Tuesday, 29 June 2010

This entry is dedicated to Poppy -

 - - who died of anaphylactic shock on Sunday 20th June - aged 19 - and a truly lovely person.
And to Steve, Marcia, Sunshine and Dave - cry them a river and remember.
I have not known you for long - but grieve none-the-less.

Monday, 28 June 2010

lookfar's third cruise - -

17-10 hrs: still too busy to take pictures - but Aidan may have one.
This time we went out and came back on one tide. What I really want to say is that we sailed downstream and back -  and just got in on the falling tide - hit the rudder on the sill but not the keel. I am probably going to get a new engine - the old one does not work to my satisfaction - cuts out at low revs.

Today - AGM of U3A - and I am now on the committee to represent the web team - sigh -  I think is the right response.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

lookfar's first solo sail

20-25 hrs: No pictures because I was too busy to take any.

I went for the first solo sail yesterday - over the tide - in sushine and a decent wind. I had more adventures going downriver for 5 miles than I got on day trips in the north East - I think because it is just harder to sail in a river. On the sea - you point the boat and go in straight lines - but the channel twists and turns so there is not just one point of sailing - and the wind quite shifty.  Only felt the mud bottom (not aground exactly)  three times! 

The tides are stronger than I expected - but I was sailing with the tide and made impressive progress. Until - - a rope round propeller getting off a mooring - so I had to do a lot of manoevering under sail - even anchoring and resetting the anchor. (I got the rope off OK).

When I got towards Woodbridge - I foolishly decided to contine up river under sail, rather than moor and take the sails down.  It was too shallow - so the keel caught in the mud - the boat swung round and I very slowly drifted on the tide onto a moored boat (having avoided about three others!). I picked up its mooring and pretended that I was intending to do this - so it may not have provided spectator entertainment.

I now need to improve the control lines and be off again.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Geology trip to Walton on the Naze

18-20 hrs: The geology group of the U3A in East Suffolk took itself off to Walton on the Naze to inspect cliff erosion, a wave-cut platform and lots of fossils.

This was hugely enjoyable - and I had no idea that Walton beach was such a rich source of geological examples of various kinds. 
There is London clay at the foot of the cliff - which yields fossil wood and teeth - and much else if you know what to look for. Above the clay - there are levels of sand with a lot of coral and shells. The upper layers slump down onto the beach, as the picture shows. There are no signs of attempts to protect the cliffs here - which seems strange but at least leaves good features for us to ponder.

Friday, 18 June 2010


19-50 hrs: This window sill is supposed to get hot and sunny - thus the tomatoes. The plants are bred for captivity in pots and hanging baskets - and the fruit are the baby variety. I do wonder if the flowers (of which there are a lot) will ever set.

The weather has been cold and windy, so have taken the opportunity to do useful things around the house, to do useful things around the boat, to learn useful things about the U3A web site and wait until the sun shines, in anticipation of which I have bought a very large sun hat.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

more on the U3Aes web site

13-30 hrs: No picture - this topic does not lend itself to illustrations.
I have spent much of yesterday and today working on understanding the U3A web site. I have even written a planning document and lots of emails to various interested people. Be impressed - but the sun is now out and I am off to see that lookfar is happy.

Monday, 14 June 2010

University of the Third Age

16-50 hrs: I have spent most of today involved with the U3A - and quite a lot of time lately reading up on the technology of their new web site at  http://www.u3aeastsuffolk.org.uk/ It will not surprise you to know that I volunteered to be their systems admin person - taking over from a member who is moving. The job appears to involve a combination of content management, user support and technical work - just like the University Computing Service (recently ISS) in Newcastle University. It uses Joomla (interesting) and will include a committee meeting once a month (stressful).

In the morning - went to the geology group and looked at the shapes of crystals and some specimins of minerals - as well as planning a morning (next Monday) on the beach under Walton-on-the-Naze looking at mud, fossils and rocks - mostly mud I fear. Afternoon - my first U3A committee meeting - - - .

Sunday, 13 June 2010

lookfar in home port

20-20 hrs: this is lookfar on the mooring with the sail up with one reef.

Yesterday we took her out into the river and motored downstream a couple of miles for lunch. It was quite windy and the reefing system was a bit obscure, so we sailed some of the way back with just the genoa - and then motored through the moorings in Woodbridge.

Today I spent happy hours trying to get the reefing system to work smoothly and getting the sails to set nicely. It was quite windy - and I felt quite tired so did not emerge from the marina - and the wind was on the nose - so I could play around pulling the sails up without stressing the moorings. I am not quite used to the limitations of the tides and also the strength of the ebb - which behaves as if a plug has been taken out.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Jaguar 21, sail number 23, is launched - and re-named

21-00 hrs: The Jaguar being launched by the crane on Friday June 11th. Note the rural background to the Tidemill Haven - and  the way out as the tide falls. Also - note the smart grey anti-fouling underneath - very hard work to get it all on and done (yes - I wore overalls and a mask).

One reason I have not written in the last ten days or so is that I felt I did not have much of interest to say until the boat is floating at its berth, apart from the point that there is a lot of pollen around here but I am less breathless as a result of using the inhaler.

I did a de-naming ceremony on Friday after launch. I renamed her today out in the river. 
The name is lookfar -  fair winds and good fortune to all who sail in her.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

summer has come - with side-effects

21-00 hrs: Lots of sunshine. Finished putting anti-fouling on the Jaguar and now await, with some patience, the final bits of work before the launch, denaming and renaming of Jaguar 21 sail number 23. The furler was fitted on Saturday and I have just to attach the sheets.

I felt surprisingly ill for much of last week - did I go to the doctor - no! But they caught up with me eventually because the practice nurse noticed that I was stupidly breathless when I was there for a blood test. Eventually - we identified that I was suffering from hay fever which irritated bronchial tubes and bits of lung; so I got an inhaler. Instant improvement  - helped a bit by cooler, wetter weather. So today - back out in the heat and pollen and dust without ill effects. Tomorrow - the beach with sun hats and sun blocker.