Long before Ebony splashed in for the season I had hoped to record 100 days of sailing in 2013. Of course “a thousand thwarting details suffer the fixidity of every great purpose” and poor weather combined with the need to do some repairs to the Halman 20 delayed launch until yesterday and she still needs to have the mast stepped. I have therefore decide to alter the goal from 100 days of sailing to 100 days on the water enabling me to count excursions in the Medway Skiff.
Today, after puttering about on Ebony for several house (cleaning, loading the hundreds of items I had removed in the fall and getting the mast ready for stepping at high tide tomorrow) I made not one, but two, trips under oar power.
The afternoon was a glassy calm and rather than overly exert myself I simply rowed to the middle of the harbour and rested on my oars enjoying the sun, the warmth, the view and the silence. The latter was interrupted only by my friend the curious seal who broke the surface several times near the boat, eyed me and then disappeared. I was the only boat moving in the harbour although another of the cruise ships had steamed in at breakfast time and stayed until 5:00 pm turning herds of tourists loose on the streets. We will have more than fifty cruise ship visits in the summer and fall and on a few dates there will be three in the harbour at the same time, one tied up at the dock and the other two lightering passengers in to shore.
In the evening it was the regular Wednesday night face from the yacht club and I rowed out to the course to get a few photos
Since launching the Medway Skiff I have taken advantage of a spate of good weather to spend time learning the boat. Although more tender than the Greenshank it rows much better. The added three feet of waterline combined with a much sleeker design make for a huge difference. It is a pleasure to row and I have been able to put in an hour or so or rowing most mornings. There are few other boats in at the yacht club and I have so far logged more hours afloat than any other boat in the club. This week conditions have ranged from oily calm through fog to a brisk chop and a few days when it would not have been pleasant to be out.
However I have not been alone in the harbour. This week marked the beginning of the cruise ship season with the Holland-America Veedam visiting the port. I circled the harbour coming up under the bows of the ship
Veedam at Charlottetown
The next day saw more of a chop and I set out to do a tour of the buoys from Middleground, across the channel to Langley and then back to the marina. Just as I started heading back the Coast Guard buoy tender was leaving harbour. I got a nice photo and a wave from the bridge.
Edward Cornwallis leaving port
The following day a fog was rolling in as I started out and by the time I reached Middleground the whole harbour was socked in. It didn’t last long and there was a cosy feel because I felt I was in a room with fuzzy walls. I took a little video to show what it was like in the harbour. Note the strong incoming tide. I was rowing against this on the way out and was able to ride it home. http://youtu.be/wVIAdj83BHk
Middle ground buoy in middle of fog
Yesterday I was followed by three very curious seals. They would surface, check me out and then slip beneath the surface. I tried the mimic their sound of blowing when they cam to the surface. They seem much like dogs (and even look a little like them). I am sure there are dozens in the harbour and for them I am the novelty.
I’m playing catch-up here as I have spent so much time with the new boat that I have fallen behind with the postings. As seen above the Medway Skiff has been launched and I am tickled pink. It rows well, it looks good and it is finished!
This was the scene a few days ago as I waited for my friend Craig to help me manoeuvre the Skiff through the basement and up the stairs to daylight. It had taken forever for the interior paint to dry enough to add a second coat. I had inserted a bow fitting, added the oarlocks and placed two cleats on the aft deck. I had been a little worried about the turns but the process went very smoothly. Actually the Medway is only three feet longer than last year’s Greenshank and it weighs less as the latter was built of 3/8 inch ply rather than 1/4.
The next part of the trip was to the Charlottetown Yacht Club using a new utility trailer. I will have to build a cradle for better positioning the boat on the trailer but couldn’t wait. The second set of wheels is a launch dolly to carry the boat to the launch floats. It slid beautifully into the water. However the event was carried out without ceremony and no champagne was splashed across the bows. I immediately set out for a 1/2 hour row along the waterfront. As the only boat in the water I was free from the danger of wakes. Over the next couple of ways I experienced the craft in a number of different wave conditions and took a number of photos.