Monday, 25 April 2011

Some Extra Pics

Here are some more pictures that we've taken so far:

I see you!

The fence around the secret base - with cleared space for shooting trespassers.

Rawr. Keep moving, I bite.

What's odd about this shot? Yep, his shirt.

Carrick Castle

Tenacity. Being looked at.

Tenacity. In front of a hill.

Sun, Sea and Scaffolding.

The dhaal's washing up. In short, the contents of the galley.

I believe I can fly...!

Tenacity. In silhouette.

Walking the Holy Path

What 'chu lookin' at?


Tenacity. In another bay.

Jack! Clear fenders!

* Sigh *

Avraneel at the helm.

Avraneel's Dhaal. Notice there's none left...

Snap. That's my hat.

Tenacity. Off Holy Island

Ha! You can't sue us now.

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Sailing and Submarines

(Secret) Submarine Base

The day started with a very uneventful morning with zero-point-zero knots of wind and once again we found ourselves motoring, down from the Burnt Isles in the Kyles of Bute. On the way out we learnt about the rules of the road (how to not get run down) and about the cardinal buoys that told us where the safe water was (East, North, West, and South). We then waited for our second breakfast of hash browns and bacon. It was eventually served fairly late (we ended up eating it at 13:00) so we turned it into lunch, and at about 16:00 we converted our would-be lunch into an afternoon snack (David-made scones with a jam and butter filling). Fortunately, the wind had picked up in the meantime, so we started sailing just after midday and headed up Loch Long. This took us past a (Secret) Military Submarine base, where we were eyed-up by a police boat, and then approached by policemen on a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat). They gave us stern orders not to sail along the right hand side of the channel in the exclusion area next to the base. However this was extremely difficult for Avraneel at the helm, as the remaining section of the channel was very narrow, and he occasionally needed assistance from Ian to make sure we didn’t irritate the policemen (they had guns). Unfortunately, we didn’t see any submarines.

Whilst all this was happening Peter and Sid were making a Beef Pie which tasted delicious, and a separate cheese and potato pasty for Avraneel (despite the hard work at the helm, he could not finish the pasty which was larger than his plate). Cleaning was a slightly easier job compared to Saturday night as there was a lot less to wash. After the hearty meal, Jack, Sid, Ian and Peter went ashore (we had anchored near Carrick Castle) for a walk to try and let the Beef Wellington settle. On shore we walked between two national-speed-limit signs, used the toilets, read a notice board, and were inspected by a goose (he found us satisfactory). On the way back to the boat, Ian let Jack drive the dingy, who immediately opened the throttle and attempted to perform a handbrake turn. Ian returned with soaked trousers.

Sid, Peter and Jack at Carrick Castle

We are now waiting for our pancakes and ice cream, hoping for a little more travelling tomorrow as we only managed to do 28 miles today, which was less than a third of what we did yesterday.

South Cardinal Buoy

Inspector Goose

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Sunday, 24 April 2011

Saturday- Day of two halves

The crew of Tenacity woke at approximately 8 o clock (we had been given a lie in) with a somewhat lack of enthusiasm with our greasy hair and sweat ridden bodies. We brushed our teeth and walked into the kitchen to find Ian slaving away beating fourteen “eggsellent eggs to accompany our awesome toast” (Quoted from Ian). We then planned our way from Loch Gair to Portavadie, put the sails up and tried making the most of our light wind.

We unfortunately forgot to fill in the logbook and ended up taking our first log at 11:25, we did a 3 point fix and got an almost accurate picture of where we were located with the help of David. We headed fourteen miles to Portavadie Marina and dropped our sails just outside and motored in, it was a very snug fit. We quickly started to clean the boat and prepare for our lunch of wraps made by Jack and Sid (They were perfect). Afterwards we managed to get a free shower (thanks to Portavadie Marina for their nice hospitality), towels in one hand washkits in the other we marched down the long pontoon to the nice warm showers that we had been starved of for four days. We showered slowly trying to make the most of the rare occasion and went to the loo that did not have to be pumped by hand we dried our hair and admired the complementary hair straighteners that had been placed in the Gents toilets. We all five walked into the restaurant area to find Ian and David drinking their coffees. We walked back down the long platoon hung our towels out to dry and were quickly set off to sail.

