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Old 07-26-2010
sailordave sailordave is offline
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Chesapeake Bay Sun, 7/25

Okay, I've pretty much ignored this thread b/c, well I just didn't care. Even though I've done a few "BFS". Just never thought I needed to talk about them.

Yesterday however we were out in the club's C320 w/ another couple (she had never sailed, he only a couple of times) and it was a nice day, wind filled in to 12,13 knots. We were south of Chesapeake Beach and could see a dark cloud over Herrington Harbor South so I said let's just go back down south a mile or so and hang until it blows across the Bay. Well, it got a little darker and darker and then about 20 min. later some chick got on Ch16 and started SCREAMING almost incoherently about MAYDAY, Bad storm, HHS. With 60 seconds you could see the squall coming down the bay and it was on us. We were on Stbd heading NW at the time and we got blown down rail under. Struggled to get control of the jib, dropped the main enough to get the reef in, started the engine. Took some doing but we FINALLY tacked which made me feel a lot better b/c now I had lots of sea room and new the squall would blow over long before we'd get blown across the Bay.

Thing was this storm moved NW to SSE; not typical of most squalls we see here. I watched the replay on the weather when we got home.

Then the main ripped about half way up from the leech about 4-5' fwd toward the luff. I just ignored it and kept forereaching w/ the small amount of jib and 2K rpms on the engine. Found the GPS and it said we were doing just over 2 knots. Okay, so this is cool and other than the occasional REALLY big wave (6') that knocked us it wasn't too bad. Water was bathwater warm. GF got the lifejackets out for everyone and my gloves which was too little too late as my hands already had burns on them (ouch, they hurt today!) and took the wheel when I needed to do something.

To their credit the young couple w/ us didn't freak out, he even thought it was COOL! After 40 min. it blew through and we motorsailed in. A couple of other boats were going in also. One of them said he saw 52 knot gusts.
I asked the (nervous wreck looking) woman on a SAILTIME boat that was tying up what she saw; she said 45 and quit looking after that!

Shoot we were the smallest boat out there of the boats I saw afterwards.
Not something I WANT to repeat but it wasn't terrible. Cleaned up the mess below from stuff getting thrown and the residue of GF's lunch and it was all good. (First time she's ever puked w/ me. ) Untangled the jib sheets which had knotted themselves a bit. Took the sail off to see if it's repairable or not. IT was due to be replaced this winter so I'm not upset about that. Just kicking myself for not checking the weather while we were out there. But then hot summer days ALWAYS have the possibility of T'storms.

Pisser was Thomas Point Light, just 12-14 miles north never got it. I checked and the highest they had was gust to 16. WTH?

Cove point to the south had gusts in the mid 40's.
Us? We got the brunt of it all.
It's all good. And the other couple thought it was fun.
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