Monday, January 7, 2019

cool and cooler

There was a sail boat regatta on Sunday.  A friend on the committee boat invited SPARTINA to join in for the afternoon series of short races.  I declined, offering instead to serve as the spectator fleet, a fleet of one.

Wonderful winter sailing today and yesterday.  Temperatures of about 50 degrees yesterday and steady winds out of the northwest NW, building to the point that I tied in a reef late afternoon.

With another day off I left the boat down on the very quiet Norfolk waterfront.

Colder and winder than forecast this morning, winds coming out of the east with a nearby weather station showing gusts approaching 20.  That is out of my range for typical winter sailing so I raised just mizzen and jib.  Even with the two smaller sails I was making 4+ kts.

An interesting boat came through on her way to the shipyards.  I believe the to be the CITY OF BISMARCK, an expeditionary fast transport ship operated by the Military Sealift Command. 

Slate grey skies gave way to sunshine mid-morning which warmed things up a bit.  The drysuit, worn over good quality thermals and a wool sweater, served me well.  I have received a few emails asking about the drysuit.  I am not advocating winter sailing with the suit, just sharing my experience.  If I were to advocate anything it would be the advice of my Coast Guard friends: water temperature below 50 degrees, stay off the water in small boats.


Bruce B said...

I have a Kokatat drysuit that I use year round, as long as the air temperature is over 40.I dress for the weather underneath and have always felt safe in it and a pfd. Steve why do you feel you can't advocate for winter sailing?

Steve said...

It is just a matter of safety. Every fall, when the water drops below 50, and every early spring, when we get those warm days but water is still below 50 degrees, the Coast Guard puts out cold water advisories. If a sailor doesn't have the experience, plus the proper equipment, i.e. drysuit, it might be best to wait for warmer water. steve