A week ago last Wednesday, after an exciting academic meeting in London, a train journey interrupted by power failures and expanding track, some trailer repairs and a little domestic R & R, the skipper (aka your scribe) returned to Weymouth, in Martina, towing Terence and carrying clothes for a fortnight * and a set of Italian Carp waders. The intention was to haul Riff Raff up the town slip and onto Terence so that she could be taken to Mylor by road.
I had originally intended to sail her all the way – the interruption caused by the meeting had allowed the wind to change and what the forecast thought there would be was light Westerly for the next few days. “On the nose” as they say. The Italian Carp waders were (as I was advised) essential as the town slip in Weymouth is not flanked by a floating pontoon and there might be a need to wander around waist deep in water whilst persuading boat and trailer to get acquainted.
In the event, the Italian Carp waders were not required – the town slip had useful railings to which Riff Raff was secured whilst Martina manoeuvred Terence into position (in line with Riff Raff and just far enough down the slip for his tyres (but not the brake hubs) to get wet. Terence’s winch wire was wound out, hooked on to Riff Raff and the up button pressed** – hey presto! – up she rose onto his back.
An hour later, with mast lowered and all the bits of associated string made fast we were on our way westward, into quite a strong head wind. This proved a bit of a problem as the dreaded trailer sway kept occurring at ridiculously low speeds – only just over the speed limit for a car towing a trailer. During one particularly vicious bout, Martina suddenly applied her brakes in anti skid mode, first on one corner and then on another. The only control I had was through the steering wheel.
‘WTF’, I thought, ‘the bloody ABS has chosen to fail at this precise moment’. However, once we had slowed enough, Martina returned full control to me and we carried on. It happened a few more times and I concluded that, somewhere in her software, she had found that she was towing a trailer and had invoked some anti sway routine. Do I trust it? Perhaps I should read the manual.
We evntually reached Mylor before dusk, parked”up the valley” and set about rigging Riff Raff again. The Ninja Warrior facilitated raising the mast and Riff Raff was ready for launching. But it was now dark so we spent the night on the hill.
* two weeks for any US readers
** Despite his agricultural appearance, Terence is quite sophisticated. He is fitted with a solar powered electric winch which goes by the name of “the Ninja Warrior”.