Monday, 27 April 2009

Stretching Scarlet's Sealegs

What a fantastic weekend we've just had! Daisy, Dan, Tom, Harriet and Jack came down for the weekend to go sailing on Scarlet, her first sail for the season. The weekend was based around a photoshoot on Sunday, but actually it was a really great excuse to get out on the water, meet a few of the young people that are coming sailing, and have some fun!
Dan, Jack and Harriet arrived on Friday evening, which ended up with fish and chips and then an UNO marathon. It was also quite interesting to see how Karen and I would fit into our little cabin.... and considering this ended up being the 'bin' for the weekend, with all the extra bits and pieces being stowed in there, it was quite interesting, but this is nothing that a little more general organizing won't fix.
Daisy and Tom joined us on Saturday, with Trust Tracy and Lenaic, who came on board for the day as our unofficial photographers. We made our way down to Yarmouth, but sadly due to weather conditions we didn't quite manage to get our new sails out. Simon T caught up with us for an afternoon of ice creams and ball games, and a pretty perfect evening.
What a day we were blessed with on Sunday. We couldn't have had more perfect conditions for a photoshoot... sunshine, 10 to 15kts of breeze, a boatload full of kids having fun(Frank Fletcher being the biggest kid of all) and a helicopter! We also had Paul and Dave from Crusader on the boat, and it was really great having their input and advice. We also managed to get our new cruising chute (on a magic furler!) out, which does look fantastic!
The weekend went by far too quickly though, and who can believe that it is now only 6 days to go. Preparation continues, but we are oh so close.....

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Happy (busy) days in Cowes

What an increadible week we've had. Scarlet came over to Cowes on Monday, and before I've even had a chance to blink, it's already Thursday! Somehow, I wish I could put the breaks on as time is just flying by, but also I can't wait to get going.
The boys from SYS were brilliant, and came down to the dock to say goodbye... but before they knew it, we had Rob back in the engine bay, Jim and Chris tightening up a seacock, and even Leo came down to help us sort out our engine. Finally, with the tide running out and us running out of tide to get into Hythe Marina, we waved goodbye to Rob and Saxon's Wharf. It was a little emotional leaving them, they have just been so fantastic and helpful.
So here we are in Cowes.
Things are really starting to shape up now.... I did a dash across the Solent in the RIB yesterday evening to collect our brand new branded sails. Thanks to Crusade for getting them to us on time! So, we managed to get Frank down to Scarlet this morning to do some very important work - helping us put them up. Of course, he had to do a lot of stretching and flexing of his index finger, then had the hard job of pushing the button on the electric winch as we hoisted the sails. Thankfully the weather Gods were with us again, and we had a beautiful, windless morning just right for the job. Seeing Scarlet in all her glory has really made it all quite real... it's all coming together and feels really good!
We've had Rudi working on all our electrics and electronics, and has really been amazing. He's literally been going through the boat with a fine tooth comb, checking every single connection and getting various instruments to talk to each other... genious!!
Chris King is also a proud new dad! Congratulations on your first born Chris, and as always, thank you for all your help with Scarlet!!
The beauty is that I really do feel like we are in control now. Besides the few jobs Rudi has left to do, we're down to polishing and cleaning (and a couple odd jobs to finish off) and stocking the boat with all we need. We're also going on a seatrial tomorrow afternoon.... AND I JUST CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Getting Grubby on Scarlet

What a busy week we've had! Scarlet came out of the water on Tuesday, and by the end of the week she had transformed. I've had Carie Biggs and Dave Wright helping me out for the week, and little did they know when they signed up for it, but it ended up being a very messy week! We gutted poor Scarlet, and got right down into the deepest darkest depths of her bilges and gave her a good scrubbing. She also got a splashing of paint, Karen took the drag arm and emergency tiller off to get shot blasted, and got really excited with how shiney and new they looked afterwards. We eventually had to let Carie come up from the bilges for a bit of fresh air.... but that also came at a price. She then spent her valuable outdoor time sanding the keel! Ian Chesterton, the brave man, came in to help us out for a day - ON HIS BIRTHDAY!!!! Happy Birthday Ian, and thanks again for your help :)

Everyone at SYS have been amazing. Always willing to help us out, a friendly smile from every direction and of course a lot of good technical advice when ever needed. Thanks to Andy for driving the team forward, and to Leo and Rob for sorting out all the mechanical bits and pieces. Lisa for helping me find and order bits and pieces, andChris and Jim from Solent Shipwrights have been brilliant at being leak detectives and sorting out the toerails.

Wild Graphics arrived on Wednesday, and by Thursday afternoon Scarlet was almost completely transformed!!! She is now blue and white and logo-ed up... We'll have to get her some scarlet details for inside though... just to prevent her getting some kind of identity crisis!!!

We're all on a well deserved break for the Easter weekend after a hard week of work, but I'm really chuffed with the progress we've made, and looking forward to getting her back into the water next week and going for a little shake down sail to Cowes.

Happy Easter!!!!!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

So in one month's time we'll be on our first leg, sailing toward Dover! I can't believe it's all happening so fast - it feels like only yesterday when Frank first told me about the Round Britain on the first summer trip last year. Who could imagine that here we are already? I'm also really happy to hear that some of the people I was fortunate to go sailing with on last year's summer trips are coming sailing with us on the Round Britain - I'm really looking forward to seeing them again and discovering new and exciting places. We're going on the most amazing adventure!

Scarlet is undergoing quite a bit of work to get her prepped and looking fantastic for the voyage. This week she comes out of the water for a while, in order for the branding to go on and for us to do all the necessary underwater work and checks. The boys at SYS have been fantastic with the work they have been doing.
We've got another busy week ahead of us, and looking forward to getting stuck in!
Until the next time,