After 6 months, can we still remember how to sail?

Can you believe it, we have finally left the marina, we are only going to Carrickfergus to see Beverley's mum, but we are leaving the marina.

The sea state was rather lumpy and there was a fair bit of swell. Because we had not sailed for a long time, we decided to put three reefs in the main. This is our storm setting bit we felt that it would be a great way for us to ease into sailing. So to raise the sail we

  • Turned the boat into wind - Turning the boat into wind take pressure off the sail, so it is easier to lift
  • Removed the boom securing rope - We secure the boom with a rope to a cleat when we are in a maria or at anchor. This rope secures the boom and makes sure that the boom does not sway from side to side
  • Pulled on the main sheet - When we have the boom secured, we have the boom at an angle to the cockpit so that the boom is not above the companion way exit. Before we lift the sails we need the boom in the central position above the companion way exit
  • Released the reef clutches - On top of releasing the clutches on the reefs we make sure that the reef lines are free and not tied up in their rope tidy
  • Pulled on the halyard - We had decided to use the third reef today, so I only pulled on the reef until the third reef was starting to lift
  • Pulled the third reef down - To set our sail to the third reef position then I pulled on the third reefing lines so that the third reefing lines were nice and tight against the boom
  • Sorted out a jam - The slugs were not quite in the correct positions so I had to walk forward on the windward side so that if there was an issue I would fall onto the boat
  • Eased the main - Once the main was up we turned the boat to where we wanted to go, so we eased the main so that we made the best use of the wind
  • Pulled out the Genoa - As we had three reefs in the main then we needed two reefs in the Genoa, so that the boat was balanced. Having say just one reef in the main would put two much pressure in the sails forward of the mast
  • Set the sails - Adjusted the sails to make sure they were working well
  • Eased off the topping lift so that the sail was taking the weight of the boom
  • Turned off the engine - Once we sere sailing, we turned off the engine followed immediately by the ignition.

We were not making the most of the sails in this passage, to make the most of the sails then we would need to adjust the topping lift and adjust the traveller.

During the sail we saw lots of boats that were on a day sail, and we were able to put our feet up and have a cup of tea before we hit the main channel and all the large vessels in the shipping lane. There were quite a few and one was going to collide with us, but before we could take evasive action, it left the channel early and went behind us, so we maintained our course and speed. The trip over to Carrickfergus is quite short so we it was soon time to put on the engine and get the boat ready for going in. Seeing the sectored light can be quite difficult, so what we use is the right hand edge of the pub as you look at it and the marina entrance, then once you get closer you can see the sectored light. Once into the marina we made sure that our nose was pointing towards the marina entrance and we took a hammer head pontoon as they are a little bit more protected than the visitor berth.

Once in, we cleaned Salty Lass, so that she was all neat and tidy for Beverley's mum and her Aunt

Raising money for the RNLI

The RNLI turned 200 years old on 4th March 2024. So as sailors and people who promote the joy of sailing, we thought that we would like to raise just £200. What we hope is that other people take up the shout and raise their own £200. In the last 200 years the RNLI have saved over 144,000 lives and yet they are funded entirely by people like you. They are not government funded.

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