Couldn't get the wonderful Spade anchor
to set today. It just goes to show that no anchor
We are lying to the aforementioned anchor in Portland
Harbor, which was a great military harbor, a huge basin surrounded by breakwaters, in the lee of the Isle of Portland
, for which Portland Cement is named. Huge empty forts from the Napoleonic Wars era guard it.
Now it is for commercial
ships and yachts.
We had a fabulous sail from the Hamble today. Up at the crack of dawn and then motored across to Cowes to get lifted and bottom scrubbed. Changed anodes etc. Took on water
, and then set off down the Solent. Got some snide looks for motoring in a perfectly good sailing wind
, but we needed to cook some lunch, then tighten backstay, change one sheave on a jib
car, etc., before we could sail, so we did all that while motoring out of the Needles Channel, then raised sail. With a freshly cleaned bottom we had a smashing sail on a close reach down to a point 5 of 6 miles off St. Albans Head
, in order to avoid the firing range, which was active, reefed down pretty well in the 25 knot wind
. Used Bash's trick to balance the helm
by reefing the main more aggressively rather than let down the traveler -- yep, works as advertised -- that is, brilliantly. Reached the waypoint, then headed off on a rollicking beam reach, all reefs
shaken out, staysail set, 9 and 10 knots of boat speed. We made 52 miles in 6 hours altogether.
It was p*****ng down rain the whole time -- great, English weather
. But it was a fine sailing wind, smooth sea, and pretty warm, so I'm not complaining. We sailed into the vast harbor and dumped the hook, and could not for the life of us get it to set. Soft mud. Finally got it to set just when we would be tangling with an empty mooring
-- so anchor up and try again. Same story again, but finally it set. So the Spade does not work as magically in soft mud, as it does in other conditions.