Spring approaches

Daisy G had been sadly ignored over the winter, but it is launch day NEXT MONTH! I have finally started sprucing her up a bit. Paint work touched up. The Dulux paint is surprisingly durable. A new anti foul boot top painted and first coat of Danish oil on the woodwork. She will be green hats old at the end of this season, so I might treat her to a full spruce up and new anti fouling at Swallow Yachts next winter.


Just a glimmer of getting ready for next season

Not much here for the last few months, but not much has happened. But I’m going to be away for some of March and April so I need to get on.

This hatch to the ballast tank still leaks so I am yet again trying seal it down. Eight screws and a ton of  Sikaflex should do it, but it hasn’t for the  last two years. I need to tighten the screws fully tomorrow.

Packed away for the winter

Daisy Grace is stowed in her winter quarters, masts off and some of the ropes removed (there are lots). No major jobs planned, just general maintenance. Kathleen, my little guillemot dinghy had not been on the water this year. I am going to put her on the market in the spring, as I don’t think I will be sailing her. She is just too small for me. If anyone is interested in an Iain Oughtred Guillemot, with trailer, please let me know.


Running on empty…

Managed a couple of nights down on Daisy G. Sunny and warm, but wind, wind, wind. It blew F4-F6 all three days, without let up even at night. From the west,  which means there is hardly any real shelter, although I tried off Furzey Island, Arne Peninsula and even Goathorn Peninsula, which I have never risked before. In all places, it is just too shallow. I was nearly trapped in all. 

I anchored each  night off Shipstal Point, which had the best shelter, but not perfect, so noisy all night. 

I committed an arch crime on the first day. Motoring up to Shipstal, the engine gave the rapid sigh and silence which means only one thing, no fuel. I had checked before I set off, but only a casual shake of the tank, which clearly had told me nothing. Two miles from home in a F5 wind and no engine. Fortunately, I was directly upwind of my marina, so I could sail back. The concern was getting through the moored boats and onto the pontoon without over or under shooting, or crashing into some innocent bystander. I played safe and just used the jib to sail back, but still made over 4kts sometimes, and well over 3kts all the time. By good luck the pontoon was empty and the wind was straight onto it. With a bit of careful playing with the sail, I managed a fairly professional looking landing. No audience, sadly. I now have lots of fuel on board. More than I’ll need for the rest of the season. 

Trailer,  is always the trailer

Haven’t been down to Daisy Grace for a couple of weeks, but I decided it was time I had the trailer serviced. As soon as I took it in, the engineer said the suspension was shot. After he took the old units off, he had to jack it up three inches more to get the new ones on. The trailer now goes much better, even empty. Motto is that if the trailer is more than eight years old, check the suspension units. They aren’t that expensive, £100 for both, and it’s a lot cheaper than a towing failure on the motorway. 

Short sunny sail.

Looked like we would have one good day for sailing, so went down to Poole to use it. Spent the morning in Poole itself, going to the museum, which is excellent, and having fresh mussels for lunch at the Poole Arms on the Quayside, which is also excellent. There are interesting ancient boat artifacts in the museum, along with some exquisite pottery.


Sailed up into Bramblebush bay, which had the best of the sun, but it was very windy, so in the evening I motored straight into the wind to Shipstal Point, for a sheltered, quiet night. Surprisingly few boat’s there, only three, considering it is hot and the school holidays.

Flat calm in the morning, so I motored slowly back to Bramblebush, standing all the way for a better view. Spring Tides and very fast currents, so you do have to watch your way. I love spring Tides. The Harbour looks beautiful when it is full to the brim, and fascinating when it nearly empties at low tide. I deliberately grounded for the morning. I am learning where the hard ground is, for drying out. If you dry out on soft mud, you can’t get out of the boat…


I hiked over the Heath to the beach and put in my best beach run to date, so feeling quite smug. Far more pleasant than running on a treadmill in the gym.


Spent the afternoon working up at tan whilst I waited for the water to come back. It comes in at amazing speed. It was only about 15 minutes from the water reaching the boat until I was afloat. Strong winds set in, so I sailed off double reefed. I wasn’t sure how well she would tack like that, but she did perfectly. I battled half way up Blood Alley between Brownsea and Furzey island, but had to give in eventually as I had the tide against me. When I lost the wind between the islands, I didn’t have a hope, just going back and forth on the same line. Started the engine and motored back to the marina.