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post #4 of Old 01-13-2010
Midwest Puddle Pirate
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I'm not nearly as experienced as many here, but I did just get done with a trip to Bimini. The forecast for the day we left Ft Lauderdale was NW winds at 7 building to 15 overnight. Seas were 2-4 feet. We were sailing a Lagoon 440 on a bareboat charter. The forecast held true and we motorsailed through the night. About an hour or so away from Bimini the winds were about 15 and we could have shut off the motors, but at that point we decided to let them run. Seas were a little confused, but not bad. The waves were a little steeper than we would like, but not bad. Overall it was a good crossing.

On the return trip the forecast was for a south wind at 15-18 clocking around to the west in the evening. The first part of the trip was exactly what was called for.

We were making great time, as we were going to make Gun Cay to the PE channel in just over 6 hours, but then the wind started to change a little sooner than expected. At about 15 miles out the wind started picking up. At about 10 miles out the wind came around on our nose. I furled the headsail and put a reef in, started the engines and motorsailed. Then the squall line hit us with 40+ knot winds. It got pretty rough, but nothing the boat wouldn't handle. Climbing the mast steps to secure the main was a bit uncomfortable though. Before the wind changed, the gps had us at 1 hour and 10 miles from PE. It took us 2.5 hours to get there.

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John USYacht 27 "Cora Lee"
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