During the 2nd day of our combined ASA 101 and 103 courses. Winds averaging (when they were steady) 10-15 kts. Puffs up to 18-20 kts. The puffs were fun. Once when I was at the helm, on a close reach, had "a" puff coming. (Learned how to see 'em coming this day.) Only it turned out it was three little puffs in a row... followed by one BIG puff. Each of the three, I beared off and got her back on her feet. The BIG puff - which hadn't revealed itself, so it must've been aloft - I kept bearing off and bearing off and she kept burying herself deeper and deeper. About the time the instructor started telling me to point up, instead, to depower the sails, I was already somehow instinctively moving the wheel in that direction.
Later, on another, close hauled, tack: Instructor (sitting on a leeward bench, looking over his shoulder): "Remember how I told you guys, earlier, that because of the amount of freeboard this boat has, it takes a lot to get her rails in the water?" "Yes," we reply. "Well," he said, "you've managed to do it." (Was me behind the helm again
.) She didn't feel overpowered at the time--tho I suppose perhaps she was. She was definitely under control. Didn't really have (much of) a weather helm, as I recall. I believe we had a reef in by that point.
By the end of the day we were all sailing by the helm, the feel of the boat and the set of the sails, only eyeballing the compass, windex and tell-tales for confirmation. (My wife started-out that way, having had the most experience of the three of us.)
Boy, was that ever a good time
Boat was a 34' Hunter, btw.