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Erm? They're Clive and Les aren't they?
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Statistics and Observations
We left Fosdyke on 19th June and returned on 18th September. We had said it would take three months and it took three months. It must be all my years of IT project estimation. But, like every IT project, it had to be descoped to fit the budget. We took a short cut through the Forth and Clyde canal, only spending a week on the west coast of Scotland.
We were at sea on 58 of the 92 days away and during this time we covered 1561 miles. We spent 34 days in port, some of it by choice to see the sights, but much of it waiting for conditions to ameliorate, sea state, wind or visibility and sometimes a combination of all three.
We spent just ten days at anchor.
The longest passage between ports was 156 miles from the Scillies to Dunmore East (Waterford), taking 31 hours. The shortest was from Poole round to an anchorage behind Brownsea Island, 5 miles in just one and a half hours.
We logged 262 hours under sail of which just 44 hours can be classed as ‘night hours’.
We ran the engine for a total of 192 hours, some of which was solely battery charging while in port. We motored for 23 hours through the Forth and Clyde Canal. We bought 322 litres of diesel fuel for the engine at prices ranging from 40p per litre at Wells next the Sea to 50p or 51p per litre everywhere else. Fuel was actually priced at 58p per litre in Dun Laoghaire so we didn’t buy any! Considering that fuel prices were rising dramatically all the time we were away so the best value fuel was 42p at Royal Forth Yacht Club at Granton and at British Waterways at Bowling. Interestingly, Irish ‘red’ diesel is green!
We paid for mooring in all marinas except Hartlepool where we were guests of the Managing Director. Mooring fees for pontoon berths varied from £12.00 to £26.00 per night with the average somewhere around £18.00. The cheapest was Brixham town quay and the most expensive was at ParksideYacht ClubYacht Haven in Poole. Dun Laoghaire was about the same price. The swinging mooring at Lyme Regis was just £5.00 per night whereas a swinging mooring at Salcombe cost a massive £16.00. Total mooring charges totaled £642.50.
Some of the more expensive places to moor also charged a fee for showers although most marinas included the cost of a shower in the price.
Laundry facilities were provided in most marinas with costs varying between £1.50 and £3.00 per wash and per dry. The cost seemed to bear no relationship to the capacity of the machines. And if you ever want to do washing at Gosport Marina, forget it. The energy and water efficient machines take a half day to run the cycle.
The best value for money was the trip through the Forth and Clyde Canal. The transit license cost just £50.00, £5.00 per metre including VAT. This charge includes use of the mast crane at Bowling, mast removal or replacement depending on direction of travel. Mast handling at the Grangemouth end is charged at £25.00 per hour giving us a total transit cost of £77.50. Considering that one got all lock gates and bridges operated and one didn’t pay mooring charges for six nights, it is a bargain. And you get to see the Falkirk wheel too!
We generally sailed under Quintet’s standard cutter rig; yankee, staysail and mainsail. On eight occasions (it seems like more but that’s what the log shows) we hoisted the genoa, our very old and tired genoa, when the wind was not light enough to motor but too light for the cutter rig. We hoisted the spinnaker just once.
We suffered a number of minor breakages such as ripping off the tabletop when I fell against it in the rolling sea coming across from the Scillies to Ireland, and the retaining catch on the sliding door to the heads on the way from Hartlepool to Hull. All these breakages were jury-rigged at the time and repaired when next in port.
We lost one fender on the way round, the grubbiest, scungiest, flattest of our fenders. Whether the line chafed through or somebody stole it we’ll never know.
I lost two crowns from my teeth! Really. One came loose from its tooth and was replaced with a temporary crown which I will have replaced properly next time I visit my dentist. The other crown was removed with its tooth when the tooth became loose and uncomfortable. I also lost a pair of spectacles, whipped off by a flogging sheet during a sail change.
We both suffered some sort of a cold with coughs and splutterings at some stage during the trip and I showed symptoms of seasickness on at least eight separate occasions. Apart from that we stayed relatively healthy for two decrepit old men.
We estimate that we consumed in excess of 300 pints of Guinness and more than 200 pints of other beer. We got through 155 or so bottles of wine ashore and afloat, mainly red but a small proportion of whites. Spirits consumption was very low, one bottle of gin, one of scotch and half a bottle of rum. And with cool weather we demolished only two litres of Pimms.
We drank only fresh coffee and we think that we got through about six kilos (12 packs) on the yoyage. Of other drinks we got through small amounts of tea, hot chocolate and Bovril. At our rate of consumption, the supplies of these commodities still on the boat will be sufficient for at least two more cicumnavigations!
We got through 40 litres of spirit fuel for the cooker. How much of this was wasted through evaporation, how much was spilt and how much actually burned is hard to tell. Our estimate is that the stove burns fuel at about 300ml an hour.
We would recommend smaller, 1 litre, rather than larger, 5 litres, containers for stove fuel. They are easier to pour from and reduce spillage. They are also far easier to stow in corners which might not take a larger bottle. We were paying around €1.20 per litre in France.
We were generally happy with the cooker except for it propensity to run out half way through a meal and often in a lumpy sea. We did miss a grill and oven but did quite well baking in the le Creuset iron pot.
We used a 12 volt, plug-in cool box for a fridge. It worked well when powered but did not remain cool when the power was turned off. As it uses huge amounts of power, we only ran it when the engine was running. Therefore the moment we sailed it started to warm up. Milk especially was frequently spoiled with high wastage. We did find some tiny bottles of very good low fat, long life milk in France in tiny bottles. When we used these rather than the usual pint bottles found in UK, wastage was much reduced. We should have bought more when we were there.
All in all it went very well with no significant surprise problems.
If anybody has specific questions, we would be happy to try to answer them.
PS. The centreboard still doesn’t come down with a ‘crash’, but at least it idles its own way down without assistance these days.