On the Bay
While sailing on a sunny Wednesday, three different weather reports predicted three different conditions. The first report called for a calm and windless day. The second called for nine mph sustained winds with gusts up to fourteen, and Chef Judy found a third report providing a small craft advisory. Looking at the two other reports and the clear seas around us, we didn’t think that the small craft advisory would be accurate. However, after sailing for an hour under power, due to no wind, we were hit with the first of several 30 mph gusts. The third forecast had been realized, with sustained winds at 25 mph with gusts even higher. What had started as a very calm afternoon had turned into an exhilarating ride, with the Dauntless keeling so heavily that her side rail was almost in the bay. Even with these challenging conditions, the Dauntless performed as designed. While many other boats of this size would have rounded out almost immediately, we were able to maintain complete control with a smooth ride as we sliced through the waves. After about an hour of this, we decided to join the fleet of small ships heading back to port, with salt in our hair and smiles on our faces.
The moral of this story is to reef early! (Reef means to reduce the amount of sail) We learned that the Dauntless is able to fight back against challenging conditions with ease, and we are more confident than ever that we will be able to handle whatever the seas throw at us – even if we may want to reef a little sooner!