Another good sailing/ paddling day!! Southwinds continued and we zoomed along nicely. Maybe not so much energy to play too much.. but we were sble to travel along another 50 km’s with a smile on our faces. This time got some nice pictures and video with the gopro camera mounted on the kayak.
The sun dissappeared halfway thru the day but this didnt dampen our spirits.
Santakari is a nice sandy spit of sn island some 7 km south if Pori. Odd slatelike rocks and wildstrawberries dot the ground. A place for another visit at another time!
The best paddling/sailing day of the trip thusfar!!!
Sunny. Southwinds 6-8m/s all day long. We made good time too!
Travelled some 50 km’s, practically from Uusikaupunki to Rauma. Sailing now with the full sail was pleasant if not fun! Wave heights were between 20- 60 cm range and on a couple occasions we played around a bit by surfing in the following seas.
The day started grey and drab yet ended spectacularly in technicolour splendour. The steady and brisk southwind helped us northward quite nicely too! Not a bad day!
Also it was the first time to use the seadog sail unreefed through the day! Much fun!
A saturday. For the first time we had a tailwindforecast for our intended route.. NE @ possibly 14+ m/s! The direction was ok but the numbers were a bit hairy!
Another issue was that it was a saturday AND we had to cross Helsinki waters laterally east to west… Not fun! I really cannot recommend it to anyone.. who values their sanity in any way. Ofcourse there the the commercial traffic which behaves and is predictable although is ALOT of it!!
The there is the normal smallboat traffic.. which is mostly harmless stuff in itself. But when you add to the mix random big yachties, a couple classes of sailing competitions (100+ optimist dingies plus support boats) and the usual mix of sailboats and sightseeing tour boats doing their thing ghen a couple sea kayaks really have no space to be in! Its a bit like trying to crawl across a six-lane freeway during rush hour and expecting not to get hit… not going to happen!
We did survive Helsinki crossing .. not going to do that again anytime soon in this life..
The rest of the days paddling went well.. we had a tailwind which gave a nicepush southwest along the coast. I believe this was the first fullday of tailwind during this trip.
We visited Skorvan isle’ where we were invited to stay the night by our hosts, Helsinki based sea kayaking club Merimelojat ry.
I’ve used a couple different set ups for my kayak sail sheet pulleys. First off, the term is a bit misleading as I don’t actually have a ‘pulley’ in any of the installs! On a couple installs the sheet line passes thru a plastic pad-eye on the deck and on the other install the ‘pulley’ is actually a SS thimble knotted. I don’t see any added advantage of having an actual pulley ! Thus far my systems have been adequate.
However the thimble approach is a bit clunky in my mind. Maybe it’s because I’ve used a knot instead of splicing the thimble eye nicely into the line.. or maybe it’s just too.. Clunky!??
Anyhoo, some while back whilst surfing boatchandlers websites I noticed a very inneresting product. Something made by Antal, a lowfriction ring. Whats more, they have a product called a soft link, which at least looked aesthetically nicer than my self made unspliced thimbles!!!
“Must have” me thinks! That is, until I saw the price! The soft link with the smallest sized (7mm)low friction ring was slightly over 31€ + postage !! Ofcourse Finland is known for generally overpriced everything when it comes to yachting products.. but 31€ is just ridiculous!!
OK.. so time passes by and every time I see the clunky thimble on the deck in front of me, it annoys me ever so slightly.. which with time just gets worse. So then I get to thinking that mayhaps, I’ll buy one of those darn low-friction rings and a bit of 4mm dyneema line and make the rest meself! The ring itself costs 11€ which in my mind still IS highway robbery.. but fortunately I’ll need just the one for now (Imagine the poor yachtie who’ll need 10, 20 or more.. oh wait.. there is no such thing as a POOR yachtie… Haahaa!)
I did contemplate trying to fabricate a ring myself out of several materials.. aluminium coated with epoxy+graphite powder, or laminate something with CarbonFiber+Graphite powder etc etc etc.. And in the end the highway robbery of 11€ seemed quite decent! After all , I’ll just need the one! 🙂
So finally when the mail arrived (well, actually I had to pick the mail from the store 2 km’s from home.. but that’s Finland for ya, and another story) I was a happy and eager new owner of some 4mm dyneema line, a D-Splicer F15 .. splicer thingy, a couple Antal 7mm lowfriction rings. Add to the mix some semi sharpish scissors, splicing yarn , needle, some odds and ends. Finally armed with knowledge gleaned from a confusing dutch language instructional online videos: here, I was ready for the real deal.
First attempt, I cut the total length 35 cm.. which was way too short! Repeat after me.. 35 cm is TOO SHORT!..
Second time around.. I cut the initial dyneema line to a length of 45 cm, which at first seemed 5 cm too long but now that the first self made softlink is at hand.. it maybe just right?
How well will this work? Dunno. A couple questions that will be answered in due time:
Is the polyester line for splicing was proper?
Is is spliced properly?
Is two loops around deck line enough to keep the softlink from sliding and following the sail, left and right across the deck? It might need the three as in a proper Prusik knot…
Time will tell. Needs to be tested in use and go from there.. well hopefully sail from there!
Making a modern dyneema spliced loop was surprisingly easy and quick work with the proper tools! Making the closed loop, on second attempt took less than 10 minutes! Doing the splicing with string took about the same. Overall time was probably approx 30 minutes. I kinda liked it.
If working with Dyneema , good sharp scissors preferably ones meant for the job is a must. Making one or two soft links will go wit a sharpish household scissors.. sort of. but it will nut “cut it” in the long run! 😉
Atleast this version looks nicer than the previous version! 😉