skippyWinching

Video: Near Gale Sailing

Ben Eriksen Carey Words 11 Comments

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.

skippyWinching sailingPJtoHunt

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:
Force 7
28 knots with gusts
30 knots with gusts to 35
30 knots with gusts to 40.

What does it look like to you?

Comments 11

  1. Knut Garshol

    As you say, it is hard to judge from a video (in reality, close to impossible). I would also guess you were reading your wind instruments, so no need to ask us?
    If anything, it reminds me of a similar short run this summer on the Swedish W Coast (Lysekil) where the afternoon offered 30 to 35 kn. That would be my guess 🙂 Great fun going downwind. The other way would have been WET!

  2. Dannie

    The smiles tell it all. Running the rollers is pure excitement. I live in South Florida and the hurricane was due East of us for day. The big effect was massive rollers. I was out in my small fishing boat about 15 miles offshore and had a blast. The only boat out and the conditions were perfect. The wind was only 10-15

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  4. Keith Davie

    Looks like a lot of fun! Nice to see all the smart safety gear being used without fuss, and the job getting done without obvious drama. 😉

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