|Aber Falls at Easter!|
|Film of ice on Easter Sunday covers the Marina|
|On goes the copper|
|New SSB groundplate|
Whilst on the hard James Potter made us a shiny new stainless bow plate to replace the piece of junk that had been yanked off the previous summer whilst on a mooring in Ullapool. He made a spectacular job of this piece of stainless sculpture.
|New stainless bow protector|
Byron fitted running backstays and tuned up the rigging and I completed the wiring for our new electric headsail furler.
Sally went up for a weekday launch on a fine early summers day and 4 men manoeuvred Shimshal into a tight berth jammed in by a massive gin palace. We were almost ready to go.
|Launch day at Conwy|
The weekend came and we set about some spring cleaning. I was on deck with the pressure hose and Sally was below with the vacuum but it was my 1700 watt hose that blew up the 1600 watt inverter. A very stupid and expensive mistake that arose because I thought I was drawing power from shore power and thus could exceed what the inverter could supply. It seems that the enormously expensive replacement does let you do this but I won't be putting it to the test any time soon!
|Denzil now brings his own electronics kit when he comes sailing with us so he took the burned out inverter episode in his stride|
The following Friday we took the train to Conwy hoping to sail on the afternoon tide but it blew like mad as a 48 hour gale screamed in from the west. It wasn't until 4 am Sunday that the wind and tides were right for us to prize our way out of our berth and bead off down river into a grey and unwelcoming dawn. It's 4 miles from marina to the fairway buoy down a tortuous estuary and a narrow channel known for its shifting sands.
|Sally emerged on deck once the wind had died to the north of the Isle of Man|
It was a relief to be out into the open sea with double digits on the sounder. We shaped a course for the Chicken Rock and out came the sails. After long months cooped up in a muddy river marina Shimshal was finally able to spread her wings and fly. We tore north at 9 knots and Sally went below to suffer form her unloved but familiar Irish Sea sickness.
|The Irish Sea in benign conditions|