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6th July 2007 - Fingers Crossed!

After some awful weather over the last few weeks, we are keeping our fingers crossed for the weekend. Most of the forecasts show a couple of days of less rain and more sunshine. Mind you you can't rely on any of them. We are off tonight on the 6.00pm ferry. Lucy is coming with us for her first visit to the boat.

Will find out tomorrow what work the marina have done. I did get a 'phone call last week from them regarding the Raymarine Warranty for the Auto Helm, which suggests they were doing something.

The plan for the weekend is to sail up to Veere and stay overnight in the small marina there.

8th July 2007 - Some Decent Weather at Last

Our usually slick Friday night departure was thwarted by SeaFrance, who were an hour late leaving Dover. Nevertheless, we were still on board Emjaytoo by 10.30. We were pleased to see that the marina had serviced the engine, tightened up the rigging and removed the autohelm, presumably for repair.

The next morning Wendy and Lucy fought their way through the Havendag celebrations to get some provisions in the village, whilst Kim readied the boat for departure. The weather by this stage was brighter but still very windy. We got out into the Veerse Meer and were tacking up the lake in a very stiff breeze before we had had time to get the fenders in (shock, horror!). The wind was by now registering 17 - 20 knots and we had one reef in and a partially furled genoa. At least an hour of vigorous short tacking up the channel left Wendy exhausted and with very bruised knees! Much easier when Wendy took the helm and Kim did the running about from one side of the boat to the other with the genoa sheets.

Kim started to notice a problem with the wind instrument as it would not give a true wind reading. We thought this might be due to the fact that the speed log appeared to be jammed. However, it then stopped giving even an apparent wind speed reading as well and a look up the mast suggested that the TV aerial had been dislodged (come off its bracket?). We have since found out that they had some very strong winds earlier in the week and this may have caused the problem.

Despite purchasing a bosun's chair, Kim (rightly!) does not have any confidence in Wendy to hoist him up the mast, so we will have to get the marina to sort the problem out! The problem with the log was due to a build up of muck and was sorted out by a good clean.

Throughout the afternoon the weather progressively got better and we arrived at Veere Marina in glorious sunshine. We had earlier phoned ahead and reserved our 10 m box for the night, which turned out to be a different variation yet again - mooring between piles with a narrow finger as well. Kim tried the PBO method of hooking a big loop over the pile and using the winches to let us go forward slowly under power and it worked a treat.

After securing the boat, Kim and Lucy went for a swim and although it was a bit cold to start with, both thoroughly enjoyed it.

We went for a quick walk round Veere to get some cash out and Wendy and Lucy bumped into Wendy's friends Hans and Tineke enjoying a beer outside the Veere yacht club. As time was getting on, Wendy had a quick beer with them and accepted their invitation to coffee the next morning.

We had a very enjoyable evening meal, cooked on the Cobb placed on the cockpit table, in spite of Kim's initial concerns about raging fires on board the boat!

Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny and by now the wind had dropped right off, leaving the surface of the water like a sheet of glass.

Lucy and Wendy both took advantage to have a row in the tender, then Kim and Wendy went off to see Hans and Tineke in their beautiful new house on the Kaai.

We had an uneventful journey back entirely under engine as there was not enough wind and time was pressing, as it often is on a Sunday. When we got back to the marina we met another English couple who keep their boat there. We didn't really have time to talk to them very much (although Kim successfully scrounged a much-needed tea bag!). Hopefully we will get to know them better in the future, especially as Denise was very complimentary about how Wendy brought the boat back into our berth!

Another brilliant weekend, all a brighter shade of lobster than we were before we left, although we do have a problem with sorting out the wind instrument and TV aerial. No doubt more of this in future entries.

10th July 2007 - Trouble Up The Mast

Telephoned the marina yesterday and spoke to Peter in the Technical Centre (whose English was brilliant!) and explained the problem. He said the biggest difficulty for them is that they are not allowed to go up the mast in a bosun's chair and he thinks their "crane" will only reach up about 12m. So we may have to have the mast taken down to fix the problem. It was left that Peter would discuss the problem with his colleagues and I will then go and seem them on Saturday when I am over at the boat on my own to do some work.

As a result of the above, I have this morning 'phoned GJW (our insurers) for a claim form - just in case!

It seems even a new boat can have things go wrong that will cost. "Welcome to the world of boat ownership!" - no doubt!

On a different issue, after reading a post about what sort of anodes should be used in fresh, salt or brackish water (we sail in brackish - or is it salt?), I phoned Peters Opal and spoke to Arthur to find out what sort they fitted in Ipswich. He didn't know off the top of his head, but thought they were zinc, in any event he will find out for me. Anyway, whilst chatting to Arthur, the subject of the toe rail came up and Arthur advised they had ordered a new section and were awaiting delivery from Bavaria. Arthur said he was unsure whether Peters Opal would send it out for the marina to fit or whether they would send their own fitter over to do it. It seems they are on the case.

