Sunday 30 July 2017

Thursday 20 July 2017

A memorable weekend

The first weekend of July, "Astrid" and her crew took part to a traditional sail gathering organised on a nearby alpine lake.

The  Lac de Serre Ponçon is a large artificial lake created by a dam built in the fifties to provide hydro electric energy and safeguard the local valleys from risks of over flowing.

A local association organises a traditional sail gathering on the waters of the lake every two years.
Camping on the border of the lake with the boat's bow a few steps away was fantastic. As so was the sailing in company alongside more than forty beautiful boats, including traditional lateen rigged mediterranean fishing boats, traditional crafts from Marseilles called "bettes", a bantry yole, traditional breton luggers and many others.
Our Pathfinder was also much admired which was really flattering.

All in all a great experience to be repeated in 2019, including the best handmade driftwood model boat contest.

Monday 17 July 2017

Sunday Picnic ... and a splash

Launched Astrid from our new private slipway (that serves the 20 or so houses in our residence) and enjoyed a great weekend sailing. Saturday still a bit of fresh northwesterly that had been blowing for the past three days (the famous mistral). Probably a force 2 or 3 but with a residual swell. Caught off guard while sailing solo and fiddling at the mast by the gooseneck and ended up thrown overboard into the water. On my involuntary way out of the boat I grabbed hold of a jib sheet to maintain a link to the boat. I managed to get back onboard in no time. Thinking in hindsight about what happened (I was wearing an inflatable life vest) I realised for the first time a down side of the yawl rig: it's inherent sail balance means that in most cases the boat will continue sailing straight in its course despite the only sailor being thrown  overboard.... a similarly sized bermudan rigged dayboat would probably round up into the wind pretty soon after the helmsman has left the party.
Anyhow, an interesting experience.

The weekend continued on with a fantastic sail to the nearby St. Pierre island on Sunday where, thanks to the lifting centerboard and the beach cruiser nature of the pathfinder, we could reach one of the secluded small pebble beaches for a family picnic . What a privilege!