May 28, 2014

Photos from May

Since May draws to an end, it is a good time to share a couple of photos from this month. Despite the early launch this year, we haven't had a chance to sail as much as we would have liked. Partly this is due to the arctic weather that dominated the first part of the month. However, in the latter part of the month the summer finally arrived, but the winds also calmed so we had to use the engine in both ways during the first night trip.

DD moored in Masku 

On the return leg, I got in the middle of a thunder shower, which brought heavy rain and lighting, 
but the wind stayed calm. 

Last Sunday we departed for the second cruise of the year. Again the wind was light during the day, but the sea breeze picked up during the afternoon so we got finally a nice evening sail to our boating club's skerry harbour.

The club harbour has a strong TV signal, which was an important criteria as Finland was playing an Ice Hockey championship finals against Russia on Sunday evening. Unfortunately, the game did not end that well for us...

On Monday we had a short downwind sail to nearby Nauvo/Nagu guest harbour 
where we left the boat for one day. 

Now we are back in the Archipelago and writing this post from deserted Houtskär (two boats in the marina), where we arrived after a twenty nautical miles sail from Nauvo. After a weekend's heatwave, the temperatures have dropped about 15–20 degrees, so it was pretty cold at the sea. Especially, as the northerly wind was gusting 12 m/s (24 knots) today.

May 5, 2014

The first sail of the season

The summerlike Easter weekend boosted motivation to get everything ready for the launch, so that we could set sail on 1st of May for a sunny cruise in the Archipelago. In the afternoon we would drop the hook in a sheltered bay for enjoying the warmth of spring sun in the face, and for having a May Day picnic in the cockpit.

The reality was of course a bit different, as the temperature on 1st of May barely climbed above zero. The ground was still white after a snowfall in the morning and the cold northerly breeze took care that the temperature actually felt like -10 degrees. Thus, we decided to spend the holidays for getting everything ready for Sunday, when we were due to sail Dolphin Dance to her home port.

Sunday wasn't much better in terms of weather as it was cold and raining most of the day. However, the sky cleared for the evening and we had a nice but chilly evening sail. When installing the sails, we discovered (or actually remembered from the Autumn) that the main sail's stack pack was a bit torn and needed some repairs. It is interesting that there has been over six months to take care of the bloody thing, but it is in the beginning of the season that things like this happen to cross your mind. Thus, we decided to leave the main sail in its sack, and sail with the genoa only.

Nevertheless, the season 2014 is finally opened, although warm summer breezes still seem to be a bit far away at the moment.

May 1, 2014

Back in her element

DD was launched on the last day of April. This was almost record early for us, but in 2011 she was back in water just one day earlier on the 29th of April.

This year we had less projects than on the previous years. For example the antifouling was renewed in 2013 and the bottom was in good condition after the season, so I decided to use the same antifouling. The underwater hull was just sanded lightly to activate the antifouling. 

The topsides were polished and waxed with Autoglym's products, of which we had good experiences from last season. Prior to the polishing, the hull was washed with boat shampoo and the topsides were treated with oxalic acid based Gelcoat Cleaning Powder (Hempel) to get rid of the yellow waterline stain. 

The mast still needs to be stepped and the sails installed before we can set sail to her homeport. Unfortunately, the weather forecast for the weekend doesn not look too promising so let's see when we can actually start the sailing season. 

2nd attempt to fix the leaky solar vent