Ask me a question?

The weather was still not good and although the place is starting to open up there are still difficulties with where we could go, so I decided to get on the ferry and see my Mum, who is 95 at the moment and her health is getting worse. Also, I knew that it would be difficult for me to see her once we were travelling, so that meant that I left Beverley on her own. She had lots to do as always, the first one of which was to upgrade my computer, sort out my video for Cooks tour as well as help another sailor, sort out the electrics. So with all that is going on, she asked our followers to ask her a question which they did, so with a bit of storm footage left over from last week, that was her pretty much sorted. It was just a case of putting it all together which she finally managed to achieve at 3.00am, so a bit of a late session for Beverley.

We were having to sleep in the main cabin as the weather was just ridiculous, we were typically leaning at 3° with gust leans over 5° so I had wanted Beverley to film me ticked up in bed with my lee cloth in operation, the only issue with that was that Beverley was still tucked up in her bunk refusing to get up. However she did get up, so a little bit of footage was got of the lee cloths in operation. They are by far and away the simplest sewing project on a boat so I have written a blog on what I did to make our Simple Lee Cloths

The weather continued to worsen with gales, so regardless of what it is doing, then you still have to get on with things like going to the toilet, getting rid of rubbish and stuff like that. Once the gales were over we had hale stones, but by then I was off Salty Lass and seeing my Mum, because realistically there are two types of conditions that I refuse to sail in, high winds and heavy rainfall. It is not fun, we have done it because we have had to, but it is not something that we choose to do.

So seeing as Beverley was on her own, she discussed some of things that we are going to do like improve our lazy jacks and re-do our compass deviation, but I will cover these in a future blog when we finally get around to doing them so that all the information is in one place, so now with that done let's see what questions people did ask.

Why is marmalade called marmalade? ( questions)

This comes from the word marmelada, which is a Portugese word meaning the rind and the fruit, so in a jam only soft skins are included, while in a marmalade then hard skins like the rind of the orange is also included in the preserve.

What camera equipment do you use to make Salty Lass videos? ( questions)

In the first year, while we were still Splice and Dice then we used a Samsung 3 Galaxy phone. This was a great little camera, but eventually the battery did not hold any charge, so we had to upgrade our phones, so we made sure that our new phones were also able to take great pictures.

The equipment that we now use is:-

  • A Fuji XP tough camera, this is a waterproof camera that is waterproof down to 60 ft and is great for taking outside shots, as well as being used to look under the boat as a diagnostic tool. From our point of view, it is really easy to use while using sailing gloves, and it can take shots at 60 frames per second so it will take slow mo shots when we need them. Our model is a 120 model, while at the moment the current model is a 140, it takes a standard SD card and the footage it takes is fine. Sound quality is rubbish as the microphone is protected by a membrane.
  • Samsung Galaxy J phone - This is our current phone so it is also our current camera.
  • Mavic Drone - Our latest camera which I treated myself to. We have called him Buzzy and he is our latest addition to the crew.
  • Cheap microphone - The last piece of equipment that we use as a cheap microphone that we bought that cost less than £15. We did a small video on it which is here.

Are you still going around Ireland? ( questions)

Yes. We would love to go around Ireland, but that is not really up to us, that is up to what is happening with the virus and what the current rules are. There are so many different factors, another thing that we would love to do is go to Strangford. It looks like a great place and the rules are allowing us to go there. So if we have some nice weather then you know where we are heading.

When did you start sailing? ( questions)

Beverley and I started sailing in July 2012, as we both went on Competent crew courses, with Beverley doing the course one week then I did the same course the week after. The next year we did the day skipper course, then we joined Liverpool Yacht Club. While we were at the yacht club we continued to learn and we did courses like the VHF radio course, the sea survival course, first aid, dinghies level 1 and 2 as well as doing lots of things on boats from sailing dinghies to larger boats as they raced around the Mersey.

What video editing software do we use? ( questions)

We use a product called kdine live as our video editing software. We run a linux desktop, so our software choices are limited, but on the plus side the software we use is free, so our costs are low. We also use Audacity as our sound studio which is another free product, but we want cheap and cheerful.

What is the difference between a wheel and a tillar ( questions)

Realistically this is all down to the boat's size. When you are on a smaller boat, then you tend to get tillars as the force on the tillar is much smaller than on a bigger boat. The tillar can also be removed when you have finished sailing so that your cockpit is larger. With a wheel, that is not possible so you will only have a wheel when the cockpit is bigger. When you are using a wheel then you use the wheel, much like you are in a car, which is why it is easier to steer a boat backwards on the wrong side of the wheel. With a tillar, then you move the tillar the opposite way to the way you wish to turn. It does take a day to get used to the different systems, but the more practice you have, then the easier that change becomes.

Are kickers needed on a boat? ( questions)

As you know kickers can be replaced with vangs, so clearly a vang can be used instead. So really it is all to do with forces, on a small boat the main halyard will be pulling the sail up, and the main sheet will be pulling the sail down. You also have a fitting at the mast which attaches the boom to the mast, as the wind increases then the boom will tend to lift, putting a lot of strain on the boom fitting and on the pulleys that are used in main sheet, by introducing a kicker partly down the boom then this will take the strain off the main sheet. So in this case the kicker will be opposing the force from the wind that will be pulling the sail up. This can be particularly useful when the sail is polled out. Equally when you are sailing close hauled then you can use the kicker to introduce twist. So in answer to the question, on larger boats you do need a vang or a kicker while in smaller sail areas it is not so important.

Am I still stuck in port? ( questions)

We are allowed out of the marina which is fantastic, but the places that we can go are limited. Also as soon as we were allowed out the weather closed in, then I needed to go and see my Mum. So there has been a lot of other reasons that have kept us in Carrickfergus. Now I am back on board, so hopefully next week we will be somewhere different.

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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