Year 2021

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Also, there are many other photographs on this subject held on file

  We start this year still in Tier 4 with yacht maintenance just in our heads at home since the Coronavirus severely limits all nonessential travel dreaming of the day we can actually visit ADAT.  Of course not so for our Shore Skipper who still has the paperwork (yacht insurance, bills to pay, launching delays, liaison with the Yard Office, etc.) to contend with. With the spread of this virus escalating almost out of control the laws pertaining the restrictions are now being severely policed with fines up to £10,000 and up to 10 years in jail.  At the beginning of the year the earliest date for the easing of these restrictions is estimated at February to March.  On the “up” side we now have a national plan for vaccinations in the form of 2 vaccinations, 3 to 12 weeks apart.   The first will give some 70% of protection and with the second some 95% (with the possibility of an annual top-up) but of course injecting over 70 million people twice will take time.  By the end of January my partners and I had had our first vaccine but of course we were still not allowed to visit ADAT due to the remaining travel restrictions.  Well, we can still dream!
End of February and we can make some plans albeit in pencil.  During the middle of March, two of our Partners undertook sufficient maintenance to allow a safe launch (installation of our main propellor, installation of the bow thruster propellor, realignment of rope cutter fitting checking the speed log through hull fitting, etc.).   Then a further visit at end of March (dismantle our Cockpit tent, attach warps & fenders, antifouling, etc.). This turned out to be a very long day but all was completed leaving ADAT ready for launch. We also held a full Partners Zoom meeting mainly to update all on progress made so far, plans for continued maintenance (bending on sails, tidying on board and making her ready for sea, etc.) once launched and to formalise our forthcoming Sailing Calendar.   This was planned when Covid restrictions would be lifted sufficient to allow more than 2 persons on board.  She was actually launched on 29th March as we requested which with all the delays due to Covid was remarkable and a week after with the more open restrictions, several partners boarded and made her “ready for sea”.  Well, ready for sea of sorts.  It took a couple of more visits to actually clean all the new vinyl, polish, tidy and ensure all electrical and mechanical items are working as expected.  Mid to end of April and we are just finishing off the last of the tasks, two of these being with me in attendance (which was long overdue). During May several of us continued with maintenance of the internal and external timbers (teak oiling, timber renovating, etc.).   This of course would not interfere with any planned sailing which at the time was nil.  I have to say it felt like old times and gave me the exercise I really missed.  Middle of May and we have been charged (an oversight by ourselves) for storing our Dinghy in the Toast rack so we opted for a “wide” slot to cater for our keel. Then another option especially as our tarpaulin was not standing up to the wear (tearing) was to use a full size locker and stow the dinghy in the lower half.   This was accomplished with an overall increase of just a few pounds and the dinghy will be safe from damage, weather and still be available when required.
Several years ago the Customers Lockers storage area was moved to a purpose built building and the locker sizes were reduced.   This of course posed a problem and we were forced to cut down on what was stored but we adjusted and worked with it. Now with Shore access mooring we are to be charged an additional fee for Dinghy storage whereas it was included before.  This posed financial (an additional fee), logical (we required access for use of the Dinghy on site) and wear & tear (the dinghy was getting damaged through UV from the sun and general weather) problems. There were just 2 larger lockers still available which we thought would store the deflated dinghy, oars, seats & pump plus our usual items and after further investigation (measuring the dinghy and the other item sizes) we opted to forgo the Toast Rack dinghy storage for a larger locker.  The dinghy would now be safe from damage both physical and through the elements and best of all, would still be readily available.   Another advantage was that the new locker would have 3 additional shelves and was more than adequately illuminated.
It came.  My first sail for so many months. Our YOSC event in Shepards Wharf, Cowes for some 7 boats with another joining us for our Pontoon Party.  Boarding on the Friday evening in June after a magnificent freshly stone baked Pizza in Wicormarine’s Salt Cafe overlooking the harbour washed down in the glorious warm sun with a beer.  Saturday after a leisurely breakfast we slipped in a good wind to the harbour entrance for it to die as we progressed.  Passing Osbourne Bay which even at that time had over 60 anchored boats.  Engine on to Cowes where the wind picked up but by then it was too late.  We reversed into Shepards Wharf Marina around 1330 to make slipping easier alongside a pontoon mainly as we were the Host boat for our Pontoon party coming later in the day.   After a light lunch and a walk to town we erected our Bimini to cool the Saloon & Cockpit and invited the Fleet to join us for Drinks & Nibbles on board (better than standing on a pontoon).  With both hot & cold vittles and an assortment of drinks this party of over 20 persons turned out to be one of the best yet.   After and onwards to the Anchor Inn in the high street for our evening meal for us all.  This again was very well served on four reserved tables by some 5 frequent staff ensuring excellent service complementing the food. Back to ADAT in the setting sun for a night-cap being amazed by the expanse of the amount of red sky on the horizon promising a very good, dry & hot Sunday.  The following day and another leisurely breakfast slipping around 1030 unfortunately motoring due to almost zero wind all the way back to our mooring where we took advantage of the number of crew available and replaced all the damaged (due wear & tear) Antivibration Mounts on our Wind Generator Mast.   Lunch using almost all of the remainder of our vittles and home in the still hot sun.

