Sunday, 27 December 2015

Post Festive Sail

Despite the weather - sun calm seas and what-have-you - we took ourselves out to the boatee just for a check look-see. Only we couldn't get the small mechanical paddling device going in the blow-up no matter how hard I pulled on the rope thing. Actually, that's not entirely true, it did start but didn't keep going. Eve rowed the thing out to Freyja in the calmness of the inner harbour enjoying the late summer we never had.
Freyja was just fine though. She's survived storm after storm on her swinging mooring collecting half-eaten beings deposited by passing gulls on her foredeck. The old Parsun o/b started on the third pull so we took the opportunity for a quick turn round the outer harbour - w
ithe sails up and intially flapping about uselessly. The breeze did come and we bobbed across the outer harbour on the big swell invading the area.
What a lovely if brief sail on a wonderful day.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Time to reflect

After the recent terrible happenings in Paris by the Idiot State, a sail in the harbour was just what was needed to lift the spirits.

Our thoughts are with the people..

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The year keeps giving


Glad we hadn't taken the boat out the water. Today was magnificent. The sun shone, the waves wobbled a bit and the breeze was just dandy. Took off across and out the harbour into The Minch before sailing back in to help Admiral Gerald raise his oversize matchstick on Ammonite to hang his bed sheets from with a few other good folks.

I mean, it might have been nicer if I'd remembered to take the flask of tea and the buns we'd bought. But all in all a lovely November days sail.

Eve wonders how big the bow waves would be from the temporary island freight ship.

Admiral Gerald wonders why his oversize matchstick is leaning to one side!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Out and about

Nothing quite like an afternoon sailette in the harbour with lovely views of the power station. The weather was nice - just a wee breeze to skip us along at a few pleasant knots while keeping the water calm. Was only out an hour or so but it did wonders for my head.

Oh look, lovely view and everything.
The thing I don't don't like to see are boats out there on moorings and clearly not used. There's a lovely Leisure 22 next to me and I don't think she's been out at all this year. Such a pity.

I wasn't out on my own though as the good yacht Lily took a breath of air out in the Minch.

Meanwhile back in the marina, this lovely old lady turned up for winter respite.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Days like today

The sun was out an 14c was the temp so a quick romp around in the water was in order. Only, the tide was out when I arrived at the boat in the blow-up, just a foot of the wet stuff underneath so I sat and waited. And Waited a bit more till there was at least 1' 2" below. At this point I got bored and set off.  I got stuck on the bottom soon after and the o/b cut out as I hadn't closed the choke!

Luck was on my side. The tide was coming in and with a little bit of help from a small anchor and the re-started o/b I was soon out into the raging seas.

Lovely light glistening up from the smooth water barely ruffled by the light breeze. But there was enough to fill the sails and propel me forth and back across the harbour.
I managed to avoid the leaving ferry and the arriving Norwegian fish carrier boat surfing their wakes as I went.

A lovely late October sail on my own in the sunshine

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Freyja is staying in the water

Despite the deteriorating weather conditions up here, Freyja will be staying in the water over the winter - barring unforeseen circumstances. She's not fouled up too much and she's moored in a sheltered area. You never know, like last year we may get out sailing on Christmas Day - what else is there to do?

Earlier this year we had a fine sail on the Caledonian Canal on a hired wee boatee for a few days [despite the snow]. That boat was a plastic affair like Freyja - only bigger, faster and in better condition. Well next year we are hiring the oldest Hire boat in the UK - Zoe, on the Norfolk Broads. Built in 1897  !

Ooh, we are so looking forward to it. Not quite the boat my late parents hire for their honeymoon, but close!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

No, we didn't sail

No wind at all again. So unusual up these parts. So, we took off to Stornoway to help Rear Admiral Gerald raise his mast on Ammonite - a Cornish  Crabber. When I say raise, I mean "try to raise". The mast had been off to repair the thing after it cracked during the Martime Festival dash round the harbour in blustery conditions. Plenty of bodies arrived to help including a passing back-packer [Ben ] who we moved on to the Sgoth sailing crew for a few hours afterwards. I think he had nothing to do :-)

One thing and another meant the mast was still not up when we left Stornoway this afternoon but we had a fine old time there - lugging the mast, knitting string and drinking coffee - as you do.

