March is here, and the sailing this time of year in Pensacola is as usual
unpredictable but exciting. Those 20+ mph gusts really get your heart
pounding if you are in a smaller boat. I'm talking bay sailing here.
I was out a few weeks ago and the NOA weather report was for winds West /
Southwest 10 - 17 with gusts up to 23 mph. I think some of those gusts
were a little higher. I did learn that "on my boat", if the "sustained"
gusts get much over 23mph and I'm flying a reefed (first point) and a
working jib. The wind tends to over power the rig and the boat tries to
run. It's always nice to learn your boats limits and not break something. I
did drop the jib eventually and run all the way home on a reefed main. I do
need to look into another set of reef points for my main.
Started to go out again today, the wind blowing out of the East with the
usual 20 mph + gusts. I got out on the bay and realized that if the
situation got any rougher I probably would not be able to get home as the
wind would be on the nose. In my experience, if the chop gets to bad an
outboard is useless. So I packed it in and motored back in.
Now here is the question you all have been holding your breath for ! I
know there are some of you sail jocks out there who prefer higher winds.
Say 20mph or so, in 25 ft or less blasted sail boats. I am courious as to
how you manage getting into or out of your slip or trailer in these
At this time a friend is loaning me dock space on a very sheltered canal.
But where the c***dumps into Perdido Bay is so shallow that many times I
have to crank the swing keel all the way up just to get through. Naturally
this is a rather narrow slot to run.
I don't care what the chart says, I can't be aground, there's water under