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Old 05-06-2013   #66
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Re: 2013 Sailing Season

Of all the places I have sailed the Delaware Bay have been some of the nastiest with opposing wind and tide and those damned 4 second interval waves. It isn't called the home of the square wave for nothing. Once past Egg point back in the river its not as bad, but in the wide open fetch further down like near the Miah Maul it can be downright brutal and stop forward progress easily.

Wave height was 2-4 on the readings I saw at the entrance and also the Miah Maul station. but the interval was very short.

Glad you had an uneventful trip.

Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
I joked to Ulladh that because of sequestration, NOAA is playing back reruns from prior years. Their forecasts this weekend certainly seemed to be the opposite of what actually happened.

On Saturday we both ended up in heavy seas that pushed our boats to the limits. We sailed down to Miah Maull Shoal in the forecast 5-10 kt breeze, I had shaken out the prior day's reef because it seemed so benign, things really died for about an hour and then WHAM, it kicked up like crazy with big following seas. I was able to get the main completely down and sailed downwind on genoa alone. I'm glad I was clipped in as the boat heaved like crazy. For over 2 hours I had to have both hands on the wheel at all times. My mouth was totally dry and I couldn't even grab the water bottle. Out of the hundreds of waves, I misjudged one and broached with water over the gunwale (less than a gallon). I pulled the wheel with all my might to recover, and got out of it before the next wave could roll me. Judging by the traffic on Ch 16 and the belated small craft advisories (which were not present that morning), it seemed like the Chesapeake and the Delaware Bays had similar stinky conditions that afternoon.

After my steering chain jumped a link in a brief 20kt blow last year, I did some stuff to reinforce the steering system bracket down below. It held this time without a single jumped link, so I'm glad I reinforced it! Otherwise I am sure my steering sysem would have failed and I would have been in deep doo-doo with my little emergency tiller.

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