Although May’s weather was still quite unsettled for this time of year, we were lucky enough to find a calm day a couple of weeks ago and made the most of it to lay our mooring off Portscatho.
We came round to Portscatho on Planet, our gaff cutter, with the mooring on board and decided on a good spot in the Pit. We then used Planet’s staysail halyard to hoist and lower the anchor and chains for our mooring, with much appreciated help from our friends Debs and Chrissy.
I was slightly apprehensive about laying a mooring, given the large quantities of heavy chain and the importance of the job.
In the event, it all happened without hitch, rush or panic and was over and done with surprisingly quickly.
In fact, the worst part of it was towing the mooring equipment down the river to Planet from the shore at the beginning of the day; the dinghy was decidedly precarious!
A few days later we had a couple of days of fair weather and decided to bring Kensa back home to Portscatho to try out her new mooring for size. It was great sailing round from Percuil, if a little gusty, and Kensa performed really well with a reefed main and mizzen.
Thankfully, we managed to pick up the mooring on the first go, which was a relief given the likelihood of an audience, and we even caught a pollock on the way!
Annoyingly, the weather then turned and Kensa spent her first few nights on her mooring with fresh north westerlies. With little change in the forecast and a weekend booked up with other commitments, we decided to try out the Land Rover and trailer and get her out of the harbour before a gale came in. This way she would be out of the way of bad weather and we could fit the fishfinder while on dry land, which would be significantly easier.
Although the moorings inside the porth in Portscatho are well sheltered from most wind angles, the Pit moorings are more exposed. Unfortunately we are not able to get a space in the harbour itself for Kensa, so for now we will be either getting her out of the water or moving her to Percuil if strong winds (in particular easterlies) come our way. On the plus side, at least our mooring is accessible at all states of tide, so we can get out and back at any time of day!
Getting Kensa on the trailer went well, if somewhat awkwardly and slowly. It’s another job that we’ll end up doing quite a lot but which we’ve never done before, so I would imagine after a few more practices we should speed up significantly! The Land Rover’s a beauty and we’re both really pleased we’re now able to be self-sufficient with Kensa and launch and recover her as necessary. We’re also pleased the mizzen mast just fits under all the telegraph wires going up Gerrans Hill from the harbour. That saved a job!
Back at home, we spent a few days working on fitting a fishfinder and a new locker inside the boat. We also fitted more pipe to the coamings to prevent chafe and allow nets and gear to be hauled inboard without snagging, and most importantly made up and fitted a main sheet traveller. We’ve been using a rope traveller for the time being until we could be sure of the best arrangement for the boat.
Once we’d established this we had a hunt around for the best materials and happily found that the old scaffold pole handrail in our garden would be perfect for the job after a few mods. So with all this done and easterlies forecast for the week we decided to relaunch at Percuil last Saturday and it wasn’t long before we got out for a spot of fishing…..but more of that tomorrow!