That Was A Surprise

November 5, 2016

Decisions, decisions.  A good decision I made today was not shaking out the reef in the mainsail.  I was sorely tempted.  My ghosting during the first 15-20 minutes or so almost had me coming back in the marina, as a boat from the sailing club did.  The water was very unusual: it seemed to be uniformly rippling, but that seemed to be an indicator of almost no wind, and I was very frustrated before I saw another boat heading toward the bridge.  Mind you, that wasn’t where I wanted to sail, but it seemed like I might catch a puff by heading that way.  I did.

The puff I caught took me back and forth for about 30-50 minutes, as I sailed toward Solomons, then back toward the base. I even thought I might sail into the marina again.  After some pleasant minutes at this little pastime, the wind built incredibly fast, so much so that I reefed the Genoa into a storm jib.  That was harder than it should have been, but I kept my head about me, and also lowered the main so I could motor back to the marina.  While not at its best, Hercules did get me back into the west basin.  And surprisingly, it didn’t stall at low idle, either going forward, or backwards down the fairway.  And that was a win.

Engine                                     40 minutes, and in need of maintenance

Sails                                         Main reefed; Genoa mostly out, then storm

Chop, current                          Completely dead, then moderate

Wind                                       Low to very high: storm jib worthy

Time                                        2.5 hours

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