Jugs and nipples.

I can just hear most of my British readers now having a good bloke-y snort* as they read the blog header and see the title photograph.  Just to explain to all of the non-brit readers that ‘jugs’ in brit-bloke-ese is slang for breasts but only one of several other slang expressions.  The actual connection here is that jugs in the USA is the usual term for what we call water canisters or jerry-cans and when i took the title picture of ‘Kira’ in Newhaven i was having problems with my jugs and nipples….that bit i will explain later.

Bare breasts by the way are a very traditional figurehead feature on sailing ships but are very rare on yachts : too much weight up front we might say !.*

In Newhaven, after the endless slog down-channel and one of my longest days at sea on this trip i found quite a lot of water in the bilge at the end of the day.  I wasn’t too surprised as i had shipped quite a few green ones over the bow and later in the day had a lot of spray over the boat.  Given that i had pushed her a bit too hard maybe i thought it likely that seams had worked a bit and a bit more water than usual had found its way into the boat.  When i went to fill up my day-water container from the main ‘jug’ (jerrycan)  i was suprised to find it completely empty.  Because of their shape i had been stowing my water jugs on their edge with the filler point uppermost but the one that should have been full was completely empty.  That wasn’t a problem at all because by then i was just feet from water on tap on the visitors pontoon.  It could have been a major problem on a long voyage even to lose 10 litres of precious drinking water.  Inanda doesn’t have a useable fixed water tank, the galvanised tank that she does have produced a thick brown soup when i had a try at the galley pump so clearly that tank needs to come out at some point soon.  I would have stripped the old tank out already but for the fact that i will have to dissasemble one side of the cockpit first.  Meanwhile i carry on with my usual practice of carrying my drinking water in jerry-cans (jugs). I have nearly always done that with my cruising boats because it enables me to take one or two ashore with me from an anchorage and fill them ashore.  Even in France with my appalling French i have managed to convey that i would like to fill my jugs….pretty please !     The upshot of all this is that i need to find some different water containers for Inanda that will fit the available spaces more closely and with them upright….the failed one actually has a small split.  I have wondered also about fitting a soft bladder style water tank somewhere attached to a hand pump in the galley because on this trip i ended up losing a lot of water as the boat pitched and bounced its way down channel.

My military grade water containers i keep at home are too large (20 L) and individually too heavy. I do have several different shapes of water containers at around 10 litres which are much more ideal.  The system i would like to build is to have several identical containers which i can stow securely but where i can have one of them with a suction tube going through the filler cap and have that connected to a hand pump in the galley.  That would allow me to continue to ship water aboard easily and have a more efficient way of drawing drinking water for the galley.

One of these mounted in the narrow locker opposite the galley just might work, what it would need is a modified cap that has a suction tube and air vent so that it could be attached to a simple hand galley pump. This ‘jug’ is about 10 litre size which i find ideal for carrying ashore, getting back aboard from a dinghy and stowing in the boat.

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Newhaven….let me tell you about Newhaven though.

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Not long after i got in i was sitting reclined in my bunk below having a hard earned coffee and thinking about cooking a proper meal when i heard a very large engine and felt the beat of a big slow turning propellor coming up the harbour.  Then there was the screeing rush of a bow thruster and the bow of a channel ferry appeared. At that point i knew i would be in for several hours of trucks and cars clanging their way over the loading ramp so i gave up any idea of getting some rest and got down to making dinner. Like all cross-channel ferry’s though they have a pretty fast turnaround and he was loaded and gone within a couple of hours.  It was pretty impressive to watch the ferry back-down the harbour at a reasonable lick…..there can’t be much view aft from the bridge and he doesn’t seem to have any wing mirrors….maybe they have a bloke on the back going “left a bit, right a bit” ! (in French of course).  After that i was prepared to really not like the place as the visitors pontoon is barely 70 yards across the faiway from the Ferry’s stern and when he did come back in he ran his generator all night, i guess they have to run all the services aboard for the crew.   The other side to the potential dislike is the day view across the harbour and just down harbour from the ferry terminal.

