Sea Bear was re-launched in mid April and I went down to finish setting up the rigging. First job was to ensure the mast was upright and with the right amount of rake. It is not a job that can be down with the boat ashore as that the boat is level cannot be assured when it’s chocked up in the yard. Afloat and you know the boat is level. There was no wind and the sea calm, essential conditions and I was able with the aid of measuring, a plumb bob and by eye that the mast was straight and all in order. Next step was to get the correct tension in the rig, I had invested in a Loos rig gauge to assist me with this. So slowly I went around adjusting the bottle screws a turn or two at a time. First the cap shrouds, then when where properly tensioned, moving on to the backstays, lowers and babystay, a bit at a time and checking checking. A time consuming process but one not worth rushing. Finally I was satisfied and could fit split pins to all the bottle screws. I will recheck all the tensions etc after a few weeks as as things settle in.
Another calm day saw me finishing off a few more little jobs. I really wanted a nice steady sailing breeze to check out the rig under sail as recommended but then instead we had very strong winds and whats more very cold ones, it still felt like winter, and in light of a poor forecast I went home for a bit.
A week later I returned, the winds were lighter though still from the East so cold. I sailed down to Hamford water to anchor for the night, it is always nice when you can just sail up the long narrow channel, without tacking and without the engine. I always like visiting here, it is a beautiful spot.
Next morning I left and decided to sail out towards the Rough Towers. The wind were light so a gentle sail with flat seas, very relaxing. I didn’t quite get to the Towers, perhaps a mile or so short but I had set myself a turn-around time so that I wouldn’t be too late back. Reaching Harwich I turned up the Stour and up to anchor just past Ewerton Ness.
The following morning I though to go further up the river, past Wrabness to anchor at Stutton Ness. This turned out to be not one of my wiser decisions. The wind had increased in strength and was blowing right up the river so the anchorage was a trifle bumpy. I resolve to stay her only till the tide turned and I could take the ebb back downstream. In the event I returned to Pin Mill. Once again the forecast was not great for the next few days so I returned home. I was a bit fed up with being so cold sailing in these E and NE winds.