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Sailing with Too Much Wind

March 17, 2012

Wouldn’t ya know it, the most interesting storm we have had in years, and I forgot to take my camera, so I have stolen an image of yesterday’s weather from my mate Waleed’s Facebook page:

Image: Motorway in orange sandstorm

Today's Sandstorm from the fast lane

Whilst Waleed was busy taking this photo from the fast lane of one of Kuwait’s Expressways (although I suspect traffic wasn’t actually driving that fast at the time, since our lunatic drivers do tend to slow down for rain and sand), Marc and I were out sailing in 30+knots, and visibility of a hundred metres.  That was quite an experience!

When we left there wasn’t sand in the air, it was just a really windy day.  And after Kaliya’s success on the boat yesterday, we figured it’d be good to try him in a blow.  And he was a big baby. Alternated between trying to hide behind my bum or between Daafsha’s front paws, and going off to explore with his tail up.  Since I wasn’t sure how sound his footing would be, I gave him Daafsha’s life jacket, since Daafsha just spends most of her time in the cockpit when the heavy weather sets in.  It drowned him, so I’m ordering another one from Amazon today – they’re only $20, and free shipping thanks to a very special friend with an APO!

Collie in cockpit, lab puppy on cockpit bench

The cockpit - Daafsha's favourite place, for sure! This was yesterday, with no wind!

Anyway, it was a pretty cool sail, we were doing over 7 knots average under a furled genoa alone. But first it came over cold, and poor Marc gets quite miserable when it’s cold, and then dust followed and reduced vis to just a hundred metres or so, so after an hour and a bit we decided to turn around .  Going back was quite worrying, of course, and we both kept a sharp lookout for hazards, such as the navigation buoys, oil pier and coastguard ship which is moored up, and which wasn’t sounding a fog horn (fair enough, neither were we)!

The sea wall, when it loomed, did so quickly, but fortunately our marina is in the shelter of the oil pier, so the sea was fairly flat.  And the marina also provides some shelter from the wind, so whilst I had been nervous about going in (the sea isn’t usually a problem – it’s the rocks and other hard things that cause most damage to boats!) berthing actually was a relaxed affair with no problems whatsoever.

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