|The Cape Dory Typhoon, much like her larger sisters, wears a poker face.|
The other day was one of those forecasts. It was partly cloudy and some rain had been forecast but no convection. Later in the day some heavy brutish clouds began to roll toward the lake just while I headed for the docks.
|Yes, she is rarin' to go as the wind bears down on her from the Northwest. I have her outboard down below just in case we get into a pinch. We didn't.|
|She shows off her clean grey boot stripe ready for play.|
The wind was predicted to be some crazy combination of 16kts, not 15 but 16, rather funny itself that it was so precise. So 16kts it was, with gusts up to 35 at times. I consulted a few wind sites and settled that there'd be some good wind for the dory. Of course I didn't want to just jump into a melee of angry gusts, but I'd read these forecasts before and few met up to their original estimates. I decided I'd splash Baggy Wrinkles and reef her up one. After all, I've got to get as much sailing out of her as I can before I'll permit her to find another owner.
So, as is my habit, I launched for a 3 day window. And if things deteriorated, I'd pull her out on day 2. That is, if the conditions became violently stormy, or, if the conditions deteriorated so that there was no wind left at all, I'd get her out and clean her up and cover her till next time. I put in the first reef as I was accustomed with this sort of wind and left it in all day.
|Day one, cloudy with some dark bottoms ahead, bow splashing excitedly into the small waves being pushed down the lake.|
First day was pretty brisk, I must admit. However, the forecasts did not measure up. Yes, there were white-caps and waves, and yet my wind meter only topped at 20kts and most of the gusts were sub 20. But there was a steady 16 kts. The lake is longer than it is wide and this blow was aiming at us from the northwest, so it made for an easy sail to the west and the veritable "Bomb Island," which I've written about previously. From my rough calculations it took exactly 30 minutes for us to cover the 2 mile jaunt up, 8 minutes around and 30 minutes back to starting point. We were making around 4kts an hour.
Day two, was quite a bit different than day one. Winds were out of the North, not blowing as strong, perhaps 15 at most in a gust and 10 consistently, with a nice happy ceiling of sunshine. And, due to the obstruction of land and trees, the wind would pulse between its blows either catching you by surprise, or, in my case, giving me time to eat something and get a drink before the next blow.
|Bright and warmer, gusts were periodically very strong but relented once they realized Baggy Wrinkles loved it.|
And over she'd go, with her first reef, she was fine rolling a bit onto her side and pushing forward under the load, reminding me of a draft horse making her way across the water. Two days of sailing, one was very frenetic and lively, and the second was periodically enjoyable with its strong gusts blowing over rather flat water, you get the feeling of moving along quite quickly. We observed a large cloud formation with definite strength and circulation moving toward us as we headed in to the docks. At one point I looked up and laughed a bit as it appeared to be spawning something of a cylindrical whisp, "No, no, no, not now..." I said to myself as we drifted under loose genoa and flaked main to the dock. Tied up just in time to avoid some rain.
And, by the way, for readers in northern climates, the water is warm to the touch already here in the southern USA. Hope your skies are as gorgeous as this:
|A brilliant view above.|