Well Crazysails friends, it’s been a wild few days in Weymouth – I mean the weather, of course! We slipped out of Lymington on Sunday morning at 07.24 in time to catch the first of the ebb tide going out past Hurst and the Needles. We motored this part of the journey to get us through the race by Hurst and did this first part of the journey in only 35 minutes, averaging 6.8 knots in a westerly wind blowing 16 knots. You can get a sense of our sail if you click on the image above – in case you wondered who was steering while I was filming and Simon was sitting nonchalantly on the side deck, we were on autohelm at this point!
It was a beautiful sunny morning (at first) and it promised to be a lovely sail to Weymouth, though a number of tacks would be needed, due to the direction of the wind. We hoisted the mainsail and put a reef in it, we then then reefed the genoa to reduce the sail area, which was appropriate to the strength of the wind (explanation for non sailors) . We then switched off the engines and only the sound of the wind generator purring disturbed the sound of the sea as Kairos took off, sailing close hauled (as close to the wind as we could).
Pretty soon, the wind started to pick up and instead of the forecast 12-16 knots we were soon up to 17, 18, 19 and then 20 and finally up to 23 knots. Our speed also picked up and at one point we hit 9 knots but averaged around 7.5-7.9 . If you look at the second indicator on the instrument picture above, you can see 7.57 which was our speed when I took the photo. The 6.2 you can see on the far left is our depth and the third screen shows the wind speed which was a mere 16 at this point. The far screen shows our position. Compared to the 47 knots recorded by Ben Ainslie’s Rita in yesterday’s America’s Cup, our speed was nothing but in our Moody 336, we were delighted how well she handled the conditions and how well she sailed so close to the wind.
After an exhilarating, intoxicating but very tiring six hours and 35 minutes, four long tacks and a lot of hard work on the arms, we finally spied Weymouth and headed in to the welcoming peace of the harbour. We were directed to berth on D4 by the harbourmaster, which just happened to be outside one of the many pubs (and there are lots here) which was a venue for the Wessex Folk Festival, so we arrived to the bells and banging of clogs of a troupe(?) of energetic morrismen (see video below).
Once we were all tied up (the boat, not us) and we’d had a welcome cup of tea we ventured up onto the quay and went in search of showers and refreshment to reinvigorate the soul. The quay was bright in the early evening sunshine and though the stalls along the quayside were beginning to pack up, there were still lots of happy looking people wandering round, the music was still playing and there was a distinctly summery festival feel about the place. Knowing the forecast meant we were going to be stormbound in Weymouth for a few days, we were pleased with our sheltered berth and felt there could be worse places to get stuck!
Once of the most delightful things of our stay here was wandering into the Kings Head and seeing a small group of musicians who had gathered there together just to play. As the evening wore on they were joined by other musicians and even other customers without an instrument but who also wanted to join in – it was a totally spontaneous and jolly evening and what amazing musicians they were. It has even inspired Simon to restring his ukele for a left handed player and to download some music so watch out the Ukele Orchestra of GB, a new member could be joining soon!
It seems everyone on the pontoon is in a similar situation – we are all headed west and all resigned to a few days wait in Weymouth before the wind abates and moves to a more favourable direction so we have put up our cockpit enclosure which keeps us snug and have even done a bit of baking – scones with jam and cream – or cream with jam, depending whether you follow the Cornish or the Devon tradition – we have split loyalties here with Simon being cream first and me jam first. We also tried wholemeal rolls, which actually taste a lot better than they look – I believe the term ‘artisan bread’ would be appropriate here.
I mentioned in a previous blog post that sailing is sociable and you meet some lovely people so today’s big shout out goes to Shirley and Paul, who we met on the quay yesterday and had a good chat about our voyage and how we are doing it for the National Autistic Society – thanks for starting to follow Crazysails.
It seems, having hoped we would be leaving to go on to Dartmouth by Friday, we are likely to be here until Sunday, when the wind is forecast to finally die down a bit and move around to the north west. Having tidied the boat inside out, repaired the toilet and done all our washing, we think tomorrow could be market day or maybe fossil hunting on the nearby Jurassic coastline – or maybe I’ll just read a book and Simon will practice his ukulele…. who knows, all will be revealed in the next blog post, so make sure you keep following, sharing our link with others and monitoring our progress on our JustGiving Page and our journey track following Kairos 2 on the Marine Traffic app.