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Old 04-03-2012
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Catalina!!!

Last weekend turned out to be the time. It wasnt perfect, but close! We left Newport Harbor at 8 am on Saturday. Calm seas and no wind. We motor sailed the whole way at 6-6.5 knots. Total travel time exactly 5 hours. We could have pushed the motor harder, but we were not in a rush. Ate lunch, napped and then set out for a late afternoon sail as the winds picked up...AWESOME! Went to the back side of the island and saw things and beaches not accessible from land. Its been the same in some places for hundreds of years. Untouched. It was amazing thing that looking due west...there was no land until Hawaii. The forecast was for wind and rain at night. We got it! A little rain and a LOT of wind. Had a hearty breakfast then set sail. 15 foot BREAKING waves and 25 MPH winds. Winds were not as big as what we were in a few weeks ago, but these waves were breaking. No motor and just full main. I was thinking of reefing but the S30 has a pretty small main, it gets most power and control from the jib. We were doing 6-8 knots. the problem was it was tough to keep on course as the current kept pushing us south. We actually pushed farther north so if in a jam near harbor we could head downwind, rather than having to beat upwind in rough seas. The first 2 hours was tense and at some times violent! We took shifts on the tiller, I did ok, but I felt that at any moment a rogue wave would hit and I wouldn't know what to do. The previous owner took over in stretches. He was at the tiller when a rogue wave hit. All I heard was "HOLD ON!"...I looked up and saw a wall of water breaking above us about to hit us on the beam. He turned sharply into the wave at the last second and BAM! Sounded like an explosion....Water everywhere, and the 3rd crewman saying "Oh Yeah!!!!". I was drenched from head to toe...lucky I had the foul weather gear on! We noticed a white sail on the horizon behind us. We decided we were going to make sure we beat them to the harbor. We thought it was the Peterson 44 Cutter that we saw preparing to leave after us. A faster boat for sure with 2 headsails and a great big main. This made us forget about the wind and waves and focus on getting the boat to move. Open up our jib, and the boat went for 5.5 knots to 7! The wind calmed down a bit and the waves were big but not breaking...Probably 10 foot swells and 15-20 mph winds. This was almost perfect for this boat! It was near effortless to sail! These are also tired sails, I was wondering what we could do with new Cruising Laminate sails. The faster boat was gaining on us, but we were still keeping the boat moving! We ended up north of the harbor, so we jibed a few times and then hit the harbor close hauled at 6.9 knots! The boat eventually caught us right at the harbor entrance...it turned out it was a faster J/105 with full carbon sails! We felt pretty good to have made such good speed. I felt like I won the Around The World race or something...Amazed by the S30! What a great old boat...fast and stable, I never doubted its sea-worthiness...my doubts came from my lack of experience in those conditions, but I learned ALOT in probably as controlled an environment. 2 VERY experienced crew, one who owned and sailed the boat for 8 years before me in MUCH worse conditions. On the way over one of the batteries began smoking and I think its fried...I'll be replacing it. I just switched to my second battery and ran on one without a hitch. Other than that the boat came away unscathed and again I felt like I learned ALOT from it. Its amazing how far I have come...6 months ago I was afraid to leave the harbor, now I am stretching out. In total I sailed 80 miles in 2 days! GOOD TIMES!!!! Pics and videos to come!
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