22 November 2010 | Off Point Loma
I decided to stay put at Sun Harbor Marina due to the weather forecast (guess) from NOAA (we pronounce it as noah). Yes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (aren't you glad we mariners shortened it to NOAA), was originally calling for winds of 20-25 knots with 30 gusts for Sunday. My friend Rich came down on Saturday night to have dinner and a few brewskis at Jimmy's and spend the night, Sunday morning the guessers had changed their guess to 10-15 knots with 20 gusts. The new forecast sounded like it would be a great time for us to go out for a day sail and try out my new Yankee sail.
A yankee sail is a small headsail (jib) that enables me to be able to control Si Bon in heavy weather, my normal headsail is a 150% genoa on a roller furler, which is a great sail for up to about 10-12 knots....then things start becoming hard to control. Rich is a great sailor whom I love sailing with for a few reasons, one of which is because he is always ready to try new/different systems out, so he was the perfect candidate to use the yankee for the first time. Rich and I set up my solent stay and hanked the yankee onto it at the slip, we then headed out to sea in our foul weather gear in the rain with very little wind. As we were passing Point Loma my wind indicator started showing 5 knots, then 7, then 10....we hoisted the yankee, shut off the engine and watched the wind climb to 12-13 knots, we were slicing through the steep swells with waves coming over the bow, and the yankee and my reefed main were allowing us to easily control Si Bon...we both had ear to ear grins. The excitement lasted about 45 minutes, then we watched Mother Nature (God) start dropping the wind, and as fast as it had come ...it was gone. All in all it was a great day, I learned a lot of things to do, and a lot of things not to do with the yankee, I know 13 knots is not a great test of how the sail will perform in real heavy weather, but it did give me a good idea of it's capabilities, and it's always nice to try something for the first time in manageable conditions.
It now looks like I'll be leaving for Mission Bay on Tuesday morning and unless someone wants to join me, I'll be single handing.