With another boating season coming to a close and our annual Beancrock race scheduled for the following weekend I thought it would be a good time to clean and inspect the hull. I rented a full set of gear and two tanks for the job and my friend Jim offered to help out and spot for me so we were all set to go. I had already cleaned the hull in July so I didn't anticipate to much build up but I did notice a vibration and less boat speed when motoring so I expected my prop to have a bit of growth. The hull was a bit scummy with a few barnacle near the water line. Jim was able to clean off a lot of the growth just below the water line with a stiff brush from the dinghy. My propeller had quite a few small barnacles on it so I used up some time getting it nice and smooth. The other crazy thing I found was my bow thruster had acquired a small mussel colony. I was very proud of myself rarely using the bow thruster this summer when docking but on the down side the mussels enjoyed the lack of use as well. My new process will included trying the bow thruster every time I fire up the engine just to keep the growth down. Well the cleaning job took a little longer then expected and it was 1400 hours by the time we finished. The breeze was up and the beer was cold so that was enough motivation to get out for a nice sail. Jim was the driver since I like every opportunity I can get to learn from a more experienced sailor (Jim is all that and more). Its amazing the small things you can pick up by watching. Jim was able to do a few adjustments on my sheet blocks moving them a little further aft which helped increase our speed. We had a terrific sail along the water front and eventually we had to turn and start beating back towards home. We finally fired up the engine after clearing the MacKay bridge, no more vibration and I am back up to normal speed again, sweet. What a great day and now we are all set for our one and only race of the season next weekend, we shall see:)
Well I don't have too much to say regarding today's sail/drift. I took the afternoon off thinking the wind might come up but it didn't so I spent 2.5 hours just kind of drifting along at .5 of a knot. I would like to say this was frustrating but to be honest it was a beautiful afternoon so I set the Autopilot and brought one of our folding seats up on deck and enjoyed the afternoon. Some times its so nice to let the world go by without you for a little while, it was so relaxing watching the far off scenes on the shore, people rushing here and there and I was so happy not to be part of it today. To put icing on the cake it was Friday so I would see all of our friends at the club where Joyce would meet meet me (today was a 110% day on the fun /relaxation meter).
Its getting late in the season here so with another great day I decided to take the afternoon off and get Rose Lee out again:). On such short notice I was on my own but I find this gives me a good opportunity to really get to know the boat since I have to plan everything out in advance. This was a challenging sail today, the wind was out of the SW at about 9 knots meaning I would have to short tack upwind against the tide to get through the narrows and under our two bridges. I sailed off the mooring and as soon as I cleared the mooring field I shut off the engine and carried on under main and genoa. I had a few nice long tacks across Bedford Basin before I got into the narrows and then the work began:) Anyone who is looking for a really great upper body work out should have come out today with me because boy it was a lot of work (tacking one way for about 800 feet and then quickly coming about and repeating the process pulling in the big 135% genoa on the opposite side). Of course in the narrowest section going under the bridge I had a navy ship coming through so I had to do a couple of extra short tacks to give him room:( But I have to say I am getting good at tacking and sailing the boat by myself (taking your time and giving yourself margin of error is key). I finally cleared the second bridge where the harbour opens up and I was able to start making some nice long tacks which allowed me to recover a bit in between. My boat speed wasn't bad but it felt like my bottom might be getting a little slow so I would have to address that this weekend. After covering the full length of the waterfront I was treated to another great run home. I flew the sails wing on wing (genoa on one side with the main on the opposite side) right up until I turned into our mooring field. My new boom brake/preventer is working great and really tames down the large boom and main. Today was a good day, I gained some experience and utilized some of the tips form Doyle to get better shape, now I needed a rest:)
I had been chatting with my friend Grant from Doyle sails about my main and its shape (looks stretched). Grant said the best way to determine what was going on and if there was an easy fix would be to get out for a sail. So today Grant and Brad from Doyle along with my buddy Jim and I took Rose Lee out for the afternoon. They started off by checking out the mast tuning, which was a little off and needed to be brought back a bit at the top. We had pretty light conditions but eventually found enough breeze to fill the sails and get a good look. Well it turns out I,m not crazy and my main needs some attention, Brad actually feels that this main was a replacement cut from a much larger jib. Grant and Brad are going to re-cut it it removing a lot of the extra material in the center (it wont be perfect but will get me by for a few more seasons until I replace it with a new one). With the work out of the way we were able to enjoy a nice sail back with some good conversation. What a great bunch of guys to spend the afternoon with and I also learned a few trick about maximizing my sail shape. At the end of the season I will drop my main off at Doyle and they will fix it up as best they can for next season.
Our daughter Kate booked "Rose Lee" to get Her and the kids out weather permitting to do a little fishing and sailing. Alana is five and her younger sister Abbey is four so they are at the age where they are starting to listen and we thought they would do ok on the boat, their youngest sister Mayme who is under two was not in attendance (still a bit crazy trying to control that climber). Fishing was the predominant activity today since the kids had never tried it and Kate arrived fully equipped with new rods, bait, lures etc.. We rigged up their rods while we were on the mooring and let them get used to reeling them in and casting with just a bit of weight (no hooks yet:). After 15 minutes of this they decided it was time to catch real fish so we rigged them up with lures and sardine as bait, there wasn't too much action at the mooring so we decided to go for a sail to try and locate some "real fish". After a brisk sail up along the Halifax waterfront we dropped the genoa and started to run back on the main at about 2 -3 knots (perfect for trolling). We fished for a little bit and the kids started losing interest until Nanny hooked a Mackerel and then we were all hard core fishermen/women. It was pretty special watching them with their squeels of delight as they pulled in their catch. Or grand total was six or seven catch and release because they had to go back to their mommies:) It was the first time we had the sails up with the grand kids (we had the rail in the water and 20knots+ at one point) and it was their 1st fishing experience. There were both absolutely fantastic, no fear. They must get it from their great Mom.
