Eben and Annie bio photo

Eben and Annie

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Moving Day...

We woke up in the morning, I said to Annie “if we’re going to move Taleisin today, we better get going. Not much wind but it will pick up later today”. You might wonder, move Taleisin where? Taleisin has been sitting snugly in the marina all winter, as you might imagine getting an 8 ton engineless boat out of a marina can be a little challenging. We have recently had a new mooring laid in a spot that’s easy to sail on and off. This is where Taleisin is moving to.

We’ve had some previous attempts at getting out of the marina, one didn’t go to well and the other turned into a warping practice run. I might write about the first attempt one day but the bruises are still visible on my ego. In short, I ended up in the water and I drowned an outboard.

So in preparation for our adventure, we prepared Taleisin for sailing, talked through our plan, had a disagreement, came to an agreement and we were finally ready to give it a “go”. We did all of this in just 2 hours. Given previous experience I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous, but I had to hide this from Annie as it would make her more nervous, she was already not that confident in my ability to pull this little stunt off. Not being one to shy away from a challenge, I just dragged my feet for a little bit building up the courage to give it a go.

Some people have asked me in the past how we deal with the lack of an engine, here’s the current way of doing things:

  • Warp out of the berth
  • strap the dingy to the quarter
  • barge out

Getting ready to warp

Notice the warp lines around the pilings.

Getting ready to warp

We pulled her out slowly using the mooring lines (not in the diagram).

Getting ready to warp

Annie was in the cockpit pulling on the stern line to turn the boat. I was on the bow pulling the boat closer to avoid the bow sprit hitting the pilings. This was something that happened the first time we tried to warp out.

Getting ready to warp

It’s worth noting that the direction the boat is pointing in is the direction of the channel. We tied the dingy to the hip and barged out.

So it’s worth noting a few things that we learned from this. Firstly we warped her out really well, it felt great! However, do not put the dingy on the opposite side of the pilings. While there’s no way on, the dingy will push the boat into the pilings (there was no wind to push us off the pilings). Consequently we had a lot of fending to do, this is hard work if you’re moving a heavy boat. Once you have way on (and Taleisin doesn’t need much), it’s very easy to move the boat in this manner! The original plan was to push off the pilings and drift into the middle of the channel, unfortunately this didn’t work out. Next time I’d get the dingy between the boat the and pilings (still need to figure out how we’d go about this).

A few gut busting seconds later Taleisin was moving fast enough for the rudder to be effective! I looked at Annie raised a fist in the air and said, the hard part is over! Annie obviously didn’t share my victory as we still had to navigate our way out of the marina and into the harbour.

Finally making it out of the marina, Annie commented how she’s very glad to be out of the marina as it’s been nothing but unpleasant boating experience inside it. I can completely understand her point of view as it’s been super challenging and we kept getting beaten down by Taleisin.

Our next challenge was to hoist the sails, luckily we picked a day with very little wind. Annie went forward and hoisted the main, it didn’t seem to move us… The next minute a powerboat came speeding by at what was definitely in excess of 12 knots (harbour limits). The wake nearly tipped the dingy and almost drowned the outboard. I leapt over the life lines and onto the dingy to keep it upright. We traveled under motor a little bit longer but the power boats were traveling way too fast and it felt like we were inside a washing machine. I cut the outboard and let the dingy trail behind. I hoisted the staysail and went to sit in the cockpit.

The ghetto sounder/chart plotter indicated that we were traveling at 1-2 knots. Since it didn’t really feel like we had much in the way of steerage I can only assume that the current was pushing us along. It was interesting to see how quickly Annie’s dislike for power boats grew as we were drifting, she’s a proper sailor now!

After drifting for a while and getting thrown around by power boat wakes for too long Annie persuaded me to put the dingy back on the quarter and push Taleisin towards the mooring. Once I got the dingy pushing along we actually saw 5 knots on the Dragonfly pro, I’m guessing at least 1-2 of those were current related. It’s worth noting that the outboard was only at half throttle and only 8HP. Now that we were moving we were making great progress, I also didn’t have to sit in the dingy the whole way and could just steer with the rudder on Taleisin.

Approaching the mooring I hopped into the dingy and slowed the engine down, when we got close enough I just let the engine idle and we kept moving slowly towards the buoy. Pickup was a breeze. There was only one problem, this was not our mooring. Since it’s a new mooring and we’ve never used it we didn’t know what to look for. But the mooring number was not the number I was given.

So rather than panic I got the engine pushing along slowly again and Annie steered us towards another buoy. We followed the same recipe as before and pickup was very easy again! We secured Taleisin to the mooring and had a high five moment!

So if you’re reading along and thinking that’s the end of the adventure you would be forgiven since for most it probably would be. We’re not most and this is when we got seasick for no apparent reason. Taleisin was rolling quite a bit, we still can’t figure out why. I was telling myself to just push through and get everything stashed away and tidied up. Annie lay down on the foredeck and it looked like a good idea to me. We spent about an hour just laying there feeling pretty horrible. I’d get up from time to time trying to keep on working but I didn’t have much luck.

Eventually Annie felt well enough to get back to work, when I got up to try and help I got instructed to lay back down as I was apparently not looking the best. Annie soldiered on like a champ and put Taleisin in order!

We had one task that we needed to do before we could head for the dock, get cheeky2 off her chocks. I had a few attempts at this and eventually managed to get the job done without going green completely! Once this task was done we loaded up the dingy with everything we needed to take back with us, then we learnt something interesting….

As soon as we got on the dingy the seasickness was gone. Since the motion of the dingy was different to the motion of Taleisin we felt better, next time I’m getting in the dingy! Motoring back to the dock we were towing Cheeky2, eventually getting back to the dock the packing up and loading the car up took a while. Approximately 8 hours after we started we finished by stopping for lunch on the way back to the marina to collect our mooring lines and other car.

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