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Aurai's St Katherine's Rally Easter 2010

Aurai Reaches London

The log book will show we left our mooring at Hoo on Friday at approximately 5:00 p.m. and locked into St Katherine’s Dock at about 5:00 p.m. on the Saturday and returned to our mooring at about 3:00 p.m. on Bank Holiday Monday in approximately one piece. Having enjoyed a restful overnight at St K’s and leaving this a very short account of our trip with a few pictures above!

The detail is somewhat more colourful and possibly boring but including; the laws of natural selection reducing the prospect of a crew of 7 to a crew of 4 including me. Only at the last minute though and with no criticism of Becky being reduced to 2 for the return trip. Poor old B (less of the old) had earned her trip by helping to power wash the hull and paint anti foul in the week. However, a sickness overcame her and it was wise to return by train. Various people wonder how I do it, especially if I find an all girl crew but the girls just think it is great to have a butler. Hannah stuck it out and all the rest of you can be grateful, with me, that Aurai is in the right place for her next trip.

“our” mooring to start with was actually a double parking initiative after we messed up our parking on Weds night with gale force winds, spring tide and freezing cold, not to mention 3:00 a.m. on completion of the anti fouling etc. We were left draped around Moody Blue, and a reasonably awkward extrication move required. Undoing trots and doing them up again seemed best approach and we only sliced through one set. Sorry, Barry. We were expecting rain and more rain, but enjoyed an evening sail to Queenborough in sunshine and fine winds, pushing us along. Hannah showed off her ferry gliding and we moored next to Callie B at one attempt. It was Mike who got up in the night to sort the fenders, thanks mate, my lot just thought it was noisy.

Boot camp for the girls, next morning and we got underway to catch the tide up river and south winds would soon have us reaching along happily. Only we could not unfurl our Jib and anyway the wind went west, so an exercise in how to put up the cone and not lose it overboard. Tidal push was brilliant and we arrived an hour early at St Kat’s but sunny and crowds, so good for posing. We almost pulled off a rescue attempt as Mike sailed under Tower bridge to wipe out my claims on the Orinoco Shield, but he was nowhere to be seen when we offered a tow, so a case of what might have been.

The furling gear was jammed, by a block that keeps the halyard away from tangling with the furling gear at the top of the mast. As the block was only tied on with string it is probably amazing that it lasted this long, I did not fit it. Which leads to my plug for A2 Rigging in Falmouth who are posting me a fitting and two rivets, to fix it properly. Selden have just replied to my email to offer similar advice, so I am wiser and chastened.

Anyway, Hannah and I set sail Sunday p.m. and stopped at Erith YC, nobody at home as far as we can make out but the clubhouse is well advanced on the build. Then 07:30 i.e. a lie in on Monday to get home, only we got patrolled by some frozen looking Police in their Milk Tray delivery outfits, their helm was in trouble big time for coming alongside on our lee. All they got was a cheery welcome and a strong whiff of our breakfast bacon and they thought that was really cruel.

Most unusually, we were overhauled by an US flagged yacht, complete with all around clear plastic cockpit cover/shroud, as we reached Grain Edge and soon got home via the faithful fuel berth at Gillingham to end what was effectively a motoring trip.

The weather looks settled for this w/e and as always still open to crew showing up to help in first race of the season on Sunday, any takers, it cannot be as cold as last w/e.


For more pictures from Aurai's trip click here

Date Published 18th Apr 2010