Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 17 Sep 2009 15:58
Position: At anchor off Tarifa, Spain
Wind: South west, fresh breeze .
Weather: Partly cloudy, mild, occasional showers

After spending all day yesterday and last night rolling, at times heavily, when I arose this morning feeling a little dreary eyed I decided the first order of the day, before breakfast, was to move the boat to a spot less effected by the swell. My neighbours had recommended closer to the cliff off the island, so upon weighing we motored over to this spot to check it out - it was only a hundred meters or so - but it didn't look any better to me and I didn't fancy being quite that close to the cliffs so decided to anchor just a bit further into the bay. It isn't a very big bay so this wasn't very far at all, only 60 meters in the end and not surprisingly such a small move didn't make very much difference at all. Well I had another trick up my sleeve, something I haven't had to do for a very long time and that was to set a second anchor. The theory is to set the anchor from the stern and then drag the stern up into the wind so the boat lies sideways to the wind but the bow points into the swell. This way instead of rolling the boats longest axis is pointing into the swell and you end up with a gentler pitching motion. As you can probably imagine it took quite a bit of messing around; I loaded all the gear into the dinghy: 100 meters of nylon rode, 10 meters of chain and the ever trusty lightweight 'Fortress' anchor. I then rowed over to where I thought the anchor would do the most good, dropped it over the side and rowed back to the boat trailing the anchor rode out astern of the dinghy as I went. Now every time I have done this before I always manage to end up just short of the boat just as the anchor rode comes to the bitter end. I looked at the distance this time and estimated that it was well under 100 meters but once more I found myself about 10 feet from the boat and the anchor rode at its end. Another one of those single hander situations - with some one else on board you would say, "Excuse me, my old mate, could you just chuck me that piece of line there? Ta." Problem solved but there being no such person I ended up rowing harder to stretch the rode out that last 10 feet then quickly grabbed for Sylph's side. Once on board it was easy to pull the slack out, take the line to a sheet winch and crank it in a bit. I am pleased to say after this good pre-breakfast work out the second anchor seems to be working a treat. We are rolling a little bit every now and again but much less than we had been for the previous 24 hours, so life at anchor is quite a bit more comfortable now.

After breakfast I surveyed the nearby beach. It was all but deserted being overcast and very windy. A good opportunity to do some bucket laundry I thought. There are some fresh water showers and foot washer on the beach and I thought this would be a good place to do the laundry though I didn't want to be doing it during a peak swimming period and having a lot of swimmers giving me queer looks. That chore done - half the laundry for now will keep me in clean underwear for another week - I then proceeded ashore, large backpack over my shoulder to do some shopping, now returned, shopping stowed and laundry brought in from off the guard rails and also folded and stowed.

And thus another exciting day in the adventures aboard Sylph VI moves towards its climactic close.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

That's better, whatever the skipper was fussing about with this morning seems to have caused my abode to move more sedately, much more conducive to a good day's sleep. Now why can't he do something about the food? Oh well, I shall sleep on this and see what other stratagems we can invent . . . Zzzzzzz.

The weary sun hath made a golden set,
And, by the bright track of his fiery car,
Gives token of a goodly day tomorrow.
Shakespeare, Richard III