Folksong: Temporary sail ties

In 2009, I wrote a post on lazy jacks. In 2012, I posted another three posts on lazy jacks, here, here and here. Then in 2013 it occurred to me that I was being very slow on the uptake, the boat is small enough not to need them. So I removed them.

No lazy jacks means that a whole series of lines are no longer there to be tangled with but it brings to the fore those vulnerable minutes between lowering the mainsail and stowing it neatly, when the wind can get hold of the sail and blow sections of it over the boat or, worse, over the side. At the same time, there may be other boats in the vicinity, so attention is divided between containing the flapping sail and avoiding the possibility of a collision. Lazy jacks are designed to avoid this so, if I have decided that the boat doesn’t need them, what is the alternative? This is the solution that works well for me.

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Photographing at sea to show pace – trial images

In the previous post, I mentioned the difficulty of photographing waves at sea – the boat moves in tune with the waves and it’s difficult to record their size on a still photograph. Yesterday,the wind was gusting heavily and we were at the point when I considered reefing. However, the sails were reasonably balanced and the tiller easy enough to control the boat with one hand while holding a camera in the other. I wondered whether it was possible to share the pleasure I was getting on the water by trying to demonstrate the pace we were going.

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Mullion Cove – a slight swell and a storm

At Mullion Cove, with the wind from the south west, there was an opportunity to photograph swell – or, at least, to attempt to photograph swell. Trying to record waves at sea is nearly always disappointing – the vessel moves in tune with the waves. I have seen some amazing images from the Southern Ocean but they really need to be taken from outside the boat to truly reflect the situation.

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A short walk in Cornwall – taken further

Cadgwith is some 70 miles south south west of Steeple Point. If you walked the coast from Steeple Point to here, you would have walked approximately 240 miles.

We walked into Cadgwith from Kennack Sands just to the north – a mere two and a half miles on a Saturday morning with a wind blowing and clouds scudding.

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Shakedown sail – in the way, bodies learn then need to relearn.

We were away at the weekend so yesterday, belatedly, was my first sail of the year. There were a couple of problems, so, while it’s still fresh in my mind, here’s a short description for Folksong owners and anyone else who might be interested. If, by my not keeping quiet about my mistakes, it sounds as if I have no pride, you’d be wrong, I have lots of pride, but as I get older I find I can take it or leave it . . .

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A good team. Job done.

One of the features of a boat that was launched in 1988 is that any fittings that haven’t already been replaced are now over twenty five years old. I thought of this yesterday when, the winds having abated, we were able to get a couple of jobs done that had been scheduled for two days earlier.

I took the boat down river to Plymouth Yacht Haven. We slipped into a berth beside yachts twice the size of Blue Mistress. In such austere company we seem to be batting above our league. However, let’s concentrate on the job in hand . . .

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Dowsing the foresail

Now the boat is back in the water, I can assess the changes made over the winter.

One of the tricks for a single-hander is to be able to lower the foresail and dowse it before the bulk of the sail slides under the lifelines and into the water. 99 times out of 100, there’s no problem. Occasionally everything goes wrong. It happened to me at the end of last year and it was time to do something about it.

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