Cool and brisk, it was an unusual northwest wind blowing down the Pasquotank River yesterday. The forecast was for 12-14 mph winds with gusts to 18 or 19. A decent breeze, something I had not yet had this year.
For fun I mounted the GoPro beneath Spartina's bow sprit to get a view I had never seen before. I love the look of the Navy star with her seven coats of varnish glowing in the morning light?
With the spring sail a little more than a week away I brought along the SPOT just to make sure I remembered how to use it. I've got the first generation device, one know for not being intuitive. But after a couple of minutes sitting dockside I remembered that holding down the "ok" button for five seconds tells the SPOT to beginning tracking. I'll publish the track URL this coming week in case anyone wants to follow along.
That 12-14 mph forecast with gusts below 20 came up short I found as we sailed down the river past Brickhouse Point. Full sail, single reefed, double reefed and then just mizzen and jib as the wind barreled down the river, the gps showing Spartina make five knots or better under each combination of sail. (Home later in the evening I checked the wind records to see that it was 18-19 mph wind with gusts into the mid-20s.) An excellent workout for me, my hip and my reefing skills, one that I was glad to have with the cruise coming up. Getting a smooth main when double reefed always take a little bit of extra effort for me, but it really makes a difference.
Elizabeth City is proving to be a very friendly town. Back at the ramp Jim, who built a Navigator, dropped by to talk. Then I drove to see my friend Millie and along the way met up with Claughton and his son-in-law Scooter, who I sailed alongside a couple of weeks ago (you'll see his Lightning at the bottom of this post).
Getting on the road late afternoon I looked out over the river and the wind had dropped, the chop was gone. It would have made for a great evening sail, but it was time to head home. I'll have plenty of evening sails coming up in a week or so.