Locker Base area for Dinghy equipments

Locker Upper area for remainder

Hosting YOSC Pontoon Party

Hosting YOSC Pontoon Party

Hosting YOSC Pontoon Party

Hosting YOSC Pontoon Party

ADAT Flying the House Flag

The Anchor Inn Table 1

The Anchor Inn Table 2

The Anchor Inn Table 3

The Anchor Inn Table 4

Mike & Myself enjoying the moment

Our crew sailing home

Wicor Lake Sunbathers

  There's always a downside and late July one of my Partners returning from a weeks cruising found on reversing off a fuelling pontoon that he had no reverse gear.  Oops and the thoughts of a repeat of our faulty gearbox came to mind. Further investigation found connecting bolts on the main engine to propeller shaft drive had come loose. Further inspection found that they all were just a tad too short. He fortunately cobbled them together and was able to motor back to our home berth at Wicormarine where we could effect a repair (replacement longer bolts). I fitted longer stainless steel bolts and loctite’d them all.  Tested OK so back into service.  Another problem reported was that the refrigerator was becoming unreliable not starting or stopping whilst in use. On a later 7 day cruise it managed to give an adequate performance but was thought to be running continuously.  One for the Winter Service.
August and we started our YOSC Eastern Cruise. Again Joy's health had taken priority but we have managed to juggle appointments to allow me to join the YOSC Eastern Cruise with ADAT so all I had to do was find someone to join me. Immediately Mike Purdy & Allun Proom (who would be joining us from his last day of sailing on Buddle with Peter Hart) jumped at the opportunity but that left plenty of space for more so what better than to contact all those 20 odd on the YOSC Crewing List.  Most could not make a week away and more than a few just didn't reply which was rather disappointing so I then offered a berth to those who weren't on the Crewing List which gave me Peter Greatbatch.  Well, ADAT is easy to sail and even rigged for single handing so I thought we'd go for 4. During the days leading up to boarding on the Friday 13th I vittled. Food, liquid refreshment and the delicacies much demanded by our resident Chef Allun (and to be recommended) pushed the bill to over £200 but hey, this is a week's sailing in the company of our fellow members (and for a week).  On the morning of Friday 13th (Oh dear), I was finishing off purchasing the last few items, mainly fresh produce when I received a WhatsApp from Mike to say he had been crook for the last couple of days and at that stage he didn't want to be a liability sailing. He was to discuss the matter with his Doctor and update us as & when but if possible would join us before we slipped on the Saturday morning. The weather forecast was dry with 5 knots wind SW so it could be a donk all the way to Brighton and we could cruise with the keel raised easily at 7 knots so should it be necessary I could slip later than planned. Not much later Allun called to say he had got slightly wet but that story would be told when he boarded (“Aquaman” stepped off a very poorly lit pontoon in the dark straight into the water and yes, got VERY wet).  Well, it wasn’t too long when we were back to 4 on board with Mike experiencing some aches but good to go and Allun with a set of dry clothes.  We boarded late in the afternoon giving us time to sort out a refrigerator problem.  It was reported as not being reliable but started ok and reduced the temperature from 21º to 3.0ºC but that included all the frozen stock. Watch this space?  The evening’s dinner was had at the Cormorant pub with the usual excellent beer and food.  Back on board for a nightcap and rest.
Saturday we slipped at 0900 motoring out of the Portsmouth harbour with a promising rising wind.  Breakfast was sausage & egg sandwiches with tea on route.  Once through the submarine barrier we raised sail and then off with the engine. Bliss for a couple of hours until the wind dropped just as we passed through the Street & Boulder buoys so back to motor/sailing.  Eight knots (SOG) reached through the buoys then it gradually reduced. Barely enough wind to fill the sails but they stayed up.  It was rather pleasant sitting in the cockpit under the feint cloud and a rather strong sun, "happy hour" beer in one hand and George driving. Lunch was heated in the oven and consumed in the cockpit.  Worryingly, Peter spent most of the time below sitting in the saloon?  Putting the world to rights as we do, the miles were soon eaten up and Brighton came into view bang on the nose. Welcome drinks were planned on board but when mooring and boarding using the gate aft staunchen, the top end just broke off. One inch diameter stainless steel tubing just broke – unbelievable!  On inspection it seemed it parted at a join that had not been initially welded and had only been attached by about a quarter of the steel.  It was jerry rigged for the duration. A Shower, welcome drinks and some rest before our Steak dinner prepared by Allun and Mike.  Starters of Garlic Mushrooms au Gratin, Steak au Poivre and Crepe Suzette.  Best yet Allun.