Ammonite with Rear Admiral Gerald aboard knitting string or something. Even the harbour master came to help today.

Afternoon coffee is served in the lovely if compact cabin.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Late summer

It has been nice here I have to report. Look, not over-rippled at all. Even had a little wind to tootle along at 2knts for a while. Till the wind decided to go home.

Three hours of bobbing around in the warm sunshine. And that was after Eve and others rowing about too.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Phew, what a lovely sail

I mean, look at that!
Obviously, the technical brilliance I was using [phone camera] to capture the scene enhances the reality somewhat. It was not exactly a raging of the seas as I pootled about the outer harbour under the warm sun and I really enjoyed it. I mean, really enjoyed it.

I'd had my head up my bottom for the last few days as a result of feeling somewhat under the weather. I was sulking about not being able to do what I could do when M.E. messes you about - as it does me. But the sailing this morning - apart from being on my own, was lovely. The engine, recently tickled back to life by Angus the Outboard played the game perfectly, starting when it should and propelling me off the mooring and then waiting till I wanted it started again when we'd nearly sailed back there. Oh bliss.

Even the Sarnia Liberty [yes, please go and look - well worth it] played her part and tootled out slowly so not as to create a huge wash - many thanks Sir.

Life is good you know.

I might add here that the gulls messed me about though- pooed and threw-up all over the blow-up while I was out!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Back with the blow-up's Mechanical Paddling Device

The mpd from Freyja is in hospital at the moment after being a refusenik in the starting department. It was either ask Angus the Outboard to look at it or use it for an anchor. I chose Angus - for the moment. I was ill the other day after continually thrashing the starting rope thing to get the mpd to play.

Yesterday we went out for a quick sail using the mpd from the blow-up. Only 2.3 hp but works like a dream. Did the same today in the sunshine and a little breeze. What a nice bob about although we didn't stray from the outer harbour. Still, we got 5 NM under the bilges averaged around 2.4 kts and maxed at 4.5kts - all under reefed main and full genoa. Must have been Eve's driving that meant it was such a lovely couple of hours. Even had a fine chat with Gerald the Great who was washing his Ammonite, and saw the reappearance of the sailors who sailed to Marvig last night. Bet they had a nice if slow sail home.


Thursday, 24 September 2015

bin away

Bin on the mainland an, the flipping camera phone is not cooking the snaps right so I can't show you Falmouth. Or the rowing boats at the Great River Race in London - oh yes I can!

Just a few of the 300 rowing boats that took part in the race waiting at Ham the day before to be towed to Greenwich.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

... and then

Then we were out on Freyja again, dodging the incoming traffic - yachts, fishing boats and things that looked like they were fish farm related - to have a little sail around the outer harbour with our new deckhand Catherine.

And a lovely sail it was too going this way and that, breezing along at up to 5.5knts and doing the usual fighting with the mechanical paddling device.

All worth it hough as everyone enjoyed the day.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015


Oh what a lovely days sailing from Cromor to Stornoway. Once the reluctant Parsun outboard had been removed and the Honda 2.3 put in it's place. Was wasted before we started after doing that lot. The Parsun came along for the ride in the blow-up towed behind.

Yes that's sunshine. Eve with her sun hat on and the sea 'raging' behind. This was going out of Cromor and Loch Erisort with what wind there was in our faces. You can see our flag was nearly ripped off its hinges.

The breeze got up once in the Minch and the sailing was grand. Porpoises came our way and watched our interestingly executed tacks out and up.

Oh, twas grand. Just enough wind for 2-3knts an a easy sail to our home mooring.