Newhaven’s very own junk mountain.

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What with the ferry, the junk mountain and attendant crane and the clipboard-waving marina ‘lad’ i was getting ready to be pretty acerbic about the place.  At first glance Newhaven is a really strange combination of working ferry and fishing port and on the other hand surrounded by yuppy-esque ‘exclusive’ developments.   Plus then that the nice girlies in the office asked me to shift berth because there was a ‘big yacht’ expected in and i was on the only big berth.  I should also explain that by then it was blowing quite firmly from the north…so straight down the harbour and that the berth they wanted me to use would have been across the wind upwind ie a difficult approach and being blown off.  We eventually compromised on a private berth that wasn’t in use but it was still a marginal approach with my long keel/long bowsprit, wide turning circle and not much power.      That worked with my new solo technique for this boat which is to have a short breast* line rigged at the deck edge and roughly halfway down the boat….that, quickly thrown on a cleat and heaved in gives me an almost instant stop….with a touch of engine i was able to hold my position along the berth until i got proper lines on.

Once i was in that berth though everything seemed to come together a bit…that bit slightly further away from the ferry , that bit closer to the cafe, the shop and the awesomely well stocked chandlery. There were interesting boats on the pontoon and in their dry boat storage area as well although i’ll do a boat tour dreckly….as we say down this way.  Just down the pontoon was a little gaffer which looked remarkably familiar.

This looks remarkably familiar, another Deben or very similar.

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Notably what the nice girls in the office hadn’t mentioned is that the whole marina dries out to soft thick latte’ toned mud !.  I didn’t notice until i was back onboard and started to miss the very slight movement of a moored boat…..looked outside and we were solidly in the mud. That might have impacted getting off the next morning but as it happened my ideal tidal slot wasn’t until later in the day so i could afford a slow start the next morning.

Kira…and that figurehead.

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Strangely i really started to enjoy the place, the shower was fast and hot (first shower in days) the cafe was good and the chandlery even better.  You know that there are chandlery’s and chandlery’s with most of the posh south coast ones selling a huge range of sailing ‘fashion’ and not much else….well this is one of the real ones that sells actually useful and essential boat bits.  If anything they are slightly biased towards motor boats and boat engineering but there was a very good selection of sailing boat stuff.  The rope-drums rail was excellent and what was a real surprise was the rack of pre-made high-tec halyards. I hadn’t seen a single high-end race yacht or cruiser racer in the marina so who they are catering to i have no idea.  Still, they came up with everything that i needed plus a rare folding fisherman anchor as my rock and kelp hook.  Back on the pontoon i spent a useful afternoon ‘sailorising’, in this case laying out the anchor chain and marking it off in 5 metre increments with short lengths of webbing.

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Quick Newhaven boat tour and then lets talk nipples.

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You may recall in a recent post me talking about sleepless nights, well during one of mine when i was mentally going over every detail of Inanda before the trip i suddenly realised that i hadn’t seen any form of shaft greaser arrangement and had completely forgotten to ask Pete. Luckily a few minutes before i left the Orwell Pete came by and one of the things he realised that he hadn’t told me about was the shaft greaser.  It does have one but it’s a bit odd.    Just where the shaft exits the deadwood there is a brass cap just like the brass base of a 12 gauge shotgun base that has an internal thread and which screws onto a similar thread on the deadwood bearing.  The idea is to take the cap off, pack it with grease and screw it back on thus forcing grease down the shaft tube.  Only thing is that it’s a total sod to screw back on and to do so requires laying across the engine and groping around down in Inanda’s aft bilge.  That was maybe one of several reasons why people were giving me such a wide berth on the train when i went to go and pick up the car….i was not only scruffy as per usual but filthy from bilge muck and engine grease….definitely one way to get left alone on the train.  Seriously though that one needs modification especially if i go and box-in the engine with some sound deadening and a new cockpit floor. Just to mention that one job i had to do that same afternoon was to mend the cockpit sole as the engine cover was coming apart under my feet.

High and nearly dry.

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*with added ‘fnarr’

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