Sailing in a Gale in Chuuk - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-14-2016 Thread Starter
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Sailing in a Gale in Chuuk

Good afternoon fellow sailors and sailing enthusiast,

Yesterday I went out for a day sail on a 47' Irwin Ketch from 1976. The wind was steady 20+ knots with gust over 30 frequently occurring. We pulled up anchor at 9:15 am and dropped anchor at 5:15 pm. It was a great day.

I have read a lot of people who treat gales as no sailing weather. I believe it depends a lot on the boat, its size, and the area you are sailing. The day was partly to mostly cloudy but otherwise perfect for going out. A mistake was made by an unnamed person who had somehow neglected to tie off the bitter end of the jib sheet. That means as soon as we started to let the jib unfurl and the wind caught it the sail was unfurled fully in a seconds time with the sheet flying out to port. It took 10-15 minutes to get this situation fixed and then we tried again only unrolling about 35-40% of the jib. It worked to perfection. The main is also roller furling and so we only pulled out around the same as the jib. We decided against raising the Mizzen as there were a lot of novice sailors on board and it was simply not needed. A mizzen does help in higher winds as it keeps the ass from being pushed out and acts to help stabilize the boat. Still, we were fine with the jib and main alone.

We sailed North to the North end of Wedo before tacking due West and going straight to the edge of the lagoon. Once there were gybed south and ran with the wind a bit before coming back. Due to the set and drift of the current we had to tack once more to avoid a sand bar coming back in.

Conditions were a bit rough. The wind has been blowing 20+ for two days before we went out so seas were up to 7' at times. The boat took them all with ease. A large number of the people who went with us did get sea sick however. I will post some pics and perhaps a video for those who have never been out in a "gale."

***Gale is being used in a friendly manner. I am not encouraging anyone to go out in weather they are not able to cope with. I hope you enjoy the pics.***

-Smyrna
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-14-2016
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Re: Sailing in a Gale in Chuuk

Oh hell yeah!!

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post #3 of 9 Old 02-14-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing in a Gale in Chuuk

Few more.
-Smryna
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-14-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing in a Gale in Chuuk

Sorry, I am unable to figure out the video upload process at the moment. If anyone would like some clips post the instructions for upload and I will put them up.
Until next time,
-Smryna
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-14-2016
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Re: Sailing in a Gale in Chuuk

Gales are fun, but one has to have an understanding of what a Gale is: a steady 20-30 Knots on or just outside of SF Bay can be normal Sailing weather, with much stronger gusts; near Marina Del Rey, a change of underwear is recommended.

I used to have no problem hanking on a 70, and setting out with two reefs in, for having some fun in the Rollers and Chop. Once though, I got caught in a Williwaw- the boom tore off of the mast, taking some six feet of mast track with it, and I spilled my drink...

I'm looking forward to further posts from Smyrna.

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post #6 of 9 Old 02-14-2016
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Re: Sailing in a Gale in Chuuk

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Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
...and I spilled my drink...
That's when you know it's time to head in...or at least get better at balancing your drink.
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-14-2016
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Re: Sailing in a Gale in Chuuk

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
That's when you know it's time to head in...or at least get better at balancing your drink.
I now recommend Sippy Cups. And if whatever one is drinking has an Olive, one is less likely to choke on it.

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post #8 of 9 Old 02-15-2016
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Re: Sailing in a Gale in Chuuk

In many places this is nice day sail. Example would be Xmas winds or kite season in Caribbean or even early spring or fall off Newport. Paulo would also say not unusual off coast of Portugal much of the year or west coast of France.

Is fun and you need to be on you're game.


Btw maybe wrong but think this is upper end of fresh breeze. Gale is constant wind of 34-40kts. Sailing in a gale is work not fun for me or I think most folks.

Bob's Baba is seeing one gale after another with storms in between. That's why I have no desire to go there. I'm too much a wimp.
There's old sailors and bold sailors but few old,bold sailors
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Last edited by outbound; 02-15-2016 at 12:46 AM.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-15-2016
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Re: Sailing in a Gale in Chuuk

LOL, Lk. Ontario sailing, either no wind or a small craft advisory and 2+ meter waves.
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