So, I arrived a good two hours or more before high tide and got everything prepped for sailing, then headed out into the harbour entrance. Boy was it busy, with the jetskis on overdrive in the entrance and about 20 boats leaving the harbour as well. The wakes of the motor boats ticked me off a bit. More than once a boat passed close trailing a huge wake. Something I've not missed since last year. Why do they do it? Why not give us a bit of room so the wake is lessened, rather than plunging Sprite into a 3ft water trough?
Of course it was the America's Cup racing today so plenty of people were on their way out to see it. Not for me though, as I'd be punching an outgoing tide on the way back. I've done that before and didn't enjoy the hour's experience of only just beating the tide. The wind was on the nose so I motored out with the rest.
The plan was to do a trip out of the harbour to have a sniff of the sea proper, then double back under sail, to go up to the top of the harbour and back.
The view at the harbour entrance:
On the way up the harbour Sprite sailed pretty well. The Jib seemed to work better than before despite me molesting it and fitting the UV strip. The main seemed to work better than before, although that could be the effect of the jib on the slot between the two. Certainly the main is as baggy as ever.
But to her credit Sprite kept up with a dinghy sailor who was travelling in the same direction with the wind behind both of us.
On the way back down the harbour with the wind on the nose I tried my hand at tacking. It's something I have to admit to being a bit rubbish at before, but today I did a handful of tacks and seemed to get the process sorted.
The wind picked up half way down the harbour and Sprite actually used the wind and started sailing. The increase in speed was gratifying after lying in the mud the other week. The whole sailing experience was a lot better than last year.
So it's quite clear that a clean hull is important for decent sailing performance (well d'uh!) and with that in mind, applying antifouling gets bumped up the priority list.
Hopefully I can get it done between the early/late high tides next weekend.
All in all though today was a bloody good day.