Ok, ok I’ve done it again and not kept up to date with the blog. It doesn’t really matter, I’m sure there’s only a couple of people that have a look now and then so it’s only really myself that I’m letting down. I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since the last update, there’s been a lot going on and it seems like I’ve barely had a free weekend, plus it’s so easy to post pictures to Facebook the blog gets forgotten about!
I suppose I should give you the big news, Lou and I are expecting our second child around the end of this month so it’s getting pretty hectic around here at the mo. I didn’t start the Jester Baltimore Challenge in the end, I’ve got as much sailing as I would have liked and not got as many “boat jobs” either. But… starting off from where I left off, I had a cracking bit of Winter sailing in the Solent on my friend David’s Rustler last December, gusts of 45kts, T-Shirts and a spinnaker broach under windvane, well not quite but nearly, In December!!!
2019, Happy New Year! The year started off getting woodwork sorted, I’ve finished the new switchboard “cowling”for around the companionway step. Got the original wiring connected up to it and that’s pretty much how it is it this day. New washboards and a gas locker door have been cut and are still in the process of being “finished”. Oh and I’ve drilled two whopping holes in Sundance’s transom for the bilge pump outlets. The manual pump was plumbed into cockpit drains and backfilled when you pumped, the drains also leaked like a sieve so these were sorted at the same time by building them up with GRP to suit the pipe diameter better. I built a bilge pump bracket out of an old GRP water tank (after making a aluminium pattern) to stop the pump from being thrown around in the bilge itself. The mother made some new curtians just to put a bit more of “my stamp” on the boat!
A flutter of activity and Sundance was antifouled, pepped and launched in April, very little happened sailing wise but with the trip to take her round to Plymouth for the start of the Jester in May there was still a hell of a lot to do, finish the rewire, make a new battery tray and buy new batteries let alone the rest of the “to do” list! It was all going to be a bit much to get done and I was also asked by David (Rustler friend whom was planning to do the Jester as well) if I would help his bring his “new to him” Moody 47 back from Amsterdam in June. This seemed a better idea, Ireland isn’t going anywhere and I’ll have more time to get stuff sorted on Sundance. This meant that the five days I had booked off in May to get the boat round to Plymouth was free to go and explore further down Channel. I aimed for Dale, Milford Haven but I only managed to get as far as Oxwich bay for the evening where I shared the bay with a “pirate” ship which I assumed was heading from the Tall Ships Festival the weekend before.
June came and the delivery trip with David from Amsterdam looked like it wasn’t going to happen. The sale of David’s house so they could buy Walrus, their Moody 47 was delayed by a few weeks and with no chance of swapping my leave we decided to have a week sailing down to the Channel Islands, which in itself was just as exciting. A cracking week at a few places through the Solent, Newtown Creek as well as Cowes, then a night anchored at Studland before sailing to Alderney. We had wanted to get to Sark but having the extra day waiting for weather put a stop to this. It’s the furthest and longest I’ve been on a boat for and to be honest I could have carried on!
We also had the club regatta where I offered the helm to Ian, the son of Sundance’s previous owner. He grew up sailing Sundance and knows how to sail her well. Unfortunately Ian’s mast sustained some damage in a winter storm and was unable to sail his boat till his new mast was sorted. After a nice amount of wind at start it died and we called it a day. We we over the start line and had to return which pretty much scuppered our chances anyway. The only big sail apart from a couple on the river and taking a friend to Cardiff is the Holms race but I’ll stick another boat about this up shortly!
I’ll end this how I started, woodwork! The locker lids we looking very sorry for themselves, they had been since last year but they had to be replaced, this time with decent Robbins Marine ply. I’m loathed to fit them this side of winter and with Baby No2 on the way, I’ll probably not launch next year so they’ll be mothballed till 2021!
That sounds very far away!