One of the problems with not winterising your self-steering gear properly is that 18 months down the line you pay for it. When we started recommissioning Esper at the beginning of the year we were horrified to discover that our Pacific Plus self-steering gear would not budge. Worse still, I had turned the auxiliary rudder round so that it was pointing inwards and therefore made the brass gears inaccessible. Here is a video to the solution.
Although Ijsselmeer is only three metres deep it behaves very much like the sea. With fairly strong winds we unfurled the mizzen, the sail at the back of the boat that’s used to stabilise it in strong winds. With the slashing rain we were the only sailing vessel on what is normally a busy bit of water, and when the storm that had been predicted by the weathermen finally came over the sh!t really hit the fan!