I don't doubt Cruiser's account. I went out to VA Beach yesterday, and it was blowin' stink. Heavy surf, flying foam everywhere, sand stinging my eyes, whitecaps everywhere. Watching the local wx news last night, they reported 20+ mph all day with gusts over 30 (showed a graph with wind rising during the day). Since wind over land is usually slower than wind over the water due to friction, I'm sure 20 mph over land will easily translate into 20+ knots over water.
A week ago, we sailed out of Little Creek out through the entrance to the bay and back. Our instruments recorded a pretty consistent 15 - 18 knots true the whole time. I'm here to tell you the wind that day was nothing like it was yesterday!