I went out to the lake today intending to get some sailing in. Well, when I got there I realized it was super windy! Sustained winds at about 18 mph, gusting to 22 mph.
I’ve never sailed in that heavy of wind, so I initially decided to just make it a “work” day instead of a “play” day.
There were a couple things I needed to accomplish anyway. I had to reconfigure a dock line I have set up to stop the boat if I happen to come into the slip a little too fast. It needed to be fixed because the last two times I came in a little hot and ended up tapping the front of the slip. No damage incurred, but I’d really rather not be doing that.
About 10 minutes into my “work” I decided I’d just go for it…I really would rather be sailing! I reefed the main before setting out so I wouldn’t have to mess with it later.
I released the dock lines holding the boat and immediately the winds began pushing me out of the slip. If only the wind had been straight on the bow… It was coming in slightly off the port side so I was being pushed at an angle, not straight out. Before I could get the tiller and the motor in sync my starboard quarter was rubbing the slip side. Once I was finally clear, it was an easy process getting out of the harbor.
Out in the open I was motoring (beating) straight into the wind…feeling very thankful I had a reliable motor! Karma was looking very much at ease, sitting right outside the companionway, so I decided to take a quick photo. I grabbed my phone and as I took the photo, she decided she wanted to visit the bow. Well, she almost took an inadvertent swim with that maneuver (see photo).
Only problem with her taking a swim is that she can’t swim… Oops… She sinks like a rock if she gets in water. I guess it’s really about time for me to get her a lifejacket.
Once I got out of the harbor, it was an easy process getting the reefed main up and the motor turned off. I unfurled the jib, but accidentally let a little too much out. The boat quickly set itself on a port tack and heeled about 20-25 degrees. I let the jibsheets loose to gain some control and began rolling some of the jib in to reef it. It flapped about fairly violently for a few seconds, but once I got it reefed things quietened down and I was moving along pretty well. I fell off to a broad reach and maintained that tack for about a mile or more. I met up with a few fairly good wind gusts which made things a little exciting.
I decided it was time to head back in, so I came about and put myself on a starboard tack for the return trip. Everything went well until I was furling up the jib. I guess I didn’t get it tight enough because I still had about two rolls left when I couldn’t pull the furling sheet anymore. I’ll have to make sure and re-roll it before my next outing.
Here’s a few photos I took.