I have spent eight days on the boat - six of the last seven days sailing out in the Firth of Forth. It has been a bit nippy but I got some sunshine every day.
The winds have generally been coming from the West and North - mostly about a four and will this weird Firth of Forth wave pattern with small waves coming down the Firth and bigger ones coming in around the corner from the North. Not ideal conditions to learn how you boat gets on with steering herself. I have been using the little brown trisailand the genoa rolled fully out. I have sailed lots of different boats but never come across one with so many points of the compass where she can be persuaded to keep a course despite the weird wave patterns of this place.
It was a fetch this morning out to the mouth of the Firth with the Northerly waves getting bigger and bigger - yet she just held herself in the groove.
When I eventually chickened out and turned for home I followed the shore-line - so it was then a broad reach - she settled herself in and just held a great course relative to the wind desipite being heaved around by the following swell.
I had the plate right down but I disccovered that by raising and lowering the plate I could steer the boat - navigating my way through the maze of lobster pot buoys without touching the tiller.
This little yacht is a joy to sail.
I shall never own one as good and Katie L. She is perfect for the sort of sailing I love - single handed shallow sailing.
I confess that I have been asked several times why I don't just sell Katie L and buy a decent Centaur. I know that I could do that but I really know that I would regret selling her.
She could do the journey around the top - but not with four aboard. So I am pushing ahead with the Centaur idea - I have yet to find enough boats in the Solent. I fear I may have to be prepared to look further afield.
One of the things I got through the post this week is a fruit cake from Bazza Getzen a Rozzer from America. He is a small boat sailor and is a genius in the kitchen. He made me the most marvelous cake - thick and rich - pecans, fruit, real mouth and belly full of goodness. The cake has the heft of a housebrick. It cost him $27 to send to the UK for me to consume on the boat while sailing with dolphins on the Firth of Forth. Now if that is not a beautiful thing I don't know what is
and then this evening - the fingers of God