Weather forecast was 25 knots of northerly bluster, and this morning I pointed the TI towards the bar leading to the open ocean, but the numerous whitecaps and exploding waves over the end of the breakwater pushed my caution buttons, so instead I headed into the huge local lake, with its intricate winding channels with depths quickly ranging from under 1 metre to over 25. My Elite 4 DSI is no luxury here.
After about 4-5 hours of darti8ng around, and with rising wind, I returned to the boat harbour about 800 metres in from the bar. Now a sane person would have headed straight back to the ramp, but I liked the look of the huge waves coming in the channel...
So I reduced sail to about half, and made a serious go to windward, with waves up to 15 feet crest to trough, and spaced sometimes only about 30 feet apart. Fortunately the channel is at least 10-15 metres deep, so the waves were only breaking about 200 metres upwind.
The TI was FRIKKIN AWESOME! I had to steer straight into the waves as I am not sure it would like to be on a 45 degree angle side-on to the waves. Of course, pointing into them meant that the front would be momentarily out in the air, before spearing into the face of the next wave. It was a juggle to avoid facing two waves head-on in a row, as this tended to wash off too much speed. Once I got close to the breaking zone, I timed my U-turn in a suitable trough, and unfurled the sail, for the sleigh-ride of my life!
So how do you top that? You go back and repeat three or four times!
I think the grin on my face is permanent!
Here's the bar on a quiet day...(taken from my camera on a 40 foot mast)