messing about in boats

Sailing in Douarnenez Bay

Posted in Sailing, Windsurfing by Joseph Moore on February 22, 2010

Fantastic video from ozimek78, really makes you want to get out for a blast in the sunshine. Shame it’s snowing outside (again!) but only a few months til summer now!

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Winter Drought

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on February 16, 2010

The lack of boating this winter is killing me. Bring on the warm weather so I can at least get out on the catamaran without fear of losing my limbs through frostbite. Oh for a boat with a heater, or at least a kettle…

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Being In The Middle Of Nowhere On A Nautiner 30

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on November 2, 2009

I was just reminiscing of a weekend I spent on a Nautiner 30 last summer. I was crewing on a demo boat for Adrian who imports them (they’re Polish built), racing in some RORC offshore channel race. I can’t remember exactly which one, but it did involve us beating against the tide from Cowes to Lymingon, then running back against the tide down to Selsey (I’d been elected to sheet the huge assymetric spinnaker with the cheese-wire sheets – ouch) before heading out across the channel almost to Cherbourg.

Nautiner 30

Nautiner 30 photo nicked from Adrian's website

I’ve never been out in the middle of the channel before. I’ve done a few cruises across large bays before now. In fact, I do remember sailing a Westerly Conway across Lyme Bay in thick fog which was quite surreal. Anyway, back to the weekend on the Nautiner. We were doing 2hr shifts if I remember rightly and as the sun had just set we could still see the Isle of Wight behind us and I went below to get my head down. 2hrs later I clambered into my foul weather gear and out on deck to be greeted by Ben at the wheel who just smiled and said “look up”. It was a crystal clear night with a good breeze and millions of stars in the sky. I get so used to not seeing that many stars where I live, relatively close to the orange glow of London, but we’d come far enough in the few hours I’d been kipping to leave the glow of Portsmouth far behind. It was just us, stars and the navigation lights of the ships making their way up and down the channel.

I’ve got to say as well, I love being in the pulpit at night. During the day it’s all too easy to see the crashing waves below you as the boat surges through the water, but at night it all seems less scary. Clipped on of course, it’s just you and your little red head torch being bounced around while you hank on the bigger jib as the winds die.

Dawn was a fairly peaceful affair. I elected to get my head down for a while as broken sleep does me no favours whatsoever. I get grumpy and in the worst case, nauseous, which given the gentle sea at the time, was a bit ridiculous. When I emerged back on deck at breakfast time it was something else. The sun was beating down with real ferocity and the wind had completely died. Here we were, slap bang in the middle of the channel and there wasn’t so much as a ripple. Not even enough to make any noise against the side of the boat. Add to that, no land in sight, not even any ships in sight. It was utterly, utterly brilliant.

Wet And Windy

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 28, 2009

Don’t think much of the weather for this Sunday – plenty of rain and over 20 knots of wind. Not ideal conditions to make up some ground in the Autumn PM race series. We’re currently leading the AM series by a decent margin, but people seem to actually race in the afternoon and the heavy weather a few weekends ago put the Tornado and other Inter 18 firmly ahead of us.

Fingers crossed the bad weather blows itself out on Saturday and leaves us with a beautiful force 3 and unseasonally warm sunshine on Sunday. Well, one can dream…

The People’s Boat

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 14, 2009

I stumbled across The People’s Boat this morning – it’s a neat concept, similar to the Million Dollar Homepage idea. People or companies can buy a 25sqcm ‘pixel’ on the boat (a class 40) which will compete in the Portimao Global Ocean Race 2011-2012. Once the race is over, skipper Alex Alley will auction the boat off for charity. Don’t know which charity – that’s still to be decided – but I guess it’s early days yet. If money gets raised for charity and Alex gets to go sailing for a year, then that’s all good by me. Get involved if you can!

The People's Boat - Sailing For Charity

The People's Boat - Sailing For Charity

The Lure of a Small Yacht

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 13, 2009

I’ve been watching a lot of Dylan’s Keep Turning Left videos and following Nathan On Kudu lately. If I had a little more money to spare I’d be trawling the boatyards now for a trailerable small yacht to have some adventures of my own on. There are a couple of little boats in need of a refit on sale for under a grand right now. The temptation is killing me…

Starboard

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 12, 2009

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a brown trousers moment as approaching the windward mark in yesterday morning’s race. The wind was picking up and gusting force 6 at times, which is blowy, but not unmanageable (even with our relatively light crew weight for the F18). Fine, til it swung round and our course overlapped with the downwind leg of the RS500’s open meeting course. There’s a group of 3 or 4 boats steaming downwind on port tack while we’re heading up on starboard. The usual rules of sailing would dictate that we should hold our course and they should give way, but with very little distance left between us and them and a gap closing fast it seems we’re expected to post an 8′ wide cat through a 6′ gap in some boats moving fast across our bow.  Not cool. Bear off, aim for a gap, watch the bows dive under the water and scramble backwards (and upwards!). Thankfully the cat’s really well behaved in a crisis – she stayed upright, didn’t pitchpole and nobody got a slice taken out of their hull or their ribs. We got a rather flustered “Oh, sorry!” from one of the boats as we breathed a sigh of relief. What would have been nice was not having to adjust our course or fear for our lives, but I guess that’s a bit too much to ask sometimes.

Anyway, rant over. Sailing should be fun, so remember to keep your eyes open on a busy bit of water and keep safe!

More Sailing Around Britain – On Kudu

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 5, 2009

Been reading about Nathan’s Adventures on Kudu this weekend. Check it out, he’s taking quite a different approach to Dylan Winter but it’s ace nonetheless. I’m sure most sailors can empathise with the bits of boat breaking and the amazing ability sailing has to devour what little money you may have. Respect to Nathan for getting on with it, hopefully the adventure will continue next year with Kudu back on the water for the Jester Challenge.

Autumn’s Here

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 2, 2009

This is a screenshot of the weather forecast at Grafham Water tomorrow courtesy of windguru.cz – the chilly temperatures and lovely pink colours in the wind boxes mean autumn is well and truly here. Guess who’s going sailing! Looking at the 35 knot gusts I wonder if the lake’s even going to be open for dinghies. Better dig out a warmer wetsuit and take the windsurfing gear just in case.

Windy weather forecast at Grafham Water

Windy weather forecast at Grafham Water

Sailing Round Britain

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on September 30, 2009

Credit goes to my US-based namesake (well, in blog terms anyway) for spotting Dylan Winter’s amazing sailing vlog keep turning left. Despite the cheesy music it’s really enjoyable and informative.

p.s. Sorry for nicking your blog name, Adam. Pure coincidence, I promise!