St. Lucia - Organized Chaos
17 March 2012
We were getting ready to head north, the weather forecast called for 20 to 25 knot wind with gusts. We would be sailing on the leeward side of St. Lucia so Marc decided to put up full sails, no reefs. The sail from Soufriere to Marigot Bay started off wonderful. Not too much wind and a school of dolphins off the port side of the boat. Then shit hit the fan we had a 35 knot gust of wind hit us! I was in the salon and it felt like the boat was going to tip over. Marc tried to turn the boat into the wind to decrease the power in the sails, but the wind was so strong that it was difficult. I tried to blow the genoa but the furling line got jammed and I was not strong enough to release it. Finally the gust had passed and we were able to furl the genoa and drop the main sail. This was our scariest moment on the boat, unfortunately Eddie and Nicole got to experience it with us. After the commotion and organized chaos, we found out that Eddie and Nicole did not realize that we were somewhat shaken by the experience, they thought it was a normal day of sailing with a bit of extra excitement. Later we found out that a Swan sailboat (I think a 50 footer) lost her main in these same gusts - this would be a crazy expensive fix. We got away incredibly lucky, and did not break anything - just got a little shook up with a good lesson.