Saturday, 20 June 2009

20 June 09 - What a blow!

22 nautical miles
Today was a pleasure cruise for the family who are staying with us right now. When they arrived I mentioned the possibility of a sail and David jumped at the idea. At least two members of the family get very travel sick so declined, but we all went down to the club - the shore based part of the family intending to swim and sun bathe.

The wind in the morning was gentle Bft 3 - Bft 4... the cyan track shows the route we sailed. This was mostly helmed by David and Anna except the downwind run back to the club which I did.

After lunch the wind had picked up quite a bit [yellow track]... really quite a bit so we reefed the main sail and I took out David plus daughter number 3... he has four daughters.

Sailing in Bft 5 - Bft 6 was very much more trying even reefed and to start with I was helming. What made it more trying was the way the wind changed direction and speed as we closed in on the shoreline. We followed roughly the same route as the morning but at significantly greater speed.

As we turned back I set the boat on a broad reach, intending to reach all the way back, I gybed once and then went about and found that I could in fact goose-wing back. Now that was great fun... we were really surfing the waves. David was calling out the numbers from the GPS... 7.5... 7.6... 8... 8.2... eventually on one tremendous surf down a wave we hit 9.1 knots! This is probably the fastest I have ever sailed Galini. That was 9.1 knots surfing while reefed on a goose-wing run!

Later Neil reckoned Blue was doing 9.2 knots surfing and I can well believe it... Blue always likes the heavier airs and outsails us in those conditions... or maybe it's just that Neil outsails me!

As we came in towards the club I found the wind abated somewhat so decided to let Christina and David have a sail.

We headed off down towards the Power Station for a few minutes letting them both helm. Christina was a study of concentration. Well, it was blowing pretty hard even still.

Since the wind was up the kite surfers and sail boarders were out enjoying the blow... though they were all inshore not enjoying the real blow a couple of miles out!

Yes, that's water all over the lens... there was spray blowing all over the place as we climbed over the waves.

She passed the helm back to her dad... now you can see the look of pure joy on his [and her] face. This is sailing and David is thoroughly enjoying it!

I took the helm for the track back to the club and the squiggles are where I am showing David how to back the genoa when going about in waves that tend to push you back. The trick is to allow the genoa to back for a few seconds, almost hove-to, and that blows the bows round making going about easier. The timing for that is important... so we did it till we got the timing right.

Well... that was a really enjoyable sail. The afternoon particularly.

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