We exited Portavadie and set up our sails and had a small incident whilst trying to clear the fenders, this incident shall not be mentioned. We then navigated our route to Burnt Isles through the West Kyle of Bute. The dinner chefs (Avraneel and Jack) then headed down at 5:30 to get started on Avraneels’ speciality of vegetarian Dhaal which took up every pan pot and lid in the galley. We still had just enough room for the kettle which was requested heavily by the deck crew. We then managed to have a cracking sail with Peter once again taming the beast. We got close to Burnt Isles and anchored at about 21:00 and the Dhaal was just about ready, the crew headed down took their seats and waited patiently for their fried sultanas and onions mixed into their tasty rice with a Dhaal topping which was perfected with a massive amount of help from Avraneels mother which we are greatly in debt for. Afterwards we were questioning what had been put into the suspicious Dhaal as we were all a little giddy after it had been consumed.

There had been quite a bit of banter on the boat before the Syrup sponge pudding was started with the custard made very well by David. We ended up with one final piece of sponge that was settled by a good game of rock paper scissors which was won by Ian to the distress of the other crew members. The two extremely unlucky individuals who had been chosen to do the washing by our amazing rota (Sid and Peter) then had a mammoth task of cleaning which has so far not been finished at 23:43, they are still working hard. Off to bed now for the majority of the team with still some men on cleaning, hoping for a good day of strong winds tomorrow to have some fun.

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Saturday, 23 April 2011

Friday- The Day of Everything

Up at seven again excited by the wind which had appeared over night we ate and dressed as fast as we could. Unfortunately this was not quick enough for Ian or David who seemed more desperate to get sailing than us. As quick as we could the whole crew was scurrying on deck getting the anchor up and four sails out. We soon realised the rush of wind was fantastic powering the boat along at 9.1kts (the boat’s top speed is 9.4). Poor Peter was at the wheel doing a great job of trying to tame the beast! We flew along the East Shore of Arran and for the first time out of sight of land. The waves increased along with the wind and we had to reduce the mainsail to make the boat more controllable. During this time Jack and Avraneel found out that the galley is great fun to try and prepare drinks and food in - whilst at sea with everything at an odd angle. The boat was turned when we there was a clear line to pass Pladda up into the Kilbrannan sound. This involved us all pulling on sheets and releasing winches to get the sails onto the other tack so we could sail with the wind on the other side. However, once we were further up the sound the dreaded calm descended again causing the boat to slow so much the engine had to be put on. Happily, about three minutes later the wind came back and the engine was off again. We plodded slowly northwards having to tack our way up the channel to make progress in to the head wind. Sid was great at this finding just the right angle to balance the boat speed against making progress. We had lunch of jacket potatoes on deck as we went.


Once we were cleaned up after
lunch we did four man-over-board practises, becoming a well oiled machine at recovering Bob (a fender with a bit of rope attached) back on board. Just to add some spice to it the last two were performed in the force-six wind that had appeared from nowhere. It was now getting late so the cooking crew went below and prepared a fantastic curry which we again ate on deck drifting lazily along (the illusive wind had disappeared again). In a sudden spurt of wildlife, we saw a a flock of Gannets that were diving into the sea and even some
Porpoises just before East Loch Tarbet. The chocolate fondue pudding went down a storm just as it was going dark. The last six miles to our anchorage was exciting as the light had faded and we had to navigate the boat in darkness. We followed a channel marked only by buoys with lights on them, keeping our eyes peeled for lobster pot buoys in the water. David motored Tenacity into a sheltered little spot in Loch Gair, where we promptly went to bed. A great day of 70 miles, force-eight winds, and fierce sailing to make up for yesterday!

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