Rain & Wind

Trip Start Apr 29, 2011
Trip End Sep 03, 2011

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Flag of Latvia  ,
Monday, June 20, 2011

The unpleasant and unseasonable conditions here in the Baltic continued unabated. The wind was blowing a good F6 and with stronger gusts, it rained intermittently and it was cold. Moreover, the fish processing plant was working full belt but thankfully the wind direction took the smoke well away from us. One other point - the Swedish system as described yesterday is a great one for boats in that no part of the boat is touching a pontoon so it is not being rubbed. However, in windy conditions, it is important that the warps ie the ropes that attach you to the shore, have a bit of give in them to allow for the boat's movements with the wind and wavelets. If you have a non-stretchy one, like I had put on the night before, then you get a periodic, random, graunching sound that disturbs your sleep. Not enough of a noise to warrant struggling to replace it in the middle of the night, just enough to ensure that you feel slightly less than fully rested when you get up. So, the first job of the day was to change that warp for a stretchy one!

Grumbles over: the fact of the matter is that we have not been storm bound or bad weather bound once, so far this trip. When compared to previous years, we are doing really well. So we spent the morning doing little jobs. One bright idea I had was to cut a 1’ piece of plastic tubing lengthwise so that I could slip it over the stern warp ie the one attached to the buoy. I could then move the warp to the downwind side of the boat , the effect of this is that the boat now lies at a much better line to the pontoon, nearer to 90. I needed the piece of plastic as the angle of the line coming out of the cleat takes it across the backstay (bit of wire holding the mast up) and it would soon chafe through but this little fix sorts out the problem.

After lunch, we decided to catch the bus into Ventspils. The harbourmaster had the timetable for the no. 20 bus and the stop was outside, but no bus appeared at the scheduled time, so we decided to walk in, the route taking us along the extensive harbour (>2km long). We passed more cows, (see photos) – we were really impressed with Travelling Cow. At the end of the harbour, more or less, was the Tourist Information office and enquiries there showed us that the timetable the harbourmaster was using was out of date! Problem solved, we thought. The young girl in the office also very kindly photocopied our passports for us: this way we can keep the passports safe when we’re in St Petersburg whilst still having some form of identification with us.

After a wander around Ventspils, a nice airy town but quite modern, we did a bit of shopping then headed back to the boat, via the no. 20 which arrived bang on the (proper) scheduled time. We then spent the evening chatting to various people on Skype and Julie got her Casualty fix. A nice day despite the iffy weather. So much so, especially as the weather is not supposed to be any better tomorrow, we decided to stay another day.
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