Oops! Our solar panels got pulled off!

Sailing is a constant task of assessing the wind and making the most of the conditions you have. That is one of the reasons that we called our Genoa the Hookie Dookie sail as it comes in and out so often. So we had pulled our Genoa out and our speed had increased so I was hopeful that we would not have to put the motor on to catch the tidal gate, put the wind was with us for only a few minutes before the Genoa was flapping. So we made the most of what wing we had, but we had to turn the engine on a little bit earlier that I had wanted. I'm afraid that the wind dying was my fault, saying what the wind will do usually means that it will not do that. This is why weather predicting is so difficult. I can't even predict what will happen in a small area, the wind is such a fickle entity. With the engine on we went through Calf Sound 15 minutes after, the turn of the tide. Beverley had wanted this time as she had wanted the tide to establish. It resulted in one of the smoothest passages through the sound that we have experienced. With the passage being so easy we were able to look at the seals and other wild life that frequent the sound. On the other side of the sound, we had to keep the engine on because the wind was coming from the North, so I just kept an eye out for crab pots of which there are several in that area. In fact there has been an RNLI program about rescuing a boat at Port St. Mary because they got the line of a crab pot tangled around their prop and rudder.

As we were not sailing we decided to go onto the wall at Port St. Mary. However, the next day would be a Spring tide with a 6m rise, so I had to climb the full 6m to secure the lines as we had got to Port St Mary at low tide. Seeing as it was sunny, we just enjoyed the sunshine and watching the little boats out on the water. That night at 1:00 am, we were both awoken by a large cracking sound, so we quickly got our mullions on and went out on deck to find out what was happening. It didn't take long for us to see that the solar panel had gone over the wall and been pulled off. Well there was a lot of grunting by me as I pushed Salty Lass away from the wall. Meanwhile Beverley sorted out the solar panel and pushed the tubing back into the bracket on Salty Lass. I had to stay pushing Salty Lass away from the wall for a little while, but it wasn't long before the top of the solar panel was below the top of the wall. Once the immediate danger was over we could both go downstairs to have a cup of tea.

At low tide it was time to leave, but we had to wait a bit, because we needed the sun to come up so that we could see the pots, the other reason was Beverley needed to be able to go up the ladder and she was not going up that in the dark. Once, the sun was up we were away, but we encountered large seas off the stack near Scarlett point. We had two meter waves and I was on the helm. The only good thing I can say about the experience is that I managed well, but Beverley refused to film so we only have a short piece of film. As we were getting bashed about I returned to Port St. Mart, this time opting for the balls rather than the wall. As there was a lot of swell the harbour master allowed us to go onto a ball further in which meant that we were protected from the swell to some extent.