B.O.A.T. -Blow Out Another Thousand….

Well my lovely Poppet 2 has belonged to me for two whole weeks and I don’t think I’ve ever had so much going around in my head before. Got to do this, need to check that, have to buy the other… Well it has to be said she is a learning curve, and a money pit. I have so many lists now I don’t know where to start! I get half way through a job and then something stops me from finishing it. I am just afraid that knowing me and my “bodger” heritage I might forget something major… sails? 

So, here are some examples so far… 

She has had a scrub inside and out. Although I haven’t been able to wash up the pots because I can’t empty the sink due to not being able to open the seacock to let the water out… need the tappy thingamy bit… and I still need to scrub her crusty hull – need to get some anti foul, and be able to rely on my engine to get me to a beach and decent weather so that I can strip and paint her while I’m there…

Although you can’t see much difference in the photos, before is left and right is after…

Talking of engine… i started her five times today! I am slowly getting used to both the physicality of a pull chord and the temperament of my Honda 7.5, to use the choke or not etc… this is all new to me. It makes me realise how much I am grateful to my car for not having a crank handle (mind you, I used to find being able to crank my old 2cv6 quite useful!)… I still haven’t been able to start the Yamaha 3.5 tho… poop… And my hand is black and blue after whacking it on the hatch padlock loopy thing when trying to start it the other day!​

​So today I decided to sand down and varnish the tiller, did really well until I realised it was too cold for the varnish I have… and all the sand was coming off the sandpaper so that wasn’t ideal! So I have bought new sandpaper and am now I am waiting for the temperature to rise a little… 

Navigation lights. 

Now generally red is on the port side, and green is on the starboard side, so why do I have a blue starboard light? Was it ever green? Now, a sailing friend suggested that these lights might not be intended for boats, as I have only seen them for sale in red pairs on an American car website I wonder whether my funky vintage lights are actually car brake lights… or a brake light and a reversing light painted blue!!! Well, anyway,  I thought I would check what bulbs I might need to replace as they are not working, and I get the top off and they are soooo corroded I have had to buy a new set… so now waiting for the postman… then I’ve got to learn to do some electrics! 

Also in the post is a new foam cushion to complete my v-berth, some leatherette material to cover it (I went with black so that it was clear it was new), some material to make curtains and cushion covers (randomly turquoise!!) and an auto helm…. also a head torch which has a red light so as not to lose night vision. (That was just a luxury haha!)

So now other decisions to make are, do I just stick with a physical chart and the iSailor app on my phone, or should I get a chart plotter? And if a chart plotter shall I just buy a decent and possibly expensive one with a decent screen, or go cheap and regret it later? Also do I get a windex? Or just tie a ribbon on my shrouds?

Anyway… it is late and tomorrow is another day…  I might even have a sleepover with my new love!! Well it is valentines day and all…

I’ve bought a boat!!!!!!

Ok, I have intended that that this blog should be my full sailing story in chronological order etc etc – but I’m so excited I have to interrupt it with a – I’ve bought a boat! Yippee!!!! 

Meet Poppet 2, she is a Snapdragon 21, and although probably older than me and currently a bit in need of some love and attention she is sea worthy and she’s mine! Whoop whoop! 
I have bought the boat from some interesting chaps who run a YouTube VLog, there are quite a few videos (some of Poppet), I think they generally want you to believe that they are crackers, but I think there is some sanity in there somewhere! 

The friend who introduced me to sailing came with me to check her over on Saturday and then again helped me move her from her Conwy River mooring to Conwy Marina yesterday (which very randomly is £79 cheaper if you book it for 2 months than it is for one!). I think I will be forever in his debt! I was a bit of a stressed bunny! It didn’t help that the engine kept stopping and wouldn’t go into reverse either! 

Well, like I said she needs a few bits and bobs doing, and no doubt a fortune spending on her but I am trying to be sensible and do as little as is needed to get her out and sailing! The first purchase of the day was a new padlock – like a twit I heard a plop and saw bubbles rising in the water – after going through everything in my bag and pockets I eventually realised the only thing that could have gone overboard was the padlock and it was nowhere to be seen! At least it wasn’t my phone or car keys! Or me! 

So she needs a very good clean, not only for aesthetic purposes but having looked in the well that the engine is sat in – it is apparent that she has a very crusty bottom! Even the outboard engine has a meal growing on it!! Cockles and mussels alive alive oh! 

So tomorrow will be spent investigating, sorting and cleaning… Things like, there are flares on board that were out of date in 1999! Really? It’s always a great idea to carry around explosives that are so out of date they might be unstable in a small vessel on the water. I have inherited washing up, mouldy teaspoons and Tupperware. But then there are bags of lovely tan sails so I am not complaining I just want to get her ship shape… 

So no doubt more photos and blog entries will appear featuring the new female in my life interrupting the perfect order of things… but even with my slight OCD I think I’ll just about cope. 

It really was a lovely day in Conwy yesterday!

That was close!!

So summer starts in 2016, after various invitations from my great sailing club friends which had been turned down – although, I believed, for the right reasons – I said yes to a sail. It was going to be on Eira on 17 July and at the Conwy River Festival. Lovely! It was arranged that I would be at Conwy Marina for 0900… I was really quite anxious, I was worried that I would be hopeless! (Anyone who knows me would tell you that I always worry that I’ll be hopeless!!!) I consoled myself with the thought that the three of us would be fine and it was just a bit of a cruise…

I arrive to find that that it wasn’t just a cruise, it was a race and then a cruise, it wasn’t the three of us either, as Lady Eira had gone on another boat, it was just the two of us… oh no… help!!! 
Well, after a calming cuppa and a chat about the plan for the day (a race in the morning followed by the La La Rally – a cruise to Caernarfon and back…) I was still panicking internally, but with the calming statement, ‘don’t worry Joy, I only need you to make up the numbers needed to enter the race’ from Mr Eira, I began to feel slightly less tense… but of course, only slightly!

So, out from the safety of the pontoon at the marina we go, we listen on the VHF for our course and start time. Far too quickly we are off, well to be fair, most of the morning was a blur, just the tension remains when I think how close to sailing into a fellow competitor we were at one point, half an inch maybe? Argh! (This was my first introduction to the lovely Talaris of Conwy. Not the best introduction and probably never forgotten by all involved!). Anyway, once the race was over – thank goodness! – we were on our way towards Anglesey. It was a lovely day, and by the time we reached Port Dinorwic, I definitely felt like we needed a rest! 

So after finally arriving at Caernarfon, we then had to wait a while for the tide to rise enough for the Marina gates to open. Well – I loved my day at sea. There were moments of tension, but also moments of bliss, lying in the sun (getting very sunburnt and not realising it – oops!) and enjoying being on the water in such a beautiful place… also, with me on helm going through the Swellies, we managed to avoid A, the divers, and B, the other boats, so all told quite a successful jaunt. 
As much as I loved the day – I knew I was ready to learn more and try and get some confidence on a boat… next stop – Gibraltar! Yey!