Tag Archives: Lessons learned

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Sketch-a-day

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I used a revised scaling and positioning method where his chest and hips are separated. His chest is now a little too wide…

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Sketch-a-day

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Eeech…I apologise for the awful drawing…proportion is all wrong and his punch is coming from the sky…

I am getting the hang of the planning process however and can do it at a decent speed. Now I just need to focus more on proportion.

time taken: 10mins

edit: better…but still requiring improvements…

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Sketch-a-day

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The next step…re-drew the walking pose to practise it a bit more. Am much happier with the walk, but less happy with his face, it’s too big and doesn’t look enough like this as yet unnamed character.

time taken: 20mins

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Sailing like a pro

So I worked up the courage to get the main sail out and give it a whirl. There were several things that stopped me doing this beforehand.

Firstly I wanted to get the hang of using the fore sail, tacking, gybing and getting used to the angles and trimming possibilities.

Secondly, when the boat heeled it would frighten me. I knew that the boat wouldn’t just tip over, but that didn’t stop it feeling like WAS going to tip over. I needed some time to get used to it.

Little did I realise until after using the main that all my issues would be solved.

I was having problems sailing to windward, the main sail fixes that making it a breeze to get decent speed when close hauled with minimum fuss. With a genoa alone the helm required was significant and was a bit of a fight.

I was having trouble getting the speed required for tacking in light airs. The main sail gives me that speed, and the jib can just be used for manouverability.

I was haivng trouble getting my hands free from the tiller to adjust the genoa’s sheets because Esprit would just head up into the wind immediately. The mainsail balances the helm wonderfully so I can tinker here and there.

All in all using the main sail is the best idea I had yet and after a bit more research I am confident that I can pilot Esprit safely even in moderate seas. The main is held to the runners in some cases by cable ties, true, and I am sailing with a permanent reef so there is no chance what-so-ever of me banging my head off the boom. This is a compromise I am more than happy with.

I may even replace the cable ties one day.

Here is the video! Under the harbour bridge and back. You can see the heel as I go upwind, and I kindly cut out the long boring tacks so the video is just one long, intense thrill ride. Hang on!

 

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More things

The bottom scrape that I managed was almost two months ago! Means Esprit is long overdue some attention in that department.

There was nothing serious, some small barnacles and whatnot, and I managed to eject the sea squirt that was clogging the toilets intake nozzle…more on that story later…

 

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Hahaha!

Yes! Laughter indeed! I traded in my serviceable yet inadequate kayak for an inflatable dinghy and engine!

Nothing huge, 2.4m hull and a 2.3hp motor, but it means I can now travel safely in rough weather and not fall in again, carry gear to and from Esprit, and ferry fishing companions across.

I can also hoon around for no reason at all.

Totally going fishing sometime soon. Should really clear off Esprit’s butt gak before I try and sail again.

Anyway, enough jibberjabber! Here is the video!

 

Third sail, to Little Shoal Bay!

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A much more modest mission today! My housemate and I took to the waves for a two hour ride to little shoal bay.

The wind was low to moderate for the duration of the sail, picking up to be consistently moderate once we passed under the bridge for the second time. I failed one tack because the wind was not strong enough to take the bow through the wind, but it was fine, I just turned it into a gybe. Tacking back and forth across ‘regular’ Shoal Bay we got some reasonable lean, enough to make Sarwan exclaim. This was his first time sailing.

I had my usual ambient terror, which ebbed once the day went on.

Third sail:

Things learned: 50

Shit yo’ pants moments: 0

Second sail, to Rangitoto!!

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You can see above my approximate route. It was rather a hectic day and I think I bit off a little more than I could chew, but damn it! I chewed none the less!

Started out pretty chill, blowing a low to moderate south westerly and I cruised slowly under the genoa alone all the way out to Rangitoto. It took probably about an hour and a half. That was when the fun started… It was around two o’clock and I thought getting on home might be a good idea, the wind had picked up and I was getting hungry.

I would like to mention at this point that until now I had only ever actually completed two manouvres, which were the failed tack into a gybe and the successful gybe shown in my first sailing video. I was terrified to say the least, but I am of the opinion that if something is scary that does not mean it should be avoided, instead it should be bested, if possible.

So I started a series of close reaches, tacking back and forth across the mouth of the Tamaki Straight. The boat was heeling at some points until the gunwhale was skimming the surface, and I was terrified, but it felt under control, and when the wind gusted too hard I would turn off the wind to de-power a bit. I realised after a while that I was not going to be able to point high enough to get a decent angle on the channel, and there was no way I was hoisting the main, but I persevered thinking that it didn’t matter if it took a while as I was learning a lot.

As I was approaching the star marked on the map a stronger than usual gust hit, and I tried to turn off only to have the boat wrenched down at the nose as the sails caught the full force of the wind. The prow nearly buried and there was an awful groaning. I was terrified, somehow even more terrified than my ambient level of terror. I loosed the sheets, pulled down the sail and jammed it into the anchor well. Then I turned on the motor and blasted head first into the force five wind and waves for the 40 minutes it took me to get home.

Once moored I ate an entire packed of chocolate chip cookies and drank some lovely warm tea. The sugar and warmth restored a bit of sanity, just in time for the winds to drop… Typical.

But now I know to turn INTO the wind to de-power.

Second sail:

Things learned : 200+

Shit yo’ pants moments : 2 (one lasted the entire day, and one was rather acute)