The first sail of the year was on the last day of January, a day that began with pleasant winds that became gusty by early afternoon. It is only now looking back through the log that I see it was on that first sail, when I had the GoPro along, that I got the photograph that I call "the gust." Is surprises me a little that I would be out with full sail on a gusty day on some very cold water. I guess it seemed like the thing to do at the time.
The fastest sail of the year was on day six of the Bonnie 228. There had been five great days of sailing from Hobucken south on Pamlico Sound, the Nuese River, Oriental, Adams Creek Canal, Beaufort, Cape Lookout and a hard, fun sail up Core Sound. The next morning the remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie arrived. Storms over night, sailing off anchor during a clearing then the weather moving in again. Grey and rainy, I did not see the storm cell coming up West Bay until it was too late to round up. The gps showed 8.9 m/h for a steady run with the wind right behind us. It was a fast moving storm. By the time we got to where the bay was wide enough/deep enough to round up and shorten sail, the squall had moved on. It was an interesting day with more squalls, building winds, clearing and an evening rainbow.
The finest day on the water, and there were many fine days on the water this year, was day eight of the Talkabout 185. It began the night before with a text from Kantala telling me they had left the Miles River and were anchoring near Oxford. Up before dawn the next morning, sailing wing and wind downwind on Harris Creek in light airs. A light fog moves in, then heavy fog, crabbers culling their catch and roosters crowing on shore to port. Skies clear and the warmth of the sun, and a strong/steady wind on the beam on the Choptank. Late morning rounding Benoni Point onto the Tred Avon, water reflecting the deep blue sky, the bright white hull of the ketch Kantala anchored just off Oxford. Lunch with cruising friends, casting off to building afternoon gusts for the mizzen and jib sail farther up the Choptank, rounding up to raise a double reefed main to tack into La Trappe Creek. Anchor down in the calm behind tall trees on shore, a farm across the water, sheep bleating as the pasture disappeared in darkness. It doesn't get any better.