The Cabin Boy
 recovering from cold

Mike preparing lunch on route

We sail onwards passing the
Sea Wind Generators

With "George" helming,
now what shall we do

Our broken Gate Staunchen

A close-up of the break

  Sunday in Brighton Marina after a light cheese omelette for breakfast Jim, Linda, Mike and I took the Volk’s railway (first electric railway in England) to Brighton town. A stroll around part of it then back to ADAT for a YOSC Pontoon Party hosted by Rhapsody. In view of a possible faulty and unreliable fridge on Adat and not wanting to risk a breakdown we opted to consume our Shepards Pies made by Joy & myself and also cooked the Chicken & Sausages as they would keep longer. Of note the fridge held the temperature to around 5ºC most of the time. Later we found one crew members (Peter, now "The Cabin Boy") struggling who was not too good with balance problems & had difficulty moving around.  It was abundantly clear he was ill, very worryingly ill and became of great concern to us all. After a full crew discussion he decided it best if he arranged transport home. It would have been rather dangerous for him on board and ruled himself out of any work on deck.  At 1900 he ate some dinner and soon his lift arrived.  We helped him to the car and bade him farewell hoping he would recover better and quicker at home.  We 3 remaining then realised we had rather more food than we could eat so we invited Rhapsody (Alan & Linda Fisher) making 5 to enjoy Joy’s delightful home made Shepards Pies. Many discussions over the weather forecast for our passage to Eastbourne especially as the sea spray was seen coming over the southern marina walls.

Drinks in Rhapsody's cockpit with all the YOSC fleet

Drinks in Rhapsody's cockpit with all the YOSC fleet

  Monday we started the day with a cooked breakfast (the usual) followed by fresh coffee. The wind at the time was very calm although it was a take your pick on direction.  Our wind generator was swinging around the full 360 degrees.  We wondered why 3 boats opted to slip earlier than we planned which would put another hour on their passage but they probably opted to sail the whole passage.  We planned to slip around 1300 giving us a 3½ hour passage and eventually chose to sail in company with Rhapsody, something YOSC did in the old days.  Outside it was a little lumpy at around F4 just outside the harbour but then eased off with a mild following sea so an easy one.  Later in the evening I received at text from our departed crew member (The Cabin Boy) to say it was a good decision to leave as he had then got worse and passed it on to another in the house.

