Well, that went by in a flash.
Another fun packed summer has passed. A few highlights, got a new eye fitted, well not a complete eye, but a new artificial cornea. Knowns techically as a Keratoprosthesis, basicall a tiny plastic lens in a titanium carrier that was implanted into my rejected corneal tissue. Sadly the vision is not what one could have hoped for, light perception and not a lot more really, in fact what little there was seems to be fading daily. Never mind, it was worth a try. Started supply teaching, just a few days each week but enough to help out with the mortgage and, of course, buy toys for Rose.
We had a couple of really great trips, nothing too exciting for you hardy salty old sea dogs, but great fun all the same. Middle son could not really reconcile himself to a motor sailer and went out and got his own boat. A nice little Westerly Cirrus. She was lying in the marina in Ramsgate. The dear chap drove down with girlfriend and dog, a few sandwiches and a can of diesel and set off for the Blackwater. To cut a long story short his engine failed off of North Foreland, he could not start the little Honda O/B I lent him for the trip (he forgot the kill cord), and he could not make any way against the strong current and the westerly wind, well not with three feet of kelp streaming off of the bottom of the boat he couldn’t. He raised the CG at about 19;30 and they taked the Ramsgate lifeboat to bring him in. Still every cloud has a silver lining and it provided me with the perfect excuse for a trip in Rhoda Rose to escort him back home. After cleaning the fuel tank and pressure washing the bottom of his boat.
There is a film of the trip if you have nothing better to watch in the Video section. ‘Lively’ as she is now known as, sails really well and she made the trip home in fine style.
Just before the Ramsgate trip I decided to dry Rhoda Rose and check her anodes and give her a quick clean up. She had been sitting in her berth for 8 years before I took over stewardship and was last dried out three years ago so I reasoned she must be encrusted.
So a quick coat of Barnacle food and she floated off on the next tide.
Of course, I have spent a fortune on her, everything was essential of course…
Well, in a manner of speaking…
New S/H DSC/VHF with built in AIS, linked to the 180i plotter, Rudder position indicator, NASA mast head wind speed and direction indicator and on the mizzen a windex. Essential gizmos imho to sail a wheelhouse boat efficiently. Webasto 3500 Airtop heater, second hand but seems a good investment, assorted halyards and sheets and a few deck fittings, Lots of varnish on the gunnels and rubbing strakes and a good clean below decks.
Since then Rhoda Rose has had a few outings and a couple of overnight stops anchored off of Osea Island, very nice too.
I find, as a VI person, visibility is not as good from inside a wheelhouse as it is outside in the cockpit. I find I rely much more on instruments for navigation then I ever used to, so having a sighted crew on board is even more important than it used to be. On the upside, being big, warm and comfortable means I have no problem find said crew!
Winter sailing is definatly on the agenda now, indeed there is no excuse not to use her, so more updates during the coming months I hope.