June wasn’t a good month for me as due to a Rotator Cuff tear I had to cancel any sailing almost for the rest of the season (see Home section). The good news is that we have a 3 week trip planned sailing directly to the Scilly Isles returning via various mainland ports and I have approval from my surgeon for the sailing providing I use caution so I have to accept I will have a very limited input. However by middle August after a serious re-evaluation I decided that unfortunately it wasn’t going to be and reluctantly cancelled my participation. I was needless to say devastated. In the end with crew problems at the end and beginning of the trip it was not to be itself and modified to a passage West to pastures as yet unknown. And the Scilly Isles, most likely postponed to another day hopefully next year (when I will be fit). One benefit of the outcome was that I gave a crew member a crash tuition on the use of Electronic Charting Navigation which will of course will prove beneficial for his future sailing.
October saw a planned YOSC weekend cruise to Chichester. This was to be a target for me in my own fitness although I still wasn’t fit enough to undertake any seriously hard manual tasks. After due planning I had two recently qualified Day Skippers, one very experienced all-round sailor and another who was planning to qualify at Yachtmaster Offshore in 2018. The latter was very keen (and capable) to Skipper the event and I was confident as the experience would indeed add to his already impressive expertise. I was informed by all on board that I wasn’t to strain my arm (rotator cuff tear operation) in any way and so was restricted to very light duties although I was allowed to lift a “pint”. It was a very restful weekend for me. The sail east to Chichester was a reefed Genoa run in consistent 35 knots wind. Chichester Marina is always a good venue and of course the Yacht club meals speak for themselves. We timed it to perfection as we approached the lock as they had just opened for Free-Flow whereas our return was a lock-in/out. And yes of course the weather for our return to Wicormarine forced a donk all the way. Naturally with our trainee Skipper being a keen Chef we dined Friday evening on Fillet steak cooked to perfection and our return lunch on Sunday a Jacket with lashings of Tuna all of course washed down with plenty of wine. This was the last YOSC event of the year so we now start to plan all those tasks for our coming Winter Refit. Oh why does Winter come every year?
We started our Winter Refit planning before the end of October whilst still in commission with an Engine & Gearbox service (Oils & Filters, etc.), planning for a “lift” at the end of the month. Having all the Partners on board gave us a chance to discuss all those items we had accrued over the year now noted on our Winter Lay-up “Tasks List” immediately implementing some as required. First, and most important was the removal and recovering of the Sprayhood Grab Rail in tan coloured leather. This was necessary as the Cockpit Tent is zipped to the Sprayhood for erection thus keeping our cockpit dry and warmish allowing an additional workroom over the Winter break. The following day Adat was blocked off on the hard awaiting the start of our Refit. That surely says our sailing season is well and truly over for 2017.
Our topsides being thin, no longer gave us a good “shine”, are not in an ideal condition and have in the past attracted moisture which had proved expensive to repair. We have on several occasions discussed ways to remedy this by either Painting of Wrapping (ruling out Wrapping as not ideally appropriate) although neither would have been a perfect solution. Also with the very real possibility of NO headlining being undertaken during this refit and finding a local tradesman who specialised in this work we thought a Quote would be in order. This proved very satisfactory and during the course of discussion he also suggested re Gel-Coating our topsides. This was indeed an excellent idea as it would not only renew the “shine” but also and very importantly strengthen the surface. A local tradesman was found and quoted however the cost of this work plus any Headlining was mounting and after further discussion we opted to combine this work together (Gel Coating and Headlining) in October 2018 taking 3 weeks for completion.