Topaz Omega’s first sea trip

By | 20 August, 2012

Steve (me), Paul, and Sue.
All from Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club – CVLSC
and Chew Lake Association Disabled Sailors – CLADS

Thursday, 16th August 2012

We set off around 10:00 and traveled from Bristol to Dale, in Pembrokeshire (Wales).  After arriving around 15:00 we had a break and decided to rig the boat ready for the following day.  Whilst we were rigging there were a few rain showers, but that didn’t deter us!  After the boat was rigged we parked her in her spot, on her launching trolley, and then ended up in the pub for some food and drink.

Friday, 17th August 2012

We woke to rain and gusty winds.  Around mid morning we decided to give it a go anyway and just keep to sailing in the bay at Dale.  Accounting for the conditions we put the zip reef in the main sail and didn’t rig the Gennaker.  Near the edge of the slipway it was quite calm as the land was shielding us from the wind.  20 or 30 meters out the wind was quite strong and gusty.  Whilst we managed to keep the boat upright there was a point where we almost went over, but Paul jumped up on the side and stopped her from capsizing.  After about an hour and a half we decided to call it a day, as the wind was increasing along with the rain.

After lunch we chilled out for a bit and went for a walk along the front, and ended up back in the pub for a drink!

Saturday, 18th August 2012

The was a heavy thunderstorm in the very early hours of the morning, but when we woke it was just a bit drizzly.  After breakfast we decided to go for another sail; the wind had decreased but there was still quite a swell; slight to moderate.  By the time we were ready to launch the weather had brightened up a lot.

We kept the zip reef in and set off; as we left the bay we could start to feel and see the swell.  At first I found the swell a little daunting in the boat the size of the Omega, but after a short while I soon got used to it.  We carried on sailing outwards for a bit before make a decision to sail to and, try and land on, the beach in Watwick Bay.  So after a couple of tacks we made our way towards the beach.  Landing on went quite smoothly and after playing about with the anchor we decided it was easier just to carry the anchor ashore with us.  We spent about 40 minutes on the beach.

Leaving the beach got a bit interesting as there was quite a bit of surf plus a Irish Ferry went past which created a large wake.  We pushed the boat off the beach and Paul raised the main sail, and I climbed aboard.  Then the problems started.  A big wave pushed us back a bit and because the rudder was fully down when the boat was bounced up and down; the rudder catch bent and the rudder came off.  Luckily the rudder floats and we caught it.  So whilst Sue tried to hold the boat steady Paul and I managed to get the rudder back on and tie it down with some spare rope.  Paul and Sue climbed aboard and then we were off.  Once we left the beach everything settled down and we were away sailing.

We made are way back to Dale, by this time the sea state had decreased to slight.  Arriving back at Dale it was low tied and we couldn’t reach the jetty or pontoon so Sue walked ashore to make sandwiches whilst Paul and I stayed with the boat.

Whilst Sue was ashore the tied crept in so we were able to walk the boat to the pontoon and tie off.  When Sue came back we sat on the pontoon eating lunch.  After lunch we decided to go for another sail out of the bay.  We sailed down the other side and reached a point just off of Longoar Bay.  As the wind had dropped we decided to turn back; we had a table booked in the pub again for dinner at 19:00.

On the way back we decided to test Paul’s engine on my boat to see how it would handle.  Unfortunately, whilst the engine was running, the propeller wasn’t turning so it looks like clutch wasn’t engaging.  Whilst we were testing a patrol boat came over to see if we were ok, nice to know people are watching you.  We told them we were just testing but thanked them anyway.  So we shut the engine off and sailed back to the jetty.  By the time we got back the jetty the tied was quite away in, making it easier to pull the boat up the slipway.

We put the boat away for the night and went back and got changed before going back to the pub for food and drink.

Sunday, 19th August 2012

Woke up to rain, still it was the last day.  We had to de-rig and pack the boat up to toe back home.   It was lunch time by the time we finished so we had a bit of lunch before heading off home.

We all had a great long weekend.