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Old 10-11-2011
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Not today, but yesterday....

We were on a club rendezvous to a nearby marina for our Thanksgiving weekend.. Saturday was OK, light SE wind so the spinnaker came out for an on again/off again light air run and reach for the 18 mile trip. Patches of sun briefly but mostly dry with cloud. The forecast for the return trip Monday was 20-30 knots SE (headwind this time) and heavy rain... oh well....

Sunday was amazing, sunny, warm (shorts and T shirt) beachcombing with our kids and granddaughter, crowned by a fabulous pot-luck turkey dinner with the club.

Sure enough the rain and wind arrived overnight, though the forecast was downgraded to 20-25, peaking around noon and easing in the evening. We cast off just after 9 am and rode across and nice 15-18knot outflow wind out of Howe Sound, giving us a fast close reach straight towards home.. 5 miles out that veered to the forecast SEly, started fairly gently but quickly got into the high teens with gusts over that.

FastForward settled into the beat (frankly our favourite point of sail) powered up with full main and lapper jib. Limited fetch kept the seas down, and we quickly passed a few boats that had left before us. An adverse tide slowed things down a tad but we were making steady 6.4-6.5 knots through the water close hauled on a long favoured tack. Near the bay we put in a few hitches and that's when the fire hose got turned on. A squall came through with breeze near 20, and pounding rain (visibility down to 1/4 mile for a while). We had 5 miles to go and the sailing was so good we just hunkered down (Mrs under the dodger, of course) and enjoyed it. Slid into our slip at 1330 feeling good about the whole weekend.

Didn't hurt that we managed to keep our son and his family on their boat at bay for the entire beat... though I will admit he had me looking over the stern a time or two!
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1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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