Tonight is the eve of the Orcas Island Yacht Club's famous "Round the County" race. Basically the course is to go around the entire San Juan island group (the main cruising grounds of the Pacific Northwest) over 2 days. In order to be less austere and more party oriented, it is a 2 days regatta with no night racing. ie we all sail to a harbor, party on a dock barge, then sail the next day around the second half of the island group.
Home | Round the County
Course. Red for day one, blue for day two:
Winds according to NOAA's crystal ball:
SAT...NE WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT.
SAT NIGHT...E WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING SE 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT.
SUN...SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT.
WIND WAVES 2 TO 5 FT.
SUN NIGHT...SE WIND 25 TO 35 KT EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 4 TO 6 FT SUBSIDING TO 2 TO 4 FT.
Should be wet, cold, windy and fun. Just like last year! Might be rain, temperatures 30s to 40s
My mission, that I have chosen to accept, is to stay warm this year. Since I've been sailing around these here windy, rainy, cold parts for upwards of 10 years, I've got most of my gear down to a pretty good science. Usually, I'm warm when many others aren't.
One part of my body that I just can't seem to keep warm when racing is my hands. This year, I'm out to solve that. I can't do what I need to do as a race crew without having my hands and fingers free so I haven't been able to use full finger insulated gloves. Last year I tried some 3mm bass fishing gloves that had slits for the finger and thumb to poke out when you needed them. The hands still ended up as wet cold claws.
This year I have a variety of things that I will trial. Included in the list are:
My regular 3/4 sailing gloves, which I will wear as under-gloves.
Backpacking full finger "windstopper fleece" gloves.
6mm neoprene scuba gloves that I might use as over-goves.
Cheap PVC uninsulated Alaskan fish processing gloves to use as over-gloves.
Chemical toe warmers with adhesive (to stick to the backs of my hands)
And the item I really hope will help. I bought a "hand muff" like the quarterbacks in the NFL use. Inside that is a pocket for a "mega" sized chemical hand warmer. It looks like this:
My ears are also difficult to keep warm, and I have a variety of things I'll try for that, including a neoprene kayaking "helmet liner". I'll report back on what worked and what didn't and hopefully have something to contribute to the BFS thread as well!