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2014-05-22

Finally, a little sailing

Completely unrelated to this post, but this 1973 Spencer 53 pilothouse ketch visiting NYC last Saturday  was so nice I had to include it. Thanks to Whitby YC-based owners Dave and Sherry for letting me crawl over her.
 While I am becoming more comfortable with the idea of selling Valiente, it doesn't mean the process of parting means I've given up sailing her. Over the last long weekend (May 18th), I took the family out for the inaugural messing about.

Fantome: looking good for older than Joan Rivers.
The air was mournful angels' farts in the Inner Harbour, so we hoisted full main and the No. 1, a relatively rare event unless we are trying to get somewhere as it's vast and wants precise folding. We found more wind (like 9 knots AWS!) in the Eastern Gap. We also found our club's "Around the Island Race", which was more of a drift, really.

We gave way as we weren't racing, and realistically, at 40 feet LOA, and a honking great mast, they are probably the faster boat in any airs.
And away! Note the 10 cm. swell.
So we had some fun avoiding them while trying to find chunks of moving air. As a former, or rather rare, racer, I appreciate that "giving other boats your dirty air" is just poor form, so I stayed to the lee of every boat I could.

Old sails, sure, but still capable of getting the job done.
I had sewn in some battens the previous day, the zippered batten pockets being a little worn, and had also tucked in a few telltales on the leach. Or "leech", as some would have it, although I think a leech would die of hunger on the trailing edge of a main sail.
Mrs. Alchemy in her role as Mrs. Valiente. Note the flaked-down tails. One must be tidy, one must.
While the winds only sporadically freshened to the point where we actually approached five knots SOG, it was a decent day and the rain mostly held off. I resisted the surprisingly strong urge to pull a Dave Rogers and to chuck off a fender while murmuring "man overboard..." Next time, perhaps.

It was a "one-telltale" sort of breeze. And yes, I should have reefing rigged, I suppose, but I only reef above 30 knots, a probably bad habit.
The engine seems fine, which is always gratifying as I am its only mechanic. Despite the replacement of the little spring in the "little spring and ball oil pressurization mechanism", I still get a drop from cold oil at 60 PSI to warm oil at 25 PSI, so I might switch to straight 30W instead of 10W30...assuming I can find it. It's a minor issue and could be related to elderly meter calibration. The engine itself hovers after 10 minutes at its usual 165F, which is as high as is likely in this still-cold lake water. She starts on first turn of the key with full choke, which can be eased back to full lean after about 10 seconds of running. The tune-up and my cleaning of the spark plugs (RJ12YCs gapped to .040) seems to be doing some good. Only 140 hours running since rebuild in 2006, so I want to actually get through an entire 10 gallons of gasoline this year if only to have all fresh gas aboard.

Nice greeting-card vista, but the sailor sees wind under that darker bit. The rain is the price of the wind.
Even the ever-sleepy Wonder Lad ("it's puberty, Dad: I have to save energy to grow!) got into the act with helpful foredeckery and watchkeeping.

Clearly, back in the doldrums.
A fun day and a good start to perhaps the last season we'll have with the 33-footer. More to come on this when I rig out a proper advertisement.

7 comments:

The Ceol Mors said...

Jealous. Wind or not, totally jealous.

Bill K said...

If you can find someplace that sells "Delo" oil they still make straight weight oil.

West has it here in the states.

Bill Kelleher

Rhys said...

Cidnie, really? You're much closer to actually leaving than we are. This is just recreation!

Rhys said...

Thanks, Bill. There are a lot of old auto places around here and I know a classic car rebuilder. It shouldn't be hard to source. The current oil doesn't even have 20 hours on it.

Chester Breder said...

I would go with a higher multi grade as 10w40 or even 20w50. The multi grade oils are much better in an engine.

Rhys said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Chester. I can easily go to 10W40. The Atomic 4 is pretty undemanding, however, given its open sump and low compression. We'll see.

Rhys said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Chester. I can easily go to 10W40. The Atomic 4 is pretty undemanding, however, given its open sump and low compression. We'll see.