Monthly Archives: Aug 2018

Three nights on board, running up to a poor bank holiday

The nights are drawing in and they are certainly getting chillier. Just had three nights on board running up to the Bank Holiday weekend, and I definitely needed my sleeping bag pulled round my ears, mummy style. For the last few months I have not even zipped it up. Anchored each night off Shipstal point to get some shelter from the fairly strong winds, although they largely die down at night.

One morning I had a feathered friend, who stayed around me, hoping for food, for over an hour. It took me quite a while to clean the dinghy out afterwards… I took the opportunity of a willing model to do some drawings.

There are many birds around Shipstal, as well as at least four seals. This brings in the birders boat, which I might go on one day myself.

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I managed my pre-breakfast skinny dip each morning, but it’s getting colder. I like to swim right round both boats, but on the third day I only got a couple of strokes out and decided it was REALLY cold, and climbed rapidly back out..

Spent a long time one day on Brownsea Island. First around the site of the old pottery, where the beach is just made up of ceramic waste (one point is actually called shard point for good reason) and where the Scout centre is. Baden Powell held the very first Scout camp on Brownsea Island in 1907 I think.

I went round the nature reserve, which is well managed, and saw quite a few interesting birds, godwits, avocets, spoonbills and many others. Practiced my drawing via my binoculars.

The evenings are darker, so I have retreated indoors, which is comfortable and feels cosy with the oil lamp lit for the first time this year. Good indian food is easy to cook on a single burner stove.

I had thought this might be my last cruise before packing up, but the forecast looks good, so I am going back to Daisy G tomorrow.

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Two days afloat, middling weather

Seems to be getting on in the season. Two reasonable days afloat, but not that warm. No temptation for skinny dipping if the sun doesn’t cooperate. But the new milk cooler seems to work. Certainly after 36 hours, the milk was still partially frozen and the beer was nicely chilled

Wear and tear starting to show. There was a thin spray of petrol when I squeezed the primer bulb. Not good. A wrapping of self amalgamating tape and electrical tape kept it together whilst I sailed into the marina to go and buy a new fuel line.

Then I noticed there was a crack in the rear deck, right at the stern. This is the third time the deck has cracked in this area. 6mm plywood is just not strong enough here.

I’ve bodged it with a bit of epoxy repair putty, to keep the rain out, but I will have to cut it out and patch it over the winter.

Four more baking sailing days

The heat wave continues, although it is now raining as I write this. I managed to spend four more glorious summer days down on Daisy G. Although I just seemed to be bobbing about going nowhere in particular, I managed to cover over 50 nm in the time. I had had a horrible feeling that I had forgotten to raise the outboard out of the water when I left her in June, and I was right. A month of immersion in tropically warm water meant an extraordinary amount of weed growth on the leg and prop. Not just weed, a lot of it was wriggling… I had to remove the engine altogether and scrape it clean. The prop could barely turn, the speed was non-existent and I was worried that cooling water couldn’t enter. Having cleared that, I motored to my favourite careening spot, the area alongside Furzey island. It is shallow and the bottom is firm enough to stand on.

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The west end of Furzey Island, which has a beautiful, Chinese feel to it.

There were not many others around, so I stripped off and went overboard for a long session of skinny-hull-scraping with a garden hoe. The nine year old copper coat antifouling is getting less and less effective, but the hoe works well if you can get into the water.

Swimming and generally sailing naked became the theme of the cruise. It was so hot and sunny (over 30C every day) that wearing anything just seemed a crime. On the Friday, I started the day with a long skinny dip before breakfast, and as there were surprisingly few other boats around, I never bothered to put anything on for the rest of the day.

I anchored most nights off Shipstal Point, which is one of my favourite places, but it does get crowded at the weekend. It is quiet, full of birds, but still gives a good view of Poole Quay and all the comings and goings of the shipping. You get a grandstand view of the Thursday night firework display in the summer.

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Poole Quay by night. The lights on the water a beautiful, very reminiscent of paintings by Egon Schiele.

I have become more and more fascinated by the pattern of light on moving water and try to capture images of it for future prints, but it is hard to retain the feel.

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The colour of water is mesmerising.

The warmth of the water did allow me to wade out and take some photos of my whole fleet, which I can rarely do. Both Daisy G and Nellie G are looking a bit scratched and worn by this time of year.

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The chipped paint and dulled woodwork doesn’t show up in photos. As I always say, and unscratched boat is an unused boat. She’ll get beautified over the winter.

I’m working on a solution to keeping milk fresh in hot weather with no refrigeration. Afour bottle sized box built from 50mm insulation foam. I shall try it our next time I’m down.

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The foam was left over from our kitchen extension. I always knew I would find a use for it. This box uses a surprising amount.