A Two Hour Cruise Took Five

The Sill at Port St. Peter, Guernsey
The Sill at Port St. Peter, Guernsey, from the Inside

And it was a wild ride!

On the Outside Looking In. We wait for the water to rise above the sill.
On the Outside Looking In. We wait for the water to rise above the sill.

Day 08 St. Helier, Jersey to Port St. Peter, Guernsey

Originally, I had planned the route in a most course fashion, just looking at the distance between the islands of Jersey and Guernsey and seeing the number “10” in my mind.  10 nm no problem; two hours.

So we set out, bright and relatively early.  Only minutes into the cruise, the first bugaboo rears its ugly head. Anyone see the issue yet?  Maybe you just read the previous blog?  Here let me remind you, my own words from the previous blog:

Just before landfall, the winds turned westerly and north westerly at 25 knots.  That combined with the much longer fetch, we immediately saw waves a few feet higher. All of sudden we were getting 6 foot waves on the port stern quarter.  That angle of incidence does make the roll more than usual, and we had one roll of 15°.  But not much more than a curiosity, as the port was in sight.

The Maretron Data for the First Hour of our Trip.
The Maretron Data for the First Hour of our Trip.

Ah yes, now, as we left port, the winds and seas were unchanged.  But we were now going the opposite direction.  For the first hour, the current was with us, but the winds were against, so we those nasty, steep, short period waves.  The surfing safari we had the day before, now became the ride on the wild mouse.  I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I actually left my feet. As I stood behind the wheel, trying to get the right combination of speed and course to reduce the pitching.  A wave actually hit the anchor, we were going 1000 rpms, but I reduced it to idle after that.  The Maretron data (ignore the speed thru water, as I have not been able to calibrate it) shows in that first hour the boat pitching.  It’s hard to see in these pictures, but it clearly shows a series of three waves where the rhythm was such that the normal pitch up, had been 2° suddenly increases to 5° and then culminates in a 8° pitch up.  Let me tell you, at 8 degrees, I’m thinking not of boat, but of an airplane, and that we should rotate now, and gear up.

I slow down even more, just above idle. After an hour, we go to the western most point of Jersey and could change course to NNW.  Now the seas were 6 to 10 feet, but they were on the beam and the paravanes take care of business pretty well.  As you watch the video, it may seem like a lot of rolling, 4 to 6 ° in each direction, an occasional 8° roll, BUT compared to pre-paravane days, that’s nothing, as in in the past, I simply would not have been able to take this course or I’d have had to alter course by 60°.

The extent of the pitch was new however.  I had only had pitching like that once before, in Long Island Sound.  In those days, seemingly eons ago (OK only 18 months), I had tried to temper the ride by reducing speed, but I never quite reduced it enough.   On that occasion I had the rpm’s down to 1400, the waves were 8 to 12 feet and Dauntless would go down the face of one wave, and as we pitched upward the top of the next wave would get sheared off in the wind and go flying over the fly bridge, not even hitting the pilot house!

Earlier that morning, I had come through the Cape Cod Canal, having spent the night anchored off of Plymouth, Mass.  I must have been about a half hour behind the only other boat I saw on the water that day, another Krogen.  But as we turned west into Rhode Island Sound (an extension of Long Island Sound) I lost track of him. I finally pulled into the bay to go up the Narragansett River and “Coral Bay” was already anchored there.  I recognized the boat, because we had also been in the same anchorage in Maine and Steve had come by to talk.  We talked again after this ordeal, but neither one of us had the strength to get the dingy down to visit. Poor Dauntless, another day in where she was ridden hard and put away wet.

So all these memories are flooding back as we slog off the coast of Jersey.  Therefore I knew now to reduce the rpms to idle if necessary.  An hour and half after we had left the dock, we finally turn NNW for Guernsey, I realized that from here it was 10 miles, but not even to the Port of St. Peter our destination, but to some point south of the island.

Thus, my anticipated two hours trip became 5 hours.

The French sailboat Anfre, with Christian and Matin, stopped by Dauntless.  They had left after us and had taken four hours.  We had a great visit though and they have helped me plan the next two days to Honfleur to better plan on the currents.  Also using Coastal Explorer, I have finally figured out how to better use the current tables.

Tomorrow, we have an 8 knot current to deal with off the Cape of La Hague, check out the current gauge, Argoss-WE 500-1355.  Clearly, our departure time is predicated on that, but remember the sill.  Our harbor must also be open to get out.

I’m playing with the big boys now; I better get to sleep early!

 

 FYI The Delorme InReach turned itself off yesrterday.  The AIS information is up to date if I am in a port. Also, having trouble uploading pictures for this post.

