Took out the house yesterday on the St. Johns. 20 knots steady, gusts to 35 maybe 40. Good sailing weather.
The wind is blowing out of the NorthWest. I head out through the bridge and decide to run with the wind for awhile. I have only my standard jib
up. I had my little sister on board and I thought raising the main even with it reefed would be too much excitement for her.. Some people don't like when water comes over the toe rail... Anyway, Were running pretty much down wind... maybe at 4:30 or 5 o'clock to just a little off it.
We cruise down to NAS Jax and decide to start heading back up wind. St. Johns waves were large and wind was really whipping. Anyhoo, Time to gybe round and head back.
***Note: My boats 26' 4" with 6'7" draft... So I have a lot of lateral resistance.
Anyway, i gybe us round and now were at about 2-3 o'clock trying to shave in to 12 since 12 is actually the way we need to go (I know, I should have headed north out of the marina then ran downwind back for ease) So we need to go into 12 o'clocl but I cannot tack us on to a starboard tack. The jib
is up and the tiller is pushed hard over and we barely hold 2:30 before we get pushed to 4 then drift back to 230 then back to four. So I could never tack back over 12. The problem was I was riding the coast and getting to shallow water and docks. I was being overpowered by the wind/waves so that even with the jib
winched in tight I couldn't hold a 2 or 3 o'clock course.. I kept getting "slid" towards the shore.
Well after a few tacks and repeats and tries I decide the hell with bobbing around getting waves full on broad-- So I turn back around run at 5 o'clock and skinny my way into a very upscale marina that happened to be a half mile down wind or so. That is where my boat sits today.. Getting ready to go sail her back home.. Winds still out of the NW but only 10 knots so I know I can power through my tacks no problem.
***Note: Onboard is 8 HP diesel. Would barely push me through the chop into the marina so no way it would have powered me at 12 o'clock for 4 -5 miles in those conditions.
So, my question is why was I unable to tack back home? I could never get the jib
to hold a starboard breeze without forgoing any northward progress going back towards 12 so the whole time was stuck on the clocks right side between 2-5. I have lot of draft. Also, could not raise the main at that time unless I would have dropped anchor
to go bow in the wind. Otherwise would have never made it past the shrouds. I think adding more sial would hardly help matters unless it would let me shave in closer than what I was??
we were never in any real danger. I just couldnt make the boat go where I wanted despite all my best efforts. Any ideas?