To Reef or not to Reef

August 2, 2017

Does it make sense to try to sail to the bay using the engine for the shortest possible time, or is it just better to get out there with the engine, so I can have fun?  I’ve always tried to get out into the river and use the sails to move toward the bay or across the river rather than to motor everywhere.  Isn’t that what sailors are supposed to do?  I only asked that of myself because so many other sailors from both West Basin and Solomons seem to motor out with perhaps their mains raised then deploy their jibs once they’re into the bay proper.  I of course raise mine in the basin because it’s generally easier than raising it in the river because of the generally lower winds within the west basin.

Dealt with a great deal of wave action on the bay proper, and had to contend with the Wednesday night races on the way back.  I managed to avoid colliding with the sailboats and finished for first ever five hour day in the boat.

And going out later did seem to make a difference — at least for today.

Engine                                     40 minutes

Sails                                        Reefed and Full Sail

Chop, current                          Variable, especially on the bay

Wind                                        Variable, 5-9 mph

Current                                     Moderate

Time                                         5 hours

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