Home Port; on the Delaware River at Fox Grove Marina Essington PA.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 2009

Friday August 7, 2009

Afternoon sail to PHL at slack before high tide with 10 to 15 knot wind from the east gusting to 20, forecast evening thunderstorms.
Practice setting first reef while underway; bow to the wind, lock tiller tamer, slack mainsail halyard and tie off first luff reef at goose neck then tension halyard, tie off first leech reef, and tension reef line as new outhaul.

Returning to slip a fast ebb has begun and building gusts in opposition to the ebb, port side to the dock is not going to work, motor off and come in starboard to dock with assistance from marina neighbors.

Quick calculation debris on the water covers a distance of 40ft alongside the dock in less than 5 seconds, 8ft/sec, 480ft/min, 28,800ft/hr, 5.45 statute miles/hr, 4.75 knots. Ulladh's hull speed is 5 knots. The guesstimate was 2hrs after high tide, one hour before peak tidal flow.

Tuesday August 18, 2009

Afternoon sail, low 90's F, ebb tide after high. Sail to Mifflin Bar Dike on a beam reach come about and tack in close reach with building wind shifting from out of the south to out of southwest in opposition to my course and the ebb tide back to the marina. I had previously increased tension on the forestay and appear to have reduced weatherhelm.

Smooth dock, motor against the tide, then motor in neutral as I coast to snug against the floating dock.

Marina neighbor returning as I leave.

Wednesday August 19, 2009

Afternoon sail, low 90's F, 5 to 10 knot breeze steady from southwest.
Swift close reach to Eddystone with the ebb, then come about against the ebb and a swift beam reach return to Essington.

Smooth dock using same technique as Tuesday. Returned to dock at peak ebb flow, but tidal current was suppressed by a high pressure system at the mouth of Delaware Bay, which is also blocking the westward movement of Hurricane Bill. The tidal range and current is greater when a low pressure system is at the Bay mouth.

Sunday August 30, 2009
Three Forts Ferry from Delaware City to Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island.
Built after the war off 1812 to protect Wilmington and Philadelphia from future naval attack, then during the Civil War used as a prison camp for up to 12,000 Confederate soldiers. The south battlement was modified for the Spanish American War, and last used during WWII as a garrison on the river.

The river narrows to 5 miles between Fort Dupont in Delaware and Fort Mott in New Jersey, with Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island between them.

Moat supplied with water from open sluice gate at high tide. All 3 teirs of wall openings are gun ports with large naval cannons.
Courtyard with officers quarters.

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Ulladh pronounced "ul-la" (null lad).

Uladh the gaelic spelling for the territory of the U-Nail chieftains in the ancient Irish province of Ulster (English/Norse), originally the counties of Down and Antrim, but now including Derry, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, also referred to as Ulidia (Greek/Roman),.

Uladh was the home of a pre-celtic, cruithne (crew-en-ya) pictish tribe, who may have been descendants of prehistoric tribes indigenous to the British Isles since the retreat of the last ice age.

Archeological finds date first inhabitants to about 6,000 BC and trade goods from Rathlin Island, County Antrim off the northeast coast of Ireland made from porcellanite stone appearing in Egypt and Crete by 2,500 BC.

The early tribes of Ireland where displaced by later waves of migrants from mainland Europe; about 1700 BC by bronze age tribes, celtic tribes about 500 BC, and in the past two millenia; Roman trading posts, Viking settlements, English plantations... and in the 21st century a welcome increasing diversity from the European Union and the world.

SV Ulladh (for vhf clarity I use "sailing vessel ul-la") is named for the territory of the first peoples to settle in Ireland after the retreat of the last ice age.


Since 1949 Fisksatra Varv in the coastal town of Fisksatra Sweden, built fiberglass boats from dinghies to a 300 ton minesweeper for the Swedish Navy.

The Havsfidra 20's were built between 1968 and the late 1970's to Swedish Navy and Lloyd's certification standards.

The Havsfidra 20 and a larger version the Storfidra 26 where sold in the United States by Continental Yachts and Trawler Agency of Atlantic City NJ.

Havsfidra; sea-feather?
(fidra; to touch or tickle with a feather -Icelandic-English Dictionary, Clarendon Press 1874)