Just when you thought it was safe to leave the water…

…the sun comes out and the wind returns to a sense of its duty.  What an odd end to September.  As I sit typing this I can hear the wind gusting past the house, the roses are banging the windows and normal October weather is back, but for a few days the conditions out on the Blackwater were truly lovely.  Nearly, but not quite, made up for the rubbish summer we have just had.  Inca took the opportunity for a late swim!

I am planning to leave Alexandros afloat this winter.  We had a few glorious days out last February, so it seems like a good plan to maximise the use of the boat by leaving her in (saves on lift out and storage fees too).

During the summer (?) a sailing friend and I decided to fly the old cruising chute that came with my previous boat, Sophie.  Somehow, this sail had found its way into our spare bedroom and had languished there for a couple of years.  Which goes to show how often we dust round here!  Anyway, after a bit of bodging we got the thing to fly and it added at least a knot or two in very light airs.  As a result of this experiment I have begun to consider a proper chute for Alexandros.  After chatting to those fine chaps at Crusader Sails, it transpires that a short bowsprit may be required before we place the order.  This will make the 2nd Mate, James, very happy.  He has always wanted a boat with a bowsprit, ever since reading the Aubrey/Maturin books. (we have both read them until the pages are falling out).

So, if any of you practical seafaring types have ever added a bowsprit to an aging Westerly, to carry the cruising chute clear of the pulpit, then please get in touch with suggestions!  I was wondering if the top few feet of an aluminium dinghy mast may serve?


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