Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sailing at Last

Roach nestled in between two West Solent One Designs - Roach had more headroom that those!
Roach looking resplendent in Ipswich Haven. Notice all the oil lamps are on in order to avoid the varnish blooming with the dropping temperature.

Isn't it strange that when I type in "sailing" on my mobile phone, the predictive texting interprets "raining"; when I type "varnishing" it selects "tarnishing" - well tarnished was what the varnished looked like, and raining it was all week so there was nothing I could about it. Luckily on Sunday the rain clouds scudded away I motored Roach down to Ipswich from Woodbridge. This trip was mainly to give my non-saily sister a flavour of the rivers, but I had an alterior motive; get a coat of varnish on - and for this I needed a marina and a power point.

My first time to Ipswich Yacht Haven through the wet lock. I have to say that it was a very painless experience and we were lucky with the pontoons at the marina, as we had a vacant spot either side of us; allowing us to work on each side of the topsides by warping her across and back again. Monday morning was a scorcher and by 4pm we had a coat of varnish on. We had started work at 9am and there were two of us; wooden boats are hard work. I still have the cockpit to do too, but as it is in use all the time I really don't know when it will ever be done. We had a week deserved beer in the SaltHouse Hotel afterwards and I cooked Chorizo and Lentil caserol for dinner on board.
Next day it was my Birthday, so we set off down the Orwell to Levighton were we put in for a few hours to have a lovely dinner at the Ship Inn there. What a lovely pub - and the food is truly excellent. Then we zoomed off afterwards to get a head start on the tide. A very bumby night at half-penny pier (I think I will anchor at Shotley next time I wait for the tide). At dawn Roach was under full sail romping up the East Coast at 6 knots on a cloud of foam - what great sailing. Even though I was tired, this was the best sailing Roach has seen in my ownership. With the sails trimmed I managed to get her sailing herself and I just stood in the companionway watching the tankers go by whilst I made coffee.
All in all a great weekend's sailing. There are still many jobs to be done though. The new roller furling plays up and needs attention. The cockpit looks terrible. The hatches need attention. Also in the interior, the backrests need another sand and a coat of varnish. She also needs a bookcase as the books jump the shelves when well heeled - Oh well, atleast I she is sailing, so I suspect many jobs wwill be delayed till the winter!



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