The gales of an isolated spring

The thought of riding out another southerly gale in the middle of Knock Down Alley between Dutch Island and Jamestown felt like a long growling sigh, grrr-argh! But Sunday was the quintessential Narragansett sailing day, 15 to 20 with gusts to 25 from the south-south-east. So, before the wind really kicked up I (James) hauled 200 ft of chain back aboard S/V S.N Cetacea, hauled the mainsail aloft and set the Staysail and Yankee. Away we flew at 5.5 knots, off the wind and against the 1.4 knot current! We figured since we were in no hurry to get out into the cold angry ocean and get our asses handed to us post haste, we’d take advantage of the promised perfect sailing Sunday. Why not head downwind, back to the sheltered cove behind Goddard State Park in the lee of a forest with the hook down to wait out the next soaking southerly gale? And we figured correctly. The sailing was incredible! By the time we got under the Jamestown bridge, the first reef was down (for the first time on our new Bacon Mainsail) and the boat settled right into her 4.5 knots. The reefs need some tweaking and the new process for doing the job quickly needs to be practiced, but the internal reefing system we built last week works very well. It’s smooth and easy to lock down which is everything we need it to be. S/V S.N. Cetacea is a sailing vessel through and through! She digs into the water and gets stronger as the wind increases and we did this, Dena and I. It’s an incredible feeling to take an abused and under-used sailing rig and dial it in to near perfection. The weather didn’t stay mild for long, being as though it’s that kind[…]

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