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Twenty degrees of heel and going nowhere - !

It seemed a good idea.

I had a 'to do' list, before I could take the boat out again - she was on the river mooring, which is a pleasant spot. So Mon evening I planned to go on the 1730 HW from the yard slip in the dingy - spend the night aboard - do the jobs, then get off as early as possible Tues on the evening HW for a few hours sailing.

Firstly - I nearly lost the dingy on the flow.

Being very cautious about this very thing - I'd decided to put an extra longer line on, so I could lead it around to pull aboard on the beam. So I tie the line to the stern cleat - throw it down into the dingy - climb in the dingy, untie the short tether to the rudder - climb back on board. Took about three seconds to realise I'd not attached the line I'd thrown in to the dingy - three seconds in which the dingy was making a very gentle bid for freedom.

What do they say, in 'Health and Safety', don't over reach ! - I over reached pretty far from that transom ladder - just got a hand on it. Maybe next time, first thing aboard fish out the extendible boat hook and keep it handy - and keep brain, if present, in gear.

It was interesting to see just how the boat takes the ground, or mud, on the ebb. You would think it would just run with the flood from the upstream buoy - but the wind direction makes a huge difference. As the water disappeared, with the southerly wind, she settled to ground considerably further in than when I had moored her up on the Sunday.

Slowly she heeled a bit, a bit more - and ended up 20% on the compass clino. No problem at all for the boat - somewhat more for me !

I could see the 'line' of depressions where she had settled, around in an arc swinging out towards the middle of the estuary - the furthest some thirty foot from where I was now - and a damn site more level than where I was. The problem may be too much scope on the mooring painters - but with the huge tides of the next two weeks I don't want to err on the short side.
Although its a fore and aft mooring, the bridles and riser are 8m from the ground line to cope with the tide range - so on neaps, there can be some leeway. I've altered these to 3.5m each - and they attach with spliced eyes directly on to the samson post fore, and a loop of warp over the rudder with a large shackle at the stern.

Probably needs adjusting to suit the range - to keep the boat out in deeper water, hence lower drying height. Especially it would seem with any wind to the S or E on this mooring, which tends to drift her away from the main channel.

This also severely effects the time at which she floats off. These are not simple moorings by any standards.

Anyway - it was a beautiful evening - so I proceeded with my list. After about an hour the novelty of being on a 20 degree heel was beginning to wear off. Ok - I made a coffee ( so pleased I fitted that gimbled hob ), but where to put it once full ?

Once it came to sorting out my cordless and a few bits I'd brought with me for fixing the cleats, it was all getting a little tiresome - but I had this until 3.30 am. Just about dusk I gave up - it was now cook supper, then set various things on the gps.

Cooked and ate supper with difficulty - then got out my cheap old Conpaq laptop I've been fiddling with loaded with Ozi Explorer for uploading waypoints. It was just one of those days I think - Com port error, com port error - hell with it, stick in 6 waypoints manually on the garmin. It was working perfectly before - even have a scanned and calibrated chart of the local areas, running real time nav. Its great though for uploading waypoints - and moreso, for downloading all the waypoints I have on the Garmin. I can then stick them on a floppy and print out a list at home, which is really useful for checking.

Anyway - time for bed. My backs aching by now all down one side. 'I aint gettin no younger' !
Now this is really when you realise that your world is not quite right - oh, for a hammock, maybe. As a last resort I get the bunk foam from the quarter berth and install it alongside as a sort of artifical kerb - this sort of worked. Maybe I should have tried the quarter berth.

I'm wondering by now why I've chosen to do the equivalent of camping out on a pitched roof for 24 hrs, for pleasure ? Thankfully, some solace came in the form of -3 HW - when she gracefully came level so you hardly felt it. Bliss ! for about five hours or so.

I got up before she sat down again - this time, with a shift in the wind, at a slightly better 15 degrees.

Somewhat more tolerable - but still a pain when it comes to fixing things. Anyway, sorted the rigging, checked the lot with the loos gauge - wired it all up, altered the topping lift, re stowed the spin pole and fender board.

Altered the painters, added extra long stainless shackles for a quick clip on point with a spare line fore and aft, with a carbine hook attached.

Sorted out the mess on the mainsail - Ian put in the 2nd reef at Barry, I can't complain, as I was in no state to do it myself at the time - his boat has a roller boom so didn't quite suss the slab reef set up - so there were bits tied all over the place. I left in the first reef - as its easier to drop it out if not needed.

Still trying to perfect an easy way to inflate a 2.4 inflatable on a 22' boat - I have a great deal of ingenuity and am having to use every ounce of it. My Tesco 7.00 inflator is a gem - it won't blow past the closed valve, but my valves lock open - so its really quick to bulk fill the tube, lock the valve, then finish off with the foot pump. Its quick really, minutes, but I can't seen to do it 'gracefully' - always seems a struggle.
My next system for trial, which I've sort of tried out, is to hoist it deflated with the spinnaker halyard and hang it over the rail, with the valves near the top rail, then inflate it there.

By mid afternoon - I had planned to take the boat out for a while. Firstly, she did not float until - 2 1/4 HW - and I really did not want to bring her back on the mooring on my own for the first time anything after HW.
In reality, I was absolutely knackered - just wanting to get the dingy inflated, with no rush, and chug my way back to the yard slip - and it was just a beautiful late afternoon.

Still - I don't think many stay overnight on there boats on the river - maybe I can see why. The work is done - with the extreme neaps this week I couldn't have got her on to the mooring at the yard anyway. Maybe I'll try it again when I know we have had westerlies on the ebb - but as for working on the boat, forget it ! At least - thats how I feel right now.

Maybe though, he thinks - if I throw my little 5 lb dingy anchor far enough into mid channel, while she's still just afloat, I could pull her out some. Maybe try it again when I know we have the more usual westerly air.

Hopefully, the HW times just fit a whole day sail on thurs or fri - and the forecast is good - so I think out on HW Fri morning, back onto the yard moorings on the mega tide of the 9th Sept - 14.4 m Avonmouth - 47 foot !

I'm paid up to the 15th anyway - so can make a weekend of it, maybe get a few hours out Sun morning.