Rounding Beachy Head

Rhapsody sailing in our company

ADAT moored in Eastbourne
for the duration

Mike, Alan, Allun & Linda
(& myself) out for a meal

Dining in the Sovereign Marina Harvesters

Dining in the Sovereign Marina Harvesters

And we return with more than a smile on our faces

Eastbourne's famous Bandstand

  Tuesday now in Eastbourne (Sovereign Marina) we breakfasted (fry-up) and Allun made arrangements for his hire car (Merc C class) for a family event in Chichester and Mike & I joined him to Eastbourne Pier where Allun departed for his event. We started walking around the Sea Front when a few light showers sprang us under shelter.  It jolted our minds to make us consider that we should really seek a better shelter (actually a beer came to mind) and guided us the “Loop” bus back to the marina.  Someone got off at wherever they were going when we enquired as to where the Marina (Asda) was and were told it was several stops back. Oops!  We enquired with a couple of builders who offered us a ride in the back of their open and rather full truck but we politely declined. Well we got the bus going the wrong way and this time departed at Asda. Some shopping, a quick beer before we err, yes and another (it was so good) then back to Adat to think about the evening’s dinner and our 4 guests Linda & Alan and Jim & Lynda (excluding Allun of course).  We dined on Sweet ‘n Sour with Basmati rice follower by a small Cheeseboard, Biscuits & Grapes for 6 for the evening’s entertainment and best of all our guests supplied the alcohol. A great evening which ran late into the night.
Wednesday we entered Eastbourne lock for our passage back to Brighton with Rhapsody & Elizabeth at around 0930 hoping to exit at around 1000 and within minutes we were through.  Wind was light at 10 knots to start with, westerly and the sea state was almost calm. Air temp was around 15ºC but warm enough behind the sprayhood. We thought maybe a mainsail albeit to steady the boat but the fetch was always on the nose. It soon got lumpy with sea over the deck and the occasional one over the sprayhood. Interesting! We rounded Beachy Head lighthouse and yes, no change.  Not very pleasant.  Well at least we had Rhapsody and Elizabeth for company.  Nearing Brighton after nearly 4 hours we had had enough and were looking forward to shelter.  We entered the harbour then moved to the deeper part of the entrance on the outer edge but within seconds the depth dropped from 4.4 to 2.2 M and I ran us aground in the sand & mud.  In retrospect I should have known better knowing how badly the whole marina is covered with mud & sand especially at the entrance but I was at the time trying to locate the Green marker buoy in the entrance which we later found "missing".  Well, thats my excuse. Soon we had the keel raised, backed off a little and motored on to our designated birth. The conversation covered the 25 knot wind speeds we had most of the way and what a poor forecast Eastbourne issued us. At least it was dry (out of the sea spray that is). Welcome G&T’s all round, electricity connected and we planned our meal for the evening which was to be Sausage Casserole. It was delightful. During the passage I wasn’t feeling too well and by the evening it was getting worse.  Mike & Allun departed to the Weatherspoon’s for an evening beer whilst for me, bed at 2100 with a roll of catering towel for tissues through the night. Paracetamol helped.

         "ZOLTAR" fortune teller on Eastbourne pier

Adat, Rhapsody & Elizabeth in Eastbourne lock

  Thursday we all awoke at 0530 for the possible departure to Littlehampton and to check my condition but plan “B” was the winner and we opted to remain in Brighton for another day as with Rhapsody who had keel problems and we would sail in company.  The forecast was to improve with a non-westerly wind hopefully allowing us to air those white things wrapped around those poles?  I stayed resting on board most of the day recovering. True to another Premier, this time Brighton’s weather forecast of a dry day, it rained but we made use of this excuse for a visit to Weatherspoon’s and a quick pint.  Later in the day it cleared & cooled and whilst I continued to rest on board, under my crews orders I might add they departed elsewhere (coffee actually). At around 2100 I decided I should rest completely so retired not actually hearing my crew return.  We would have to miss Littlehampton's Fish restaurant and leave it for another day.

Rhapsody in company, Brighton to Portsmouth

Adat's 'Greasy Spoon' lunch

  Friday I arose before 0700 feeling better with a runny then blocked nose and still no temperature.  Good to go. Tea & Bran Flakes for breakfast then we slipped at 0800 for our passage to Portsmouth with little wind again on the nose but it was calm seas, dry and warm and we were in company with “Rhapsody”.  Late morning the sun showed its face but alas we still motored.  Lunch or maybe Brunch was sausage, egg & bacon sandwiches with brown sauce on the run (and down your shirt). As time marched on we passed through Street & Boulder for the second time aiming this time to pass through the forts. Plenty of water through the middle barrier gap but we kept in company with Rhapsody.  We re-fuelled at Gosport then on to our berth at Wicormarine. Packed our belongings, clean & tidied the boat and departed for home.  For me it had been a worrying time away from Joy who is now due a second session of Chemo for a returning cancer having had radiotherapy the Monday I was away.  Although both of us planned this sailing trip for me, it has still been a worrying time and it certainly didn’t help catching our departed “Cabin Boy’s” illness especially with Joy having to isolate.  His update stated he still had not recovered, on antibiotics and scheduled for an X-ray next week.  Also his house partner is now suffering.
A great break for me mostly due to Allun & Mike for their cooking.  Also thanks to Rhapsody & Serene for joining us for meals on board.  What an occasion.