Wed 24th June '09
Thought I'd post photos shown on Mexican TV that I received from Jose and Rocio in Tecpan (they helped me a lot this time last year). It seems unbelievable that 'Nereida I' has sunk (or become buried) so deep below the wet sand due to the surge from the nearby surf - only her mast top is now visible... the genoa furling forestay is clearly still there, as are the upper shrouds and mast steps.
That compares to the view this time last year..... So very sad - not to be dwelt on for too long - too painful still.
Back to today's news: I moved marina! ...From Qu. Elizabeth to Victoria - much more convenient (for a start, I've Internet access on board - that will save me time). Only problem is I seem to have lost THREE mooring lines since leaving the Hamble - how can that be?? I've searched - but nada!! (Thursday: Found two... and then remembered that a crew member dropped the third one overboard as we were leavng River Hamble for sail trials before I left for Guernsey - shan't embarrass him by naming him...! It sank too fast even to practise 'man overboard' drill!)
The good news is how well the boat is responding under power. I'd noticed that when first arriving here when I had a nightmare mooring up - stepped off from a stationary boat onto the dock, holding bow & stern lines, only to find 'Nereida' moving gently but irretrievably down the dockside .. I'd seen there was quite a current, as well as wind, affecting her .. but wasn't expecting this much movement... but it was all I could do to tie the end of one line down - not enough...! She ended up around the end of the dock and over the other side... Help..!! I luckily saved major damage to a finger and thumb in tying the end of the line I did manage to secure (no proper cleats here ... grr!!) In retrospect, I think I must have left her slightly in astern gear - embarrassing to have to admit to that, but I'm still not familiar enough with the new Yanmar engine and controls (had a Volvo-Penta before) .... & that certainly explains the problem I was confronted with. But in the manoeuvring in tight spaces both before and then after that event - she responded so well. I think the Brunton's Autoprop is a great help and certainly I was delighted with the control I seem to have in going astern. At any rate, so far, I've not hit anything (and I'm determinedly NOT using the bow thruster I ended up with!! To my mind, using it would be a matter of 'chickening out' .... I should be able to control the boat without it....)
Today, in moving from my berth rafted-up alongside a gaff-rigged boat, my interest centred on an unexpected tidal effect. I'd let the stern line slip first (with difficulty, since the line was led to the other boat through a fairlead and then around a post), leaving slipping the bow to later since I expected the bow to blow off in the slight wind.... but in the time it took to try to slip the bow line I found us swinging around in a strong current. Fortunately, there was room enough - so I tightened up on the line again to let the current do the job of swinging us around most of the way and then let go & went astern, avoiding a boat opposite - whose owner was clearly relieved to see me controlling the boat - almost as much as I was!!
Sat 20th June '09
It's just over a year (Thurs 19th June '08) since losing 'Nereida I' - and here I am, having sailed from England to Guernsey on her lovely new 'big sister' - or, at least, that's how I feel about her. It's a good feeling and I'm really looking forward to getting to know how the new 'Nereida' sails - faster, that's for sure!! But a lot of sorting out of gear and stowing/fixing before I go sailing - and lots more provisioning before I leave here in July. Got a good Winlink email connection last night - but no Sailmail..... that's radio for you!!
Photos of leaving England near sunset through the Needles Channel (Isle of Wight), showing Needles and distinctive Needles LH, and the approach to Guernsey next morning, with entrance to St Peterport harbour:
Thursday 18th June '09
Think I may have finally made up on sleep missed out on 18hr Channel crossing from Cowes the other night - took occasional 15-20 min. timed naps when the many ships crossing my NE-SW path were not threatening, AIS yet again proving its worth. Only felt need to speak on VHF to one ship looking as though it was on collision course to confirm it knew I was there - no problem, he reassured me! I was transmitting on AIS, as well as receiving, so they should all have seen me on their screens - I'm sure that must have helped collision avoidance.
Testing out email/weather transmit/receive on SSB radio from depths of Qu.Elizabeth marina here in Guernsey - absolutely no go on Winlink (Ham) frequencies. Did make contact on one Sailmail frequency last night but not this morning... Hoping that's just the result of being surrounded by other boats/masts... Gas alarm sounds when I transmit on 10MHz or above - may have to disconnect it.