Night on the Mersey

The Lyver building

After sorting out the engine service on the Saturday, we still had two days of the weekend to enjoy ourselves. So on the Sunday we decided to leave the marina to go out and moor on one of the new mooring buoys that had been laid in the Mersey.

We deliberately told nobody of our intentions as we knew that at least one friend would like to join us and since we had bought the lass, we had not had the opportunity to be on our own. We used the second lock out as the first was absolutely crammed full of the racing fraternity, who were going out for their weekend race. Beverley manoeuvred into the lock like a pro and I tied her on like a professional, the use of the ropes inside the lock to pull her back needs more work, but was at least adequate.

Once out of the lock, the wind was a good 16knots, so we used it and the tide to sail up the river, tacking every 10 minutes as the Mersey is not very wide. Tacking so many times allowed us to really work on our technique for dealing with the winches. In the end we found that the best technique that worked for us was to load the lazy sheet onto the winch three times clockwise, then pull the sheet over to the working sheet where you can sit until it is time to tack. At the start of the tack you are in the perfect position to loosen the working sheet so that it can run free. Then once the wind is bringing over the the sail, being on the opposite side of the cockpit to the working sheet, means that you can use your body more as you pull yourself over to the working sheet. We found that by using this method we hardly ever needed to use the winch. Beverley and I both had lots of practice helming and working the sheets, before the tide turned to down river, so while the racing crews returned to the marina after a three hour sail, we continued sailing down river to the mooring buoys that are just half an hour down river from the marina.

Mr Swifty

I was on the helm as we made our approach and I must of made a pretty good approach as Beverley was able to use Mr Swifty to put a line through the ring on the mooring buoy on the first attempt. On arrival we decided to put the heating on as it was starting to get chilly. This meant that we dropped the dinghy off the back and used the bridle that Beverley had made to tow the dinghy to the front of Salty Lass, where we managed to hoist up the dinghy, then tie it down onto the front deck. After all that, we were quite happy to come inside to the Lass, put the heating on and think about food.

Maybe it was the food, or maybe it was the exercise, but after tea we just stretched out onto the seats in the saloon and fell asleep. To be honest, it wasn't really a sleep, as we were half dowsing keeping an ear out on channel 12. There was a couple of times that we had to remind Mersey VTS that we would like the passing vessels to be mindful of their wake as the swell that they create can be quite interesting. At about 3 o'clock in the morning, one of the skippers on a passing vessel stated that all he could see was a yacht under sail, so we looked at the light at the top of our mast and realised that we had a tricolour, so we advised Mersey VTS of the issue and he then advised passing shipping of the issue.

The next day, we opened the port window over the kitchen to see river porpoises in the Mersey. It was great to sea them and it was a fantastic thing to see in the morning. After breakfast we tried several exercises, lifting the dinghy onto the back of the yacht using the bridle. We both had a go to make sure that we were both comfortable with the procedure. Soon it was time to go as the gate to the Marina was open. It had been a lovely night on the Mersey, just relaxing and observing the world from a slower pace.

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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