Sunday, March 25, 2012

First sail of the season

Having baked in the sunshine in SW6, watching Chelsea's tepid derby against Spurs yesterday, I figured a more rewarding way of exploiting this unusual warm spell would be to take the kids for their first sail on board Arabella.

Happy to helm - as long as Cuddlie Bear can join in
(As always, click on the thumbs for larger images)

On the off-chance that this year, like the last two, would see a beautiful spring followed by a so-so summer, I'd had Arabella lowered in early.  It turned out to be a good move - we had a wonderful three hours out, taking advantage of the three hour HW stand on springs in Southampton Water.

Don't you just love springs :o)

I was a bit nervous at first, taking two small (and occasionally random) kids out - they'd previously only camped on Arabella, tied safely up in the marina.  But I soon relaxed into it, although I sent them below for the gybes on the return trip downwind.

Happier posing than helming

My seven-year-old daughter was very keen on helming - although as the chart below shows,  we were a little bit wobbly as she is, after all, a novice.  She even helmed through the tacks!  My six-year-old son, in contrast, preferred playing with the electronics!

There was very little breeze, and we spent some time becalmed, searching for wind, any wind at all.  Eventually a sea breeze filled in and Arabella ghosted along quite happily on a series of beam reaches - ideal for the letting the kids gain confidence.  They're already asking when they can do it again!

Smile says it all...

Conditions:  F1, increasing to F3, ESE
Sea state: None!
Distance covered (GPS over ground): 9.2 NM
Total distance covered to date (2012): 9.2 NM
Engine hours: 1.0 (total for 2011: 1.0 hours)