Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ready, Set, Launch....

Sail #1:  20/05/12 Shakedown Cruise - 13.4 nm, average speed 4 kph, 3:02:22 elapsed time
Sail #2:  21/05/12 Victoria Day - 12.9 nm, average speed 5 kph, 2:49.02 elapsed time

The annual migration to the Northumberland Strait again ended in success on Victoria Day Weekend, Canada's official start to summer.  What a perfect weekend for launching the boat and getting it back together.

The bottom was preped and painted on Friday and it came out great.  I thinned the bottom paint which made a huge difference to how it went on.  Given that it was a very warm, breezy day, the extra thinner likely improved the drying.  One final cleaning inside and Exploits was ready for the water, but not before a quick trip back to Truro to celebrate Norwegian Independence Day with the neighours.

Annual migration of a Redwing 30

The weather was perfect on Saturday and the launch went very well with the exception of stripping the backstay turnbuckle and bolt.  Fortunately, the spar from one of the boats that came in last fall was not scheduled to go back on until next weekend so I lifted a turnbuckle and bolt to reattach the backstay.  We got the main and headsails back on and once the dodger and sailcovers were one, we were ready to go.

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day, altho it was cool in the shade of the sail.  We had a fantastic sail across the Bay to Malagash, back to Jollimore's Reef and back to port.  I got a bit of chill and a lot of sunburn!

We inherited the neighbours old stairs to the beach, so Monday morning started with a "stair raising".

It was gusting quite strong and Environment Canada was forecasting a small craft warning later in the day.  The crew came over the night before so I was eager to take them out, particularly since the temperatures were hitting the high 20's C.  Judy hung back to do sit.

We had a very rough start.  Eventually we reefed the main, furled the headsail down to a working jib and were off.  We hit 7.3 knots per hour on the chartplotter which I think is the fastest we've ever gone.  It was manageable altho the wind hit gusts of 32 knots.  We were joined by our dockmates Fly-Bye-Wire, our new BHYC neighbours, From Away, in their customized NorthStar and Prospector.  Between the Sheets had left earlier in the day and headed to Cape John.  Unfortunately they didn't get back in port before low tide and had to anchor in the channel until after 9pm that evening.  Rumour has it, they ran aground twice coming in the marina that night!

Exploits handled the wind beautifully and despite the initial excitement, it was a pleasant sail.

I was really pleased when one of the crew looked in the head at my holding tank project and didn't notice the changes!  Seems my work was befitting a 42 year old boat and looked like it always belonged there.

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