Wow today started off absolutely gorgeous and I made a pact with myself to take the afternoon off and go sailing with or without company. Joyce was tied up with work commitment and I also tried a few friends who also had commitments, so it looked like it was just Rose Lee and myself for this afternoons sail. After clearing a few things at work I got back to Rose Lee by 1300 hrs. I set the main and genoa at the mooring and had the engine idling just in case but after back-winding the genoa I was able to get off the mooring in a port tack and ghosted my way past the boats in the mooring field feeling pretty good about myself and really enjoying the great day. The wind was about 14 knots out of the west which would be perfect for a reach under the bridges and out the mouth of Halifax Harbour. What a day! What a day! After playing around in the basin for a bit I headed for the bridges and the waterfront at 7+ knots. Boy Rose lee is really working great today and I am getting to know her a bit better and what she likes as we spend more time together (kind of like a marriage:). I had a lovely sail along the waterfront and turned at York Redoubt to start back to the club (Friday evenings at the club are great for catching up with friends). I had to give Joyce a call to let her know how great of a time I was having (great times are best shared but a phone call helps). My trip back was very nice and uneventful, I was able to sail into the mooring field and dropped my sails 400 feet from the mooring. This was my best solo trip of the summer it was relaxing, a perfect breeze, warm temps and no issues.
It was calling for 28 degrees today and clear which is very rare for Nova Scotia in September so Joyce and I had chatted about getting a few of her colleagues out for a sail in the afternoon after we finished up some work commitments. As it turned out we only had one taker with such short notice so the three of decided to meet at the boat around 1500 hrs. Austin is a great guy and came out last year when we had Joyce's team out for a sail so he wasn't going to miss out on this opportunity. We had plenty of cold drinks and good food so with a favorable forecast we through off the lines and were off. The wind swung around and was now out of the west allowing us to make it under the bridges in a single tack. The wind is always a little gusty along the waterfront so while I was at the helm Joyce and Austin were up on deck enjoying the 28 degree temps and beautiful breeze. I set "Bobby Lee" our auto helm and was able to join them on deck when the wind was stable. We really got caught up in this sailing thing and ended up sailing for a bit longer then expected and when I checked the time it was way past when we should have been heading back (Austin had a few things on the go that he was able to move around). We made it back by 1900 hrs after a very enjoyable sail. Even with the extended time I think Austin will definitely jump at the next chance to go for a sail and hopefully we can get his wife Barb on board for her first sail.
Introducing new people to sailing has always been great fun. I asked our neighbors Bill and Linda who are also social members of the club if they would like to go out sailing sometime. They have traveled extensively but had never really been out sailing so we made a date for Wednesday weather permitting to go out. Wednesdays weather held up and we had a great forecast for a first sail albeit a little windy. Wow Bill and Linda did great they didn't seem the least bit nervous and we had a great sail all the way along the waterfront right up to Shearwater yacht club where we had to navigate around the Wednesday night racers:). We eventually had to turn around or head for Ireland so we swung around and started a nice run home. It is always surprising to me how much flatter it is when we turn onto a run after a spirited up wind sail. Now we were able to enjoys some food and refreshments (quite civilized). We hooked up to the mooring without issues and were rewarded with a beautiful sunset and the site of Wednesday night racers returning. Since our Apartments overlook the club Bill and Linda invited us back to their apartment to try out some homemade wine. This was an excellent ending to an excellent day enjoyed by all.
Joyce and I went out to Rose Lee tonight to try and do something about the Ospreys landing on the mast head. I bought a SS rod 1/8" X 36" and was going to try and mount it vertically near the wind instruments that are being used as a perch. The idea is if an Osprey comes in to land they will get a poke in the belly and pick another mast. Armed with my rod and a few tools Joyce hoisted me to the mast top (gotta like electric winches) and I went to work. It was a little windy up top but not bad enough to cause any issues, I just had to be super careful taking my time and hanging on to my tools securely etc... I decided to fasten my rod to the forestay above the furler where I could bend it into the angle required to prevent unauthorized landings and take offs. I attached the rod to the forestay with a couple of small SS hose clamps. With this small job completed Joyce lowered me to the deck and now we will wait and see, its been 24 hours with pretty good luck but who knows. I will keep you updated:)
I haven't been down to Rose Lee for a few days so I thought I would bail out the dinghy and take a run out to check on her. The first thing I noticed was that the Osprey's were enjoying Rose Lees tall mast resulting in a bit of a mess for our newly cleaned dodger and bimini. It was pretty easy to clean up just the deck brush and salt water seemed to do it but I will have to do something to keep them off the mast. With my clean up completed I checked the batteries and found them down a little so I started the motor to give them a top up. Since I was going to be on the boat for a while charging batteries I figured I might as well get out for a sail. The breeze was pretty light with misty skies and fog was just around the corner but I enjoyed getting out and tacking around the basin. Soon the mist developed into rain and the fog moved into the basin and I am happy to say the radar is now working good. I made my way back to the mooring and hooked up with no issues. It was nice to get back on Rose Lee and with fall approaching I have to take advantage whenever I can before the weather starts getting too uncomfortable.
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