another sunny day showed up so tracy and i decided to head out. small craft warning in the straight, gale warning this am, but it was supposed to calm down a bit. not. this is my limit, at least without experienced help aboard. the waves were fast and steep; i don't know how big they actually were, but when they were hitting the ogden point breakwater the spray was going about 40 feet in the air.
going to weather wasn't so bad at first but a squall came along, and even with a double reef and half-reefed jib, and mainsheet slackened off, she still went on her ear. decided to put the jib away for good and that helped; still doing four knots with just a handkerchief of sail up. the waves were spaced about a boat length apart, and were over the top of the dodger. They got worse the further out into the strait we sailed, so we came about, and that put us beam on the waves; you would go on one ear, the wave would slip by, and then end up on the other ear. gaaah, 16,000 lbs and we were like a cork bobbing around.
everything went ok, but i wouldn't want worse, 30 knots is my max, at least with waves like that. the wind was no problem you just pull in canvas, but there were times when it was hard to even stand.
it's good to find what one's comfort limit is, without busting everything.
what amazed me was that tracy didn't flinch; i kept asking if she wanted to go in, but no, she was willing to ride it out. we came in when i started getting scared (the wind and waves were building, not slackening as forecast). she was also a big help. i want to do this stuff on my own, but when you are tacking and the boat is heeling like hell, and the waves are knocking you about, it's nice to have someone else slacken the mainsheet while you helm and drag the genny over.