll see how it looks next week after phase two...

All of which made for a busy days work - which is why it was a bonus to fit in one of those 'really ought to do' jobs: sanding down and glassing over the crack in the aft hatch cover.
I wonder if we have some deck paint left to tidy up with after???

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Green Onions

Sailsalsa is about two things... and salsa is one of them. Mostly, sailing is dinghy sailing - which for me is an annual chance to get out and have a blast -but this year we took a day trip to Lökholmen - 'Onion Island'.

Well.. it wasn't going to be Lökholmen. When we slipped the mooring and headed off to follow the other boats (3 cruisers + two hobies) we had a different plan. I was crewless till the last minute when Karin hopped on board and so we set off after the others in a really fresh breeze. Mata Hari sails like a dinghy.. in a blow you just haul everything in - kicker, outhaul, backstay (cunningham if you like) - until it's all as flat as you like and then point her where you want to go... upwind.

Closehauled, but not all that level we were soon abreast and heading in what we thought was the right direction as the others seemed to hesitate between the islands.. until eventually the tender caught us up to say 'Lökholmen'. And where is that... We hove to to check out the chart until my brain woke up and I realised that it's the island off Sandhamn where we stayed a couple of years ago. But that's quite close?! So let's go the long way...

And so we set off after Håkan and Johan to round Sandhamn and come in from the southeast instead. A beat to start with but once we dropped off a point or two a really nice reach.

Still, it wasn't too long before we were dropping sail off the Archipelago's premier sailing venue and pottering in to the (other) guest harbour. The Cats and the tender were already there - which meant the grill was lit and the beer was chilling on the waterline. Perfect!

Getting out again was more interesting after someone dropped anchor over my anchor line.. and we struggled to free it with half the harbour watching - but such is life. And the short route back was the first time I'd sailed through the NW gap to Sandhamn. Cosy, with oncoming traffic and a big cruiser itching to motor past.. :-)

But I did like that first stretch..

1 August 2007
Vindalsö - Lökholmen
Paul, Karin