Mon 9 Jun 2008 06:57
Dear One and All
Ship's Time 02.43. 09/06/2008
Ship's Log reads departure Horta, Azores. 1807nm
We are folks on the last leg of Rebel's passage from St. David,s Bay
Grenada, the last three days sailing has seen us up the English Channel,
stopping at Eastbourne, Sovereign Yacht Harbour to drop a crew member who
has to depart for Tuscany immediately, and to top up on a few light
provisions. Currently we are just North of North Foreland heading towards
the swatch ways of the Thames Estuary, and the East Coast of England.
As the crow flies we have just some 50nm to destination.It is a lovely new
dawn coming up with a red streaked sky, with a wispy surreal feature to it,
after last nights foggy, wet almost windless affair, sailing in one of the
busiest shipping areas in the world , you can imagine the radar on , ais,
tracking, marpa flat out, what visibility one had was ere, Dover coast guard
putting out weather visibility warnings every 30 minutes, well welcome to
England says I. I was glad to make Ramsgate and catch up on some personal
tlc, Rebel TLC and just stretch legs ashore. A very good meal in a very
pleasant Thai resturant, highly recommended, However tonight's Sailing has
been very pleasant affair, not much wind but very pleasant all the same.
Tony and I have quietly sailed Rebel towards her final destination of this
passage, ( for I am sure Rebel has many more to come, some vessels have
character, this one definitely, all the crew on board have felt it, and
enjoyed the boats atmosphere, so more passages, I would watch this space )
So now some 4656 nm from St. David's Bay, Grenada, St. Lucia, Rodney Bay,
and the Azores visited on the way home, A brief 3hr stop in Eastbourne over
night in Ramsgate. How has it been...........
Rebel has performed magnificently, systems do work well, are reliable, and
but for some small equipment failures we have had in the main a very
comfortable trip.Small equipment failures are always the cause of major
items of stress on a boat at sea, and have as a result huge implications
for the safety of the yacht/boat and crew aboard. And in our case a small
split pin that retained the boom fitted to the goose neck was a example of
such, fortunately no major secondary collateral damage was caused to either
sails , mast or crew. Likewise the loss of three small monel rivets that
retained the foil in place on the headsail furler track created a potential
for similar serious damage to sails and secondary equipment when the track
reduced in size as the rivets failed. Both items of failure were quickly put
right, and in the middle of some pretty unpleasant conditions ( a horrible
swell and very unpleasant sea state). Our ability to effect such almost
instant repairs owed everything to Rebel's owner who had equipped the
ship's stores with a DIY dept that R&B would fear. He had bits for all
sorts of possibilities, and where the part it self was not on board , it
was possible to produce a suitable stand in. This very definitely enabled us
to maintain our schedule and even just complete the passage as planned. Tim
you may not have been on board , but your forethought in so many areas was
always felt and helped immensely.
As to fuel used for on going ship board systems and continued forward
travel when the wind went light ( Azores High) we have achieved some very
good returns, for example Azores, Horta to Eastbourne used less than
50litres.10 days of a passage. St. Lucia , Rodney Bay we did use somewhat
more but averaged below what was expected.
As for her sailing ability, we have experienced some periods of strong
winds,and for a couple of individual nights even gale force winds, but in
the main 80 per cent of our wind has been somewhere between 8 and 16 knots
and for much barely more than 11 knots. Our ability to maintain sailing
averages has been due to Rebel's extensive sail wardrobe. The dilemma has
been in choosing the right sail for the job. Some dilemma , you are right
we have experienced some memorable sailing, with averages in the 12 knots
range, 9 knots in very little wind at all, and all the crew have had
experiences of 15,16,17, and myself 18.1knots in at the time not extreme
conditions. It was just the right sail, heading and sea state that enabled
such to be achieved. Such sailing ahs brought more than one or two smiles to
all faces, but also instilled new confidence in the individual crew
abilities. Barry for one has taken to cat sailing, and remarked that it will
not be the same on his very worthy but somewhat slower sea boat. Jon who is
always after more speed , but does not always know how to get it, i.e.
adjust the sails to get the ultimate. Tony just smiles whatever he is
getting when at the helm.
The whole crew I believe have enjoyed the experiences shared and those
individual moments will be theirs for a long time. Thanks Tim for the
pleasure of your very fine Rebel.
Now Mersea is in sight, I have been compiling this whilst making way across
the Swatch ways, to insure a timed arrival for one and all I am cheating a
little, sorry Tim, fuel( David Stbd Engine) and sail, wind is barely 8knots
from the North. To all of those who have been looking in the passage has
had it's moments, but none so daunting that all have not enjoyed their
experiences, rather there is a real sense of achievement.
To Jon, Tony, and Barry, who made up the full crew compliment my thanks for
all your support and help. It has once again been my pleasure to have
sailed with you all again.
To my immediate family , Eileen , Nathan, and Clare thanks for the
opportunity of this trip , see you all shortly.
To one and All from Rebel's Grenada to Mersea crew out.
David, Jon, Tony, Barry .