18 gusting to 25 and 72°F here in West Texas. Okay, the water is "f-f-f-f-frickin' f-f-f-freezing" (to quote Dr. Evil) but as long as you're not in the drink it's beautiful.
As I have previously mentioned, Lake Nasworthy is long and narrow. Maybe a mile by 300-500 yards. During the summer the prevailing wind direction was down the long end of the lake, which meant lots of tacks and gybes. The last several times I've gone out, however, it's been ACROSS the lake, allowing me to reach for 2-3 minutes at a time.
Today I cast off the dock and headed off on port tack to the closer end of the lake. It widens out at that end and so the wind usually picks up out there. Blew that tack and somehow flipped over backwards. I HATE THAT. I think that the "don't uncleat the jib during tacks" backfired on me and blew the boat over. Go figger. Strangely enough standing on the bows didn't really help getting the boat around into the wind like it usually does (mebbe something to do with the high winds?) so I had to swim it around. Once it was into the wind it came up fairly easily (no righting bag required with this much wind, thank you.) After I was back up on the tramp I was like "what the heck are these blobs of mud???" I look up and there's a huge gob at the top of the mast.
So I guess I would've turtled that time if the lake was deep enough.
(Close) reached up to the other end of the lake, trying to play the gusts so that I didn't have to let out the main. Thought I was getting pretty good at that. Other end of the lake approached, so I tacked and somehow blew that as well. Over I went! Took the shroud across the face as I fell. I also cut my foot somehow. Go figure. Glad there are no sharks. Heheh
Again I had to swim the bows around, dunno why. Again standing on the bows didn't help. Dunno. Had to use the righting bag this time. Dunno why, there was all kinds of wind. As I transitioned from the righting line to the dolphin striker, I was lifted part way out of the water as the boat tried to go over the other way. HA! HA! No double flip for ME!
By now I had figured out that the wind wasn't blowing EXACTLY across the lake, but rather at an angle, so going north I was on a broad reach and south was a close reach. I adjusted my jib travelers appropriately.
So there I am, reaching back and forth having a blast. I'm keeping an eye on the bows during the broad reaches and moving back to keep from pitchpoling. I'm thinking "gee, I wish Ming was here to man the jib," because the bows kept diving down. Just then I see a gust coming. I reach for the jib sheet but alas! It's too late. There I am hanging from the wire heading around the forestay. This time the boat rotated easily and I was barely hanging on the righting line when it came up.
Now usually after 3 flips I call it a day because I'm pretty tired from 3 rightings, but this one was so easy I decided to ignore it and keep sailing.
I decide that single-handed it's easier for me to set the jib and play the main on the close reach and set the main and play the jib on the broad reaches. So there I am on another broad reach having a terrific time. (This is mebbe 10 minutes later.) My usual set of trap wires is wrapped around one of my battens since the bungee broke during the pitchpole, so I'm using the crew wires.
WHEEEEEEEEEEEE broad reach! Occasional Wild Thing as the hull comes up now and then. So much fun! Main is set, traveled out part way, and I'm playing the jib and tiller in the gusts.
Then another gust comes along and the hull comes up. I dump the jib. Hull keeps coming up. I'm not fast enough to get to the main to release it. The boat goes over REALLY fast. No kidding, I'm ejected from the windward side of the boat and I land in the water behind the mainsail, maybe 30-35% of the way up! I'm like "WOW that was far! HAHAHA." This was again a difficult time getting the boat to point into the wind, but it came up fairly easily. Nevertheless I decided to call it an afternoon.
Some nice people sitting on a bench by my slip came over to ask questions and they helped me take the boat down, so that was quick, easy, and relaxing.
Now I'm home and comfy. The go/no-go decision on sailing tomorrow will depend on the wind and also on how sore I am from today.
Also, now I guess I'll have to drop the mast one of these days as most of the mud came off in the subsequent capsizes, but there's still some up there.
Just thought I'd share!