Maiden Voyage

I purchased Constellation on August 6th, 2006 - It's be a long road to get here, but I've finally taken her out for the first time. Yesterday was the first full day off I've had in sometime, and while the weather wasn't ideal, it was time to go sailing. I left at around 5pm, with just enough water underneath to get out of my berth. It took 35minutes to motor up the Hamble before I reached the Solent, where I raised the sails and tacked around for the very first time. It was difficult at first having to handle everything on my own, but after about an hour I was used to how things responded, and we got along quite well. The lack of self-tailing winches is somewhat difficult, an issue I'll have to deal with, considering new ones go for 200-300pounds a piece. I've noticed the sheets keep getting caught in the liferaft, meaning I will need to create some kind of webbing over the raft which still allows you to launch without too much difficulty. It was also interesting working in a harness with jackstays, but it feels much more secure being strapped in, and knowing the boat won't sail off without you.

Thanks again to everybody who has helped me get this far - I'm now readying charts and borrowing pilot books off of people around the yard, for the trip to France next week. Time is absolutely flying at the moment, and I still have so much to do. I have no idea how I will fund the Windvane at 1400euros, but I'll just keep plodding along and see where things go. If anyone out there has contacts who might be selling secondhand Windvane equipment, now is the time to pop out of the woodwork, as it could be a real showstopper. At this stage, I need two things desperately, which I have no money to pay for: An EPIRB (300pounds), and a Windvane (1000pounds), both of which I need by August at the latest...