Tide times have always affected the sailing in Sidmouth, with our primary launching beach being a slim opening to the English Channel opposite Pennington Point, a very quickly receding cliff. The wave types here are called ‘destructive’, which means that have a stronger ‘swash’ than a ‘backwash’. This means more sediments and rocks pile up on the beach to create a steep slope, like the one seen at Sidmouth which can make the tide seem so sudden. What brings the tide into this is that, because of the steep beach, the tide changes height a lot without actually moving very far. Unless we are launching at very low tide then, there is not a lot of space on the beach with their sometimes being no way to get down on the beach from one side, and minimal space on the other.
On Wednesday 7th, lots of us went out to a thoroughly disappointing sail in which there was so little wind that we hardly made it out past Sidmouth’s long rock groynes and the race was abandoned for the lack of wind meaning we wouldn’t be able to do even one lap of the race in the allotted time. But with sailing, a heavily wind dependent sport, sometimes the wind just doesn’t want you to go on the water. It was mitigated somewhat by the meal following, a chili followed by ice cream.
Another recent sail, I somehow managed to tangle my mainsheet under my outhaul in such a way that I had to rerig the mainsheet and retie a few parts of the outhaul. The outhaul is a rope that makes adjustments the curve of the sail and runs up the mast and back along the boom. The mainsheet is the main rope upon which you pull to make adjustments to the position of the boom. It runs through a pulley at the center of the boat, heads straight up to the boom before, using another set of pulleys, runs to the back of the boat and loops through a pulley on the traveler, a rope going from the back left side to the back right above the tiller. Once it reaches the traveler, it loops back up to a stopper knot at the boom. That is where the tangle had occurred. The major problem with this tangle was that the mainsheet is not able to smoothly be let out, which is very important on the windy day it was.