But wind is what drives a sailboat, so it can be furious at times, and at other times, it can be fair and pleasant. The following GoPro sequence is from a hot afternoon in the summer aboard the Baggy Wrinkles. Our club had set a race that afternoon. There were only a handful of keel boats. Since my motor was fickle and I had to rely upon the wind alone, I'd set sail an hour previous and had made my way into the lake ahead of the fleet. Another keel boat followed. As we waited for the rest of the fleet and the race Committee to get in place, the weather decided to change. Colors went from menacing black to opaque grey as rain blowing sideways whipped across a now deranged lake. A delightful 6 knots of winds turned into a raging burst of 20 to 25 knots, bearing down on us in heavy handed bursts, the kind of torment which can break things and make you ask mortal questions!
My partner vessel and crew pulled behind an island for safety. Solo, I was at a disadvantage to bring down all my sails, so I decided to come about and leave that location and slog back into the drenching rain and wind, without my genoa, slowly beating against the increasing waves now flowing out of the grey turbulence.
Almost forgetting I had my GoPro attached to the taff-rail, I hoped the battery was still charged enough to capture this beating. You can hear the Dory's rig and get an idea of what it sounded like at the beginning of this short video. And then, you will hear the music, which I think is typical of how we look back at these events. At the time it is taking place it tempts you to get frantic, yet if you look at the situation and take necessary precautions, you find solace in your choices, your equipment, and in your vessel, and you wax a bit romantic about it all.
By the way, notice the lean angle of Baggy Wrinkles to give you an idea of how much gusts are hitting her...her 900 pound ballast keel keeps her steady.
After all, if you're a sailor, you're going to have to cope with a change in weather sooner or later.