Saturday, April 30, 2011

UK - France - Passage Day 4

Weather: Overcast, light drizzle, thunder and lightning overnight (luckily from a distance, no closer than a mile); still not shorts
Sailing conditions: Still mostly downwind, currently on a beam reach, mixed sailing mostly with the screacher.

General Comments: More Dolphins to play! Just after I reported not many boats around we noticed a fishing vessel actively trawling
that we would need to avoid. Just as we were trying to understand just how far behind it was safe to pass, it stopped in its tracks.
At first we were unsure why, but we soon decided that it was letting us pass ahead of it. This proved a difficult gift, as the
trawler was still moving, just very slowly, and to pass ahead of it, we still needed to shift to more downwind sailing, blanketing
our foresail, and making our progress slower, as all the time it still edged forwards - collision course. We all came very close,
less than a boat length, and we had to look up at his bow. All the time we tried to call the fishing boat on the radio to confirm
his intention, but without any luck. They didn't come out and swear at us, and after we'd passed they set off again, so I hope we
understood him correctly (otherwise there is a French trawler out there swearing about American sailors).

[Kyle] At about noon yesterday, against a very strong current, we made a very slow pass about 3 miles off Lands End and the Lizard.
It was kind-a cool to see it from sea since Maryanne and I had visited it from land a couple of weeks before we set off cruising in
2008. When we saw it from land it was in March, on a very windy day, and we clearly remember thinking it was not a nice place to be.
The conditions were much better this time and visibility was such that it appeared as a grey silhouette on a gray background - but
still I could recognize it and it was cool to be back, it really does look like a lizard from sea!

At the midnight watch change Maryanne was experiencing a frustrating lull caused by an approaching storm and had clearly had it with
going back and forth on deck to change sails, once she was asleep after a couple of heavy downpours and a lightening show, the wind
came back up again and we were able to start heading in the right direction again. All was well until the morning rig check (we do
two a day during a passage) revealed a line to be trailing in the water; it turned out one of the screacher sheets had fallen in the
water and had now made a hitch (knot) around the rudder. The line could not be pulled up from either direction; eventually the only
solution was to climb down to the rudder and free it from underwater. I did what I could by timing the waves and using a boat hook
(actually 2, we lost one overboard!!!), but eventually I had no choice but to climb to the bottom step and have a wave soak my best
warm socks.

We have just crossed over to the French side of the channel and are passing through the shipping channel (no ships so far).

Food: Salad for Lunch and a seafood soup/stew concoction for Dinner with bread fresh from the oven (no, I didn't make it, just
purchased those half baked ones - so easy).

Progress: Yesterday we made 99.65nm, So far on this trip we have travelled (through the water) 327.37nm, and have 284nm (routed
line) to go.


Kate Trott said...

Lovely to read about your comments re Lands End. Brought back last year's memories - an impressive place to be. Glad you managed to sort out your tangle and pass the fishing boat safely. Scary! Must be good to be back on the water and you have some wonderful times ahead. Love and best wishes from us, Kate (Cirrus Cat) xx

John said...

Hi Maryanne, great to see you and Kyle have now set sail on a new adventure. Thanks for showing us round Footprint and giving us an insight to the world of long distance sailing on a cat. Maybe we will be lucky enough do it one day. Watching your progress with much joy and anticipation. John & Vivien (Visitors at Preston Marina)

Janet said...

Hi Maryanne, glad to see your adventure has started without too much problems. After visiting your boat in the marina can at least now have a clue about the things you are describing and an idea about what is involved. Know what you mean about learning language though, trying to do Spanish but when they talk it is so fast!!!

Looking forward to reading more

Janet and Ian