Best. Sail. EVER!!!!

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The weather was great. Warm day in March. The wind was predicted to be between 10-15 knots. The sea state had 5 foot waves in 15 second intervals. Nothing about this screamed amazing sail day to me. A few friends wanted to tag along so we fired up Cuajota and headed to the harbor entrance. We got out of the harbor and sure enough the 5 ft waves turned into some pretty nice chop. Large power boats didnt help that as they came and went. With sails up just outside the harbor we flopped around. We were sailing but at a whopping 2 knots. I was looking at the 155 genoa in the boat wondering if I should have thrown that up today instead of the 125 that I use regularly. I decided to motor out a bit farther and to the North and see if we got any wind. I was wondering how all the forecasts predicted wind in the afternoon yet there was absolutely none. We sat and bobbed about for a bit longer and I was just about to call it and head back into the Harbor when I felt a slight breeze. Turned the boat a bit and yes, started moving. Within a minute of 2, it was up to a 15 knot steady wind! This is where it gets good.

With the wind blowing I trimmed for a close haul and the boat took off! Its an amazing feeling to feel a sailboat dig in and power up with a nice wind. The 5 foot waves were no longer pushing us around, we were slicing through them! A few times with cheers from us as the spray went into the air. No it wasn’t smooth seas, but I liked it! I did a few tacks, and a few gybes and the boat was great on all points of sail. The wind seemed to be a constant 15, no puffs or gusts. I found that the boat was nearing the harbor entrance but this was way too much fun so tack and back into it! Stayed out a few more hours until the sun was beginning to set. It blowed a constant 15 the entire time. I had a giant grin on my face the entire time. I said it 3 or times during the sail that this was the best sail I had ever had. I had great sails before, some relaxing, some nail biting. This one was somewhere in the middle. The wind provided the perfect energy for the boat. Seems like it was made for 15 knot winds. Perfectly behaved and balanced. The sea state provided some entertaining conditions. Tacking and gybing between sets, spray and splash, and the boat moving over the waves. To me it was the equivalent of driving a perfectly balanced sports car through some nice twisty backroads. It just doesnt get better than that! I also think my comfort level is there now. In a year and a half, I am confident that I can completely control a boat in 15-20 knot winds and a choppy sea state. So I was able to just enjoy the boat, the sail, the view, and appreciate how magical that is. The other thing was the speed. My normal ocean sailing speeds were 4-5 knots. An occasional 6. Hull speed on my boat is about 6 knots, so I am told. I had a buddy from North Sails on my boat and he gave me some rigging advice. Since then, my boat has been doing 7-9 knots! I recorded a fasted speed ever at 9.6 on GPS a few weeks ago, and this sail I got to 7.9. Not bad at all for a 38 year old boat! So for me it was more than just a nice day, but it was the feeling that I am learning the boat, understanding these better and better and the results speak for themselves. A day later, even 2 days later, I still think it was my best sail ever. Looking forward to many, many more!

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