Members Cruise 28-4-2013
A skipper and three crew members assembled for Coffee at the Radisson Blu
Hotel at 09:00 and boarded the ketch soon after 09:30. The crew was
assembled from those who could not get on board a week earlier and there
were obviously two "no shows" so it would have have helpful if they
had let someone know that they could not take up the invitation so that
their places could have been offered to others.
The ketch slipped her mooring just before 10am and motored out towards the
Elizabeth Castle breakwater from where she turned into the NE wind and the
deck crew speedily raised the Mainsail. With the Mainsail up and the
foredeck secure the the Helmsman turned down wind and crew took up
positions to unfurl the Genoa taking great care not to invite an
involuntary Gybe from the following wind. The short run to East Rock Bouy
required careful steering so as to maintain the wind in the sail but with
the gentle assistance of the noble Volve-Penta engine the crew rounded the
bouy and headed south towards the red "Hinguette Bouy" with the engine
just ticking over.
Because of the following wind it became easier to steer a course toward
Demi Des Pas Lighthouse and the skipper gave the order "Finish with
Engine". The new course took the crew out of the path on one of the
incoming high speed ferries and once the gaggle of other French vessels
had passed by the crew considered a change of course to the west. For the
second time that morning a very slow Gybe through south and west was
planned and carefully executed until the helmswoman was heading the
ketch towards Corbiere. The ketch continued on this westerly course until
it was due south of the Raudiere Bouy at which time the ketch turned into
the wind for the first time.
The change of course to a northerly direction was dramatic. The ketch
heeled to port very firmly and the speed increased very positively until
well past Raudiere and smoothly inside St Aubins Bay where the yachts of
the Connex Regatta were storming across the bay under full spinnaker. At
this point it was noticed that we would be crossing their path rather too
closely and so the skipper turned west and away from the charging fleet so
as not to come into any conflict over whose right of way it might be while
on an opposing course. At this point it was decided to "heave to" and make
coffee. Then disaster! it was found that the gas bottles were empty!
After a quick search of the main cabin it was found that there were
supplies of bottled water as well as a few other types of bottles left
over from last seasons SunDowner events. Strangely, no one fancied an
alcoholic drink at mid day on a cold April day.
The ketch motor sailed back to Elizabeth Marina and straight through the
tide gate to her berth where the crew tucked her safely into her berth in
at the first attempt. It is now very simple to secure the ketch in the
right position as the mooring lines are set out to just the right length
and there is a short "spring" to ensure that she does not ride forward and
damage her bow against the pontoon framework.
In the coming week it is likely that the ketch will be taken out of the
water and prepared for a fresh coat of paint, providing that the weather
shows signs of a few days of dry sunny weather. In addition to this
serious piece of TLC there should be an opportunity to retrieve the two
signal halyards from the mast head and restore the "lazyjacks" to the boom
of the Mainsail which had become untied during the winter months.
Next week is the Jersey Boat Show and any one wanting to go sailing is
welcome to join us for a free sail.