|This photo is a bit enhanced with contrast but not excessively. It was really dark that day. The western horizon shows a bit of daylight yet also a squall to the WSW. Water was warm nonetheless.|
Looks like Christmas this year in the USA is somewhat abnormal with the El Nino effect bringing warm temps to a large part of the northeast. Not sure how long that effect will continue, but makes one wonder if any dories will be splashed on Christmas Day as a result!
As the warm temps hit the northeast, the southeast is being tackled by moderate temps with increasing stormy conditions sweeping from west to east. Lots of rain and turbulence are making sure we keep our lake levels up and our soil saturated this year. Up until just a week ago we were enjoying balmy temps and good winds. Now we're soaked-in, constant rains, but at least no freezing temps!
|Looks like that rail's buried! My winches weren't yet polished this time last year. The lead from the genoa is pulled across the cockpit to a cleat on the cabin top where it is closer for me to release.|
It was just a year ago I had set out for a windy bit of sailing on Lake Murray. What began as a stiff breeze, built into a strong northwest wind with foreboding ceiling. But I still remember that day, very grey and menacing, very windy, first reef in the main, and steady waves from the west.
The compass acted as a clinometer. Baggy Wrinkles did fine, a tribute to a great design of such a sturdy vessel.
The reef definitely helped reduce weather helm as I headed west, down the lake as we say, toward the famous Bomb Island (used for target practice during the second war).
So, while this Christmas weather changes our expectations a bit, we realize that these changes happen, whether it is global warming or whether it is simply the earth going through its phases of life. It's good to reflect back once in a while and remember a brisk but fun sail last winter. I'm sure there's much more winter ahead too!