Sunday, June 04, 2006

Shakedown!

Well, we made it into the Deben without serious mishap - and home again! The winds were light or contrary or both, and the tide against us almost all the time, so in the end we only had about half an hour's sailing and a good long test of the engine. But the weather was beautiful, except for very thick mist in the very early morning on the Deben.

We seem to have a number of minor electrical or electronic niggles - instruments not talking to each other properly and the autopilot doesn't have power, which is a nuisance. On the other hand the new log (speedometer) was fine and even tells us the water temperature, which is a bonus. The engine and mechanics worked perfectly, the loo flushed beautifully, and the sails and rigging required only a few minor tweaks where things had been rigged the wrong way around. Oh yes, and the kettle doesn't whistle any more.

One minor problem - the big mooring buoy which you can see in the picture had a little pick-up buoy which came off when we picked it up - fortunately Guy managed to grab it with the boathook and Ben got it out of the water.

A water temperature of only 17.5 degrees didn't quite put Ben off testing out his new wetsuit and flippers, and Guy even more bravely went in in just his trunks - he's pictured below making his "Mummy and Daddy please don't make me go sailing any more" face. Actually both boys were brilliant; Ben pumped up the inflatable dinghy pretty much single handed, and Guy rigged the outboard, drove the dinghy to the pub (the Ramsholt Arms) and back, pausing only so that I could take pictures, and helped extensively with sail stowing and organising us to play Cluedo.

We had an excellent meal at the Ramsholt Arms, which is one of our favourite places, and the only slight snag was that we had to be up at 4am to catch the high tide over the Deben entrance bar - it really is exceptionally shallow this year. Still, we were back at Suffolk Yacht Harbour by 7am to enjoy croissants, and then a cooked breakfast with the boys mid-morning, and back home by 1pm so Camilla could attend a rehearsal of Bacon and Bungay, in which Rough at the Edges are singing.

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