With Joaquin threatening to interrupt our Morse Alpha Sail-training passage by forecasting landfall on the New England coast (in more than one of the models), we knew we needed to be prepared for the worst, which meant getting to a solid hurricane hole. Still, the sail would be tough. We carefully measured the conditions – wind direction, fetch, wave height, distance to anchorage, crew experience, vessel condition before carrying on for a few hours. We are now safely moored and prepping the boat for the big blow in a few days.
Yesterday’s sail was more of a sleigh ride adventure than anything to be concerned about. It was less than we prepared for, but more than a ripple on a pond. Still, my mother would have hated it! We ran down the sound under a tiny stays’l making 6-9 knots. It was amazing! Don’t use this video to imagine what sailing in a near gale feels like. The video doesn’t do it justice and all near gales are different depending on proximity to land, duration of the blow, etc.
The forecast was for 25-35 knots, with gusts to 40. The crew cannot agree on the actual speed. They say:
28 knots with gusts
30 knots with gusts to 35
30 knots with gusts to 40.
What does it look like to you?