Dauntless Summer Cruise 2015 Days 04 to 07, Trebeurden, Lezardrieux & Jersey

Trebeurden, a nice town, but we had to hike a mile uphill to see it.  Very touristy.  Not really my cup of tea, but especially for Larry and Karla, it’s nice to have a rest on terra firma.

What we Saw Coming in to Trebeurdan
What we Saw Coming in to Trebeurdan

After 10 months, I finally got the water maker up and running.  I had needed to replace the aux pump and wanted to rewire it a bit, to use a relay closer to the power source.  This also enables me to have a switch on the helm to turn it on and off.

I had done the electrical weeks ago, but the pump fitting were giving me fits.  Between national pipe thread (NPT), garden hose thread, plastic fitting, brass fittings, American fitting and European fittings, I was at my wit’s end.

I didn’t like the first solutions I had come up with which had made it look like something Rube Goldberg would have designed.  Finally in Trebeurden I found a coupler fitting and that led to an elegant solution.

The new auxiliary pump, centrifugal, is very quiet and made to run continuously. That’s thanks to Parks at Hopkins-Carter Marine in Miami.

Having to find a new dock in Miami last winter, while stressful at the time, ended up being the best thing ever. My helper, the other Richard, got to see some of the Miami boating environs and I ended up meeting some really helpful and nice people: Parks and my Nordy friends, Ed & Rosa.  A wonderful result on all accounts.

So Saturday morning, we got up and were underway to Jersey.  We didn’t make it.

An Old Lighthouse Light
An Old Lighthouse Light

For the first 4 hours, our average speed was 4 knots.  At that rate, we would get to Jersey the day after tomorrow. Not really but it felt like that.  So I decided to find an interim stop.  I did, Lezardrieux, promptly nicknamed, Lizardville.  As soon as we turned upriver to the town, about 5 miles, our speed shot up to 9 knots.  We arrived just in time to miss the lunch hours, meaning a wait until 19:00, 7:00 p.m., to eat.  I don’t like eating late anymore, convinced that part of my weight loss has been due to not having evening meals for the most part.

The forecast was for a storm to be moving through on Sunday, but you know me and forecasts.  I wanted to get to Jersey because the window of opportunity was getting ever smaller.  Therefore, we are underway now to Jersey, in moderate winds, 16 knots gusting to 25, but the seas are relatively flat, at 2-4 foot.  Yes, I have come to accept that 2-4’ is relatively flat.  Our roll has increased to 8°.

We now have a counter current, so although I am making the supreme sacrifice by running at 1800 rpms, where fuel burn is 2.0 gal/hr, our speed is still only 5.8 knots.  If my Navionics currents are correct, we should have a helpful current going our direction in the next two hours.

Our intended destination, St. Helier on the Island of Jersey, is a port that has a sill to come over.  The sill, like a cofferdam, keeps the water in the basin, otherwise the harbor would be dry at low tide but now, this means the harbor entrance is only open 3 hours on each side of high tide.  So, it’s also closed for 6 hours.  I’m running faster to try to get there before it closes.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.  But you can probably figure it out as it happens just by watching our route at the Share.delorme.com/dauntless website.

The Sill to the Marina Harbor
The Sill to the Marina Harbor, St. Helier, Jersey

Ummm, turns out I had rebooted the InReach and then did not realize it was not transmitting, so no joy that way.  However, I did get an email from MarineTraffic telling me Dauntless had arrived in Jersey!

The wind stayed out of the southwest until the final hour into Port St. Helier.  This meant the fetch was small and the waves stayed in the 2 and 3 foot range, with only an occasional 5 footer, in spite of the 15 gusts to 25 knot winds.  Just before landfall, the winds turned westerly and north westerly at 25 knots.  That combined with the much longer fetch, was immediately saw waves a few feet higher. All of sudden we were getting 6 foot waves on the port stern quarter.  That angle of incidence does make the roll more than usual, and we had one roll of 15°.  But not much more than a curiosity, as the port was in sight.

As we pulled into the harbor, I saw the three RED lights signifying the marina basin was closed.  Not only was it closed, but the water inside the marina was three feet higher than the water Dauntless was in.  We have tied up at the “waiting” dock.

So my tide calculation was only off by about 6 hours!  Se La Vie.

All’s Well that Ends Well

If you cannot find me via the Delorme, you can also try Marine Traffic, but a caveat.  If you google MarineTraffic Dauntless, please be aware that we are not:  The Greek bulk carrier, nor the Tugs in the UK and Singapore and not even the British war ship.

So if you are like I and are easily confused, just google “Marine traffic 367571090”, which is my MMSI number.

We went into town and had a great, early dinner.  I’m beat. So nighty, night.