Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Repositioning the forward fin uphaul on the paddle sailing version of the P&H Aries 155.

I have several times left my friends standing while paddle sailing the Aries 155 with the forward fin deployed. In this photo Mike is being left further and further behind. Although he has a sail, our course is too much to windward for him to successfully deploy it.

This is my secret weapon! The forward fin rotates on an axle and is pulled down by shock cord and raised by pulling...

 ...on the thin central control line, which is then cleated in the cleat  positioned just forward of the forward day mini hatch. I find it a bit of a reach and as I often have a camera bag attached to the deck elastics I can't even see it.

I solved this by removing the cleat and fitting a longer line to the forward fin. I run this through a plastic tube back to the existing cleat by the cockpit which I use for the sail sheet.

The forward fin uphaul is thinner than the sail sheet and the tapered cleat holds them each firmly. This arrangement saved fitting a third cleat and brought the forward fin uphaul into easy reach.

Lightly peated first night on Jura.

After we left the boathouse at the head of West Loch Tarbert on Jura we...

 ...entered one of the remotest and least inhabited areas of Europe. As darkness fell we negotiated a series of dog legs that connect the inner loch to the outer loch.

Our speed picked up to 10km an hour as dark cliffs and the twilight gathered round us we entered...

 ...the final narrows before we...

...were ejected into the outer loch in a series of swirls and boils that reflected gold from the sky.

In the gathering darkness we scanned the shoreline for Cruib Lodge, part of which is maintained as an open bothy by the Mountain Bothy Association with the permission of Ruantallain Estate. Eventually we spotted the little cottage. There was no light visible but there was a curl of smoke coming from a chimney so someone else was there. Tony knocked on the door but there were just a couple of grunts from two occupants who had decided on an early night. Fortunately this bothy has two rooms accessed by separate doors... we made ourselves at home next door. There is no supply of wood at this bothy but you can cut peat from the hillside above and leave it to dry in front of the bothy for the next person. The peat was pretty damp but I had brought a bag of barbecue charcoal and that got it going. Soon the bothy was filled with the distinctive aromatic reek of burning peat. Indeed we enjoyed lightly peated baked potatoes followed by some lightly peated Jura Superstition malt whisky. We certainly had arrived on Jura.