I also mentioned the wind instrument and Arthur said he would look into that as he thought they had had a problem with awind instrument packing up in a similar maner, before.

So I await a call from Arthur.

13th July 2007 - Plans For The Weekend

I am off to the boat, on my own , tomorrow morning - 7.50 Shuttle out of Folkestone. Should get there about 11.00 BST. I'm going on my own so I can get on with a number of jobs that need doing. If Wendy comes, then we will go out and sail rather than do things on the boat.Primarily, there is the flat screen TV to fix in the saloon and I want to make up a set of customised dock lines to suit our home berth. At present we use a set of 12mm lines that are either 8m or 12m in length. The idea is to make up each line the precise length, with spliced loops at each end so there is no adjusting the boat's position - the lines automatically set the boat in the right place. So lots of splicing for tomorrow.

Poor Emjaytoo is also in need of a good clean. The inside is always left clean and tidy, but we don't have time to clean the outside when we leave on a Sunday, so she has become quite grubby.

The weather for the weekend looks mixed, so we shall see how it turns out.

16th July 2007 - Weekend Jobs

A reasonably successful weekend, got all the dock lines done and the TV fixed to the bulkhead. I couldn't get a picture on the set at all, probably due to the aerial not working.

I went over to the marina's service department and discussed the Raymarine wind instrument and aerial. They are going to do some voltage tests on the wind instrument to determine where the fault is and then gat back to me. So we will wait and see. If they fix it without having to access the top of the mast, then that will be good, but leaves me with the problem of fixing the aerial.

Spent an hour or so in the evening in the company of Luke & Christine. They are a Belgian couple, that we got friendly with last year and this was the first time I'd seen them since taking Emjaytoo over. We had a few beers and Luke offered to winch me up the mast Sunday morning. As it happened the weather was awfull - lots of rain, thunder and lightning, so we didn't bother.

After the success of Saturday with splicing loops into the dock lines I decided to put some loops in the ends of the two lines that attach the bow fender. After carefully measuring, I put the loops in and the fender now sits too high! I should have left it as it was. I will now have to take the loops out and the rope will probably be ruined, so I'll have to replace it.

Just as I was about to leave the marina Phil & Denise were arriving, but I didn't have time to talk other than to say hello. We also have a few yachts parked adjacent to us who we will no doubt make the aquaintance of in due course.

Left about 14.00hrs BST and got a much earlier shuttle than I was booked on, so got home just after 18.00hrs. Four hours door to door is not bad going!

So now I wait for a call from the marina re the wind instrument.

21st July 2007 - Telephone Call to the Marina

We are having a quiet weekend at home this weekend - lots of domestic things to attend to.

I phoned the marina yesterday and spoke to Peter. He says they have checked out the wind instrument and the fault is at the mast head or in the mast wiring. He thinks their crane will reach high enough to access the mast head and will move Emjaytoo round to the work quay to have a look. We also discussed the TV aerial and if necessary they will replace the aerial with a new "digitienne" aerial.

The next trip is not until August either the 4th/5th or the 11th/12th.

31st July 2007 - A Weekend With Stewart

Went over to the boat on Saturday morning with Stewart, mainly to bring all Wendy's kit back in readiness for her sailing course next weekend and the one after. She is doing Day Skipper practical with AT Sailing. I did my DS with them a couple of years ago. Even though Wendy already has an ICC, she still wanted to get some more "big boat" experience and also get to sail somewhere she has not sailed before - The Solent.

Whilst on the boat I decided I would reorganise the fire extinguishers. The boat came with two extingishers in the cockpit locker and one in the locker under the nav-table seat. We also had an automatic one fitted in the engine compartment and we fitted a fire blanket at the galley. However after some discussion on the forum, I came to the conclusion that the existing extinguishers were not in the best positions.

So I bought a fourth conventional extinguisher and repositioned them as follows:-

  • one in the fore cabin
  • one in the aft cabin
  • one on the end of the saloon table, opposite the companion way steps; and
  • one in the cockpit locker

The are all 2kg dry powder.

That took most of the afternoon, Stewart got some practice in rowing the tender around the marina, we had a walk round the town, where there was a cycle race on in the street.

Sunday morning we tidied up the boat, sorted out the previously ruined bow fender lines, dried the tender out and stowed it away (it rained heavily during the night) and headed back to Calais.

The shuttle trip back home was a disaster - technical problems led to a 4 hour wait at Calais to get a shuttle back to Dover. As Wendy often says , the shuttle is okay when it works, but when it doesn't it is a real pain.

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