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post #10 of Old 04-07-2010 Thread Starter
Jim H
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Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I'll have to post more complete responses after we're back from the cruise, since we're entirely on the hook this week and low on electrical supplies.

Overall, I'm interested in the correct use of the headsail in heavy weather. We could have gone entirely with the headsail, or third reef on the main with part of the headsail out. As mentioned, I've heard that only having a headsail, especially a partly unfurled roller reefing one may not always be the best choice.

The second part is the best way to take down the main if there is a heavy swell to windward. Having all lines led back to the cockpit might help with this, but mostly that is done for reefing and not dousing the main entirely. Also, lowering the main turned out to be relatively straight-forward, even in the swell conditions, so maybe it's just a matter of practice.

The best parts of yesterday was the attitudes of the crew-- no one was scared at any point, and everyone bounced back quickly after feeling unwell. We really do trust our boat, and we did have full standing and rigging checks done just this winter, etc.

We hiked all over Brownsea Island today, while our boat bobbed at anchor in winds up to 20 mph (directly on shore, of course). After a chicken Korma for dinner, our daughter is now reading to the rest of us by candelight, so we can save the electrons for the anchor light. I need to get the battery monitor installed...

Tomorrow, we either sail back to the Solent, or spend a second day exploring the island and taking the ferry to Poole proper for fun. Depends on the weather and mood tomorrow.

Jim H
London, UK

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