Now we are formally allowed back onto our boats for day sailing, I have been making the most of the opportunities to conduct routine maintenance. A bit of fine weather and some spring tides allowed me to dry Spellbinder out at Bosham in order to pressure wash her hull, reinvigorate her Coppercoat antifoul and change her prop anodes. Put on in 2017, the Coppercoat continues to give good protection from major fouling and it is only a question of taking off some base slime.
I was accompanied by Jonty and Charles, who did much of the hard work, and we were in the company of Peter and Anabel who did the same to their yacht Sea Jester, and who joined us for supper. Lifting off at the next high tide, we headed back glad to have got this necessary pre-season job out of the way in pleasant circumstances.
There are some further jobs to complete in the next three weeks. Spellbinder’s watermaker has been out for refurbishment, and goes back in shortly; her life raft needs its three-yearly service, and I am having a new stack pack for her mainsail made, which will smarten things up (the old one lasted 15 years before UV light and chafe took its toll).
I intend to sail locally until around 20th May, when Scotland beckons, given that travel to the near continent looks unlikely in the near term. I have been helping out a firm called Imray by buying plenty of charts and pilot books! The plan is to head up to Oban or Mallaig for the end of May to explore Skye and the Small Isles, before heading up to the Outer Hebrides. I’d then like to do a circuit of Shetland and Orkney before returning to Fort William via the Caledonian Canal. I’d dearly like to take in Faroe but wonder whether that will be possible given the circumstances. After Scotland, Ireland beckons.