September 18, 2016
This was really not the better of the weekend days for a sail, but I had a project to work on for my boss’ boss, in addition to watching my favorite college volleyball team play. So, since Saturday was out (as was any night during the week) my wife and I went out on Sunday.
The wind seemed extremely light in West Basin, though I maintained the single ref the sail as we headed out. The current didn’t seem too bad, and the wind was practically dead so I decided shake out the reef and go with a full main. It took a while to get going, but eventually, the wind increased and we go some great tacks as we headed — sort of — to the bay.
We handled the tack pretty well, and few powerboats were out to annoy us, when the wind suddenly grew in intensity, and we were forced to reef the jib. I probably could have (should have!) reefed the main as well, but the wind was high enough that I was concerned we would lose too much control. Of course, that’s what reefing is designed to address, but I was concerned that it would be tougher with my wife in the boat as compared to when I singlehand.
When we finally looked to come in, we heaved to, but even that didn’t work as normally planned because of the very strong current. Having my wife control the tiller as I lowered the sails was certainly a blessing, and we finally motored back into West Basin. This could easily have been the strongest current in which we’ve sailed, and it really caught me off guard.
Hercules concerned me with what seemed like missing in the engine. However, when I held my hand on the throttle at a slightly higher rpm, it hummed beautifully.
Engine 40 minutes
Sails Full, with some reefing of Genoa, including going with a “storm jib”
Chop, current Moderate to begin with, then very strong and high
Wind Slow, then gusting as high as 13 or 14; a steady 11+ back in
Time 3 hours