Sunday, 25 May 2014

Morning Coffee on the Heron.

 Although the Heron has been back  in the water for a few weeks now, I haven't really been happy with the rigging and furling. I don't know what I did differently this year, but the roller reefing hasn't worked.

On Wednesday evening I bit the bullet and took the mast down again. I decided to do things properly and fit a deflector eye to the mast. It was five minutes with a drill to fit it but a couple of hours taking off sails and the boom and all the other sundry jobs that are part of dropping the mast and raising it again. Still, I was quite chuffed to manage it all single handed.

On Saturday a few boats were off to Anstruther for a race back. I only managed over to the other side of the harbour where I tied up to the wall and hauled the mast over to try to straighten everything out and check nothing was getting tangled. One replacement forestay this season is enough.

It was all looking good but the tide was falling rapidly and Heron soon took the ground. Then the rain started, so I put the little green tarpaulin over the boom and settled in for the afternoon.

In the evening I gave up waiting for the weather to improve and just left the boat alongside overnight.

 Sunday morning and the weather was a lot better. The tide was rising and the Heron had decided to sit a little way off the wall. This was ok as there was quite a swell running out at sea and even in the harbour there was still a couple of feet of movement. I had left a spring from the mast to a ladder so it was no problem to pull the boat back alongside.

First thing to do was get the little kettle going for morning coffee. It's just instant but it always tastes good sitting on the boat, especially when the sun is shining.

Then I set to re tuning the rigging. As the day wore on the local boats started arriving back with a few green faces. I was quite happy to have spent the day pottering around. Another easy Sunday but hopefully this time the Heron is actually  ship shape and ready to do some sailing.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Cycling, coffee, and an otter.

Saturday morning was overcast but quite mild. I didn't really have a plan so just cycled east to find somewhere to have breakfast.

So with no plan, I hadn't any great expectations. But as so often happens, these days turn out the best.

After pedalling along the coast I turned around then cut around Torness on the way home.

The tide was at low springs with expanses of kelp exposed. I sat down on the rocks and got the coffee brewing on the stove.

Out amongst the weed the shore birds were searching for grubs and then I caught sight of something special. Just a ripple in the water but I followed it and was so lucky to sit enjoying my breakfast and watch an otter feeding.

This has to rate as one of the best breakfast tables I've sat at.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Cycling, Castles and Coffee

I promised myself that I would get out on the Long Haul Trucker this weekend, so it was a bit of a disappointment to wake on Saturday morning to find a cold rain lashing the kitchen window. I waited until about 07:30 but it didn't look like the rain was going to ease, so on with the waterproofs and off I splashed .

As usual the thought of going out was far worse than the reality and I was soon enjoying the cycle down to Belhaven bay and along the burn. A Grey Heron lazily flapped away before I could take capture a picture of it.

From East Linton it's a short climb up onto the quiet winding road to Hailes. All around there was the scent of gorse and the hedges were full of song birds. I saw greenfinches, goldfinches, yellow hammers all flitting across the road searching for food.

At Hailes I pushed the trucker into the castle grounds. The little burn running down to the river was showing the benefit of all the rain with a tiny waterfall.

I found shelter from the rain in the old kitchens of the castle and unpacked the stove to heat up my latest cold press coffee.

Shelter from the rain, the smell of coffee heating, a view over the river, it doesn't get much better.


I've been reducing the time I leave the coffee to brew, this was only nine hours and I think that suits my taste buds better, not being quite as 'sweet' as when I leave it for eleven hours.

A relaxing breakfast in a 13th century castle, then back on the bike for an easy cycle back to Belhaven Bay where there were horses out exercising in the distance.

A pretty easy sixteen miles, but a good start to the weekend and inspiration to get out regularly again.

Monday, 5 May 2014

First Sail of the Season

 I am getting a bit lax at posting, I just seem to be too busy at the moment. The poor LHT has hardly been out over the last month with any spare time being spent trying to get the Heron sailing again. The new rigging terminal arrived last week and I built up a new forestay on Thursday.

 Stuart gave me a hand to raise the mast again yesterday and today I finally got out for a sail. Clear of the narrow harbour mouth and I switched off the engine and sailed between the rocks.

 About three miles east of Dunbar and I caught up with the yachts Seline and Wee Beastie. The Cod season has started again and I was soon joining in and caught a couple of codling. I let them go but the rest managed some decent fish that will be in the frying pan this week. 

 Feel free to add your own caption.

 I turned around off the coast at Whitesands and tacked back. This took a lot longer than planned as the furler started to jam again so I only sailed under the main.

Back between the rocks and I fired up the little outboard to have a look at how much the tide had fallen. Davey came along in the Wee Beastie and we both agreed that we would give the tide another half hour to make sure there was enough water under the keels.. 

Stuart arrived in the Seline and dropped anchor and we all rafted up. The seals watched us for a bit, then carried on doing seal things.

The Kittiwakes called incesently from their nests in the ruins of the castle.

 And the humans chatted for a time but also just sat silently in company and watched the sea.

 Inevitably the tide came back in and we returned to the harbour. A pretty fine bank holiday.