We got there, just beating the ferry home and annoyingly being over-bobbed by a  leaving French fishing vessel out of Stornoway. Gets us everytime !

Home, to the mooring where we put the Parsun o/b back on the big boat [Leisure 17 ] and typically, it started first time.

I spent the rest of the day varnishing bits of boatee wood and resting while Eve cycle back to Cromor [25 miles] to pick the car up. What a lovely day.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

56. Not yet

Look, we had laid plans to get Freyja back. Arranged a lift to her parking place and all but, the weather didn't play ball. Granted the win was in the right direction but perhaps a tad strong. And the water in the Minch was a tad boobly.
Perhaps Tuesday.....

Sunday, 9 August 2015

55. Still doon there

There's the wee tub Freyja, nestling as she does onto a buoy in Cromor, a big flash blue boatee keeping her company in the dreich that was the weather. I think it may have been the boatee that was next to the flash Katherine from Aus in Stornoway. Maybe.

Hoping to have Freyja back home in Stornoway before the year is out - weather permitting!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

54. Camping aboard

Yes, we did stay aboard the other day in this quiet and calm spot down Loch Erisort way. We like it too.

Looking good from the blow-up.

Looking back to Freyja

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

53. All flash

No, not our new boat but some tub in from Darwin, Northern Territories. I think that's Australia. Flash as.

Monday, 3 August 2015

52. Oops. It's that time of year again

Almost this time exactly to the day, we had a little mishap on the wee tub Freyja. The forestay came apart whilst out in the Minch. Luckily all ended well despite a nice bruise or two.

Today, we had another - although all ended being sorted easily - for us.

Had a call from William of Cromor earlier at 7am after he in turn had received calls from other locals of Cromore to say our wee tub Freyja was adrift in the harbour after a night of winds and rain. Bother I thought as we got up in a rush and shot down to Cromor [ 40 miles by road] thinking all the time the wee tub was on the rocks or drifting out to sea or something. We arrived in pouring rain and wind to find her tubship on a mooring!

What a relief I can tell you. Apparently, Freyja had dragged anchor and gone over to one side of the harbour but Kenny the Kindly Krofter went out with someone else - believed at this point to be his son - and brought it back to a mooring. We caught them coming back across the land from their boat. Would take nothing for their efforts. What wonderful people there are in the worl. Many thanks Mr Kenny the Kindly Krofter.

Gemma and William made us a welcome coffee, we walked their doggie Benn in the rain and came home - relieved


Friday, 31 July 2015

51. Well, that was nice

Here, I'm still bobbing around in my head as I sit an write this. Is that meant to happen?

The day beckoned as Eve had the day off work and I wasn't working till late. Off we went with a huff and a puff down in the car to Cromor. Tea and chat sorted che William, Gemma and their visiting family and soon we were tootling out to Frejya in the blow-up.

It was a lovely if dull morning. Non of them blighter the midges around and not so much as a ripple in the harbour. Freyja sat there majestically - sort of.

Look at that; a nice breeze as we set off up Loch Erisort for a look-see.

The wind did die from time to time and the engine was used - when it started. Always a pain engines - always recalcitrant when you need them most like when the wind dies and you are drifting towards a reef!

All the same the morning was grand. The sun came out [and the wind died] - at least I think it was the sun. It got warm enough to take off the first two layers anyway. Loch Erisort is lovely - better from the water too. Fishermen to wave at, islands to gaze at, fish to catch oneself, and only a few submarining rocks to worry about.

Time passed quickly again as we edged up the water.

Yes, the fisherman waved.

Some little croft house on the north of the Loch.

Soon it was time to return. Wind behind us, 5 knots over land, coffee in the cup and then the wind quite picked up as we reached the end of the Loch. Gusted and everything so we drew in the genoa a bit, reefed in the main using my diy-rigged slab reef and bounced back to Cromor cursing the strong gusts.

We have left the wee tub Freyja at Cromor again swinging on her anchor. It's a nice spot to sail from for a day or two and you never know, we might have some warm weather soon!