The weather on the second day was much calmer and brighter, we got ready again, me with slightly less nerves although not by much. This time we were ready for pulling out of the marina and with Lara at the bow and me at the stern we let go of the lines together and made our fairly fairly calmly out of the marina. It was a Sunday and with good weather there were a lot more other craft on the water, by that I mean when we cleared the end of hayling Island and could see down Emsworth channel it looked like rush hour, nearer the bar it was a mass of sails as we looked on. Our second trip out I didn’t feel like testing putting the col regs into practice 2 dozen times at once so I though we could motor into the wind a little way and then get the sail up and sail back toward the marina, repeating a few times to get used to her under sail.
So there was the plan. We motored along for a bit enjoying the sunshine and avoiding other yachts and then turned around, I left the motor going on low revs and started getting the sails up. I had presumed, wrongly as it turned out, that as they had been up for the survey that they would have been ok to get up now. I was slightly wrong. Lara was at the tiller whilst I worked hard on a winch hoisting the mainsail under it was up, then I worked on the foresail. I should have been paying attention to where we were however as it was low tide and we had been making our way slowling across Emsworth Channel. Just as I finished we ground to a halt, running onto a mud bank. Thankfully we had only been doing about 3knots the time but we were properly stuck.
I tried everything, getting the engine into reverse and trying to get us to heel a little more, we had offers of tows by other craft and I took one up on it but it was no good, the tide was going out as well and we ended up in even less water than we had when we first ran aground. The only thing we could do was wait. And that’s what we did, for 3 hours whilst the tide finished it’s journey out and then came back in again, finally giving us the 1.5m that we needed to float off. To me it didn’t feel like 3 hours, I pottered about and got the sails back in and got the fenders ready to come into the marina as well as drinking coffee that Lara was kindly making for us. So a lesson learnt although not that hard as it was a nice day and I actually got a decent tan 😉
3 hours after we ran aground we were off, by then we were feeling warn out so we headed back into the marina. This time we were determined to get the mooring better. Lara was ready on the starboard side and I make a more exagerrated turn in, much sharper and more like 90 degrees, coming along the pontoon perfectly so Lara could step off. Unfortunately the throttle was still too much and I had to whack it again into reverse to stop the bow hitting anything. Lara ran forward but the bow had come away from the pontoon again. I killed hte engine and ran to the bow, jumping off with the mooring line I maneuvered the bow into the right place, just in the wrong berth. Lara had jumped back on and grabbed the stern line, whilst I walked the bow along the pontoon she pulled the stern over and there we were, in the right berth.
We had to get better at mooring, I would have to have a play with the controls the next time we were out. Overall the first two outings were a success, there was no damage to Gee N Tee or us or anything else, we had been out twice and had really enjoyed ourselves even though things hadn’t gone quite as planned.