In Irish Rain

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Lighthouse North of Carlingford

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Harry Three on Duty

Sitting here in the Irish rain, one has time to think and so I have been considering kit ….. take an as yet unmentioned crew member, Binny the binoculars. He isn’t special and is of unknown vintage; certainly he is more than 25 years old. But if I had to single out an essential item for a Saga sailor, this would be one of the top dogs. Able to sharpen tired old eyesight, spot a rock at dusk or assist in the identification of the correct landfall day or night, Binny is your man – or woman.

I recalled approaching Arklow, late at night with no autopilot after a rough lengthy, wet trip; Binny brought my scruffy sketch to life and identified the narrow entrance and the fierce cross current. Genuinely a life saver. Thank you Binny.

I have surprised myself by becoming passionate with Ray the Radar/GPS. Late at night, en route for Padstow, he drew an otherwise invisible fishing boat to my attention – just as well, for she was but a few cables hence. True he spluttered entering Dun Laoghaire in a downpour but that was because someone – ah hem! – had left his door open to the Irish Rain, a particularly penetrating species. Kitchen towel, ACF 50 and a few kind words sorted him. I’ll mention other team members another time ….

Stiff is good, everyone knows that and I like Dun Laoghaire mainly because there are many yachts, so plenty for this Saga anorak to see on an evening stroll. I like to seek out the cousins of A-Jay, yachts around 30 feet and step up onto the side deck. I then note the tip and will tell you that I cannot find a yacht so unperturbed by such an exercise as the Sadler 290.

This is just as well, because it means she is able to tolerate my heavy handed seamanship, which leads me neatly on to breakages of which there have been many. Looking back, its interesting to note the cause(s) of each breakage.

First leg – first breakage of stack pack. Cause – age/UV damage.

Tiller pin (for autopilot) twice – age/heavy use.

Shore power failure – poor cable quality.

Smiley the Windvane – inadequate joint (prototype).

Billy the Bilge pump – neglect.

Various legs – further stack pack failures – age and Skipper’s clumsiness.

Harry One (Autopilot) – Arklow leg – electronic failure but perhaps also hard labour demanded by the skipper.

Engine failure (fuel blockage) – fuel tank issue.

Engine failure (water pump) – c’est la vie.

Harry Two (autopilot failure) – electronic failure.

Mainsail failure – skipper, age, over exposure to UV and heavy weather.

Water tank leak – TBC.

Significantly there have been no structural issues and the cabin remains a cosy, warm and dry environment, which is just as well. Pity the WiFi here is rubbish – “depends on the tide” said the Marina lady helpfully.

The forecast is awful, even by this season’s standards, particularly if I opt to head direct to Milford Haven, a definite possibility. Team A-Jay may have to tarry here awhile. All part of growing up and being British☺

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By ajay290

2 comments on “In Irish Rain

  1. Your passion for numerous inanimate companions is touching. However, I am surprised that someone as important as Herbert the Heads is never mentioned. Do you dislike him or is it just a case of “Out of sight, Out of mind” ? Still enjoying all your great blogs, keep ’em coming John. E.

    • Eric! You spoiled it – Herbie the Heads was going to be mentioned on the last leg!!☺Actually don’t tell anyone but he’s been temporarily replaced by Chuck the Bucket😂I’ll call you soon. Hope all well. JMW

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