Sailing @ NNW 42 km/h gust 53 km/h makes for a full day!

We survived...
My good friend Peter Lux has a great 24' Shark in Montague and he asked if I wanted to go racing yesterday...

How could I refuse.
It was supposed to be a good solid breeze.
Only the 2 of us aboard - three would have been better.

Times are approximate!

10:15 - Arrived @ mooring late and met Peter.

10:20 - Hopped in punt and rowed to boat.
            Deliberated about what foresail to put up...
            and decided that the working Jib was best if it was blowing over 20.

10:35 - Released mooring...
            realized we had forgotten to move the punt from the boat to the mooring.
            tried to fight the tide, wind and drag of the punt back to the mooring (around the Mussel lease).
            Peter madly retrieved his extra anchor and tossed it over with the punt tied to it. Hoping it held.

10:50 - Maneuvering with the other 5 crazies near the start line.
            Everyone was running with a reefed main... except us. No time now.
            We were over powered - but the boat was mostly manageable.

11:02 - Over the line.
           We had a good start but thought we were early so we did a circle and ended up last over the line.
           Oh well - not by much.

11:30 - Wind MUST have picked up. On retrospect it was probably blowing 35 with gusts.
            We are screaming towards the Fairway buoy... Broad reach... surfing on waves!!!
            Passed a J-30, picked up well on the fleet.
            Exciting but dangerous! Up on a plane, I'm sure, a couple of times!
            We took a pounding beating back on the second leg of the 4 leg course.
            Way over powered...
            So much so that our forward momentum was pretty well stopped every time we got knocked over.
           But feeling confident about the boat.

12:30 - Around the mark and heading back out to the Fairway on a  beam/broad reach again.
           Discussed how we might get a reef into the main sail as we needed to reduce sail area.
           The main sail has reefing points but no reef rigged...
           So being the crew it was my job to get something figured out.
           Peter is busy keeping the boat upright and sailing towards the mark.
           Find some thin line and run it through the reef points and the new reefed tack grommet
           but I can't reach the damn last reef point in the leech of the sail!

12:45 - Need to reef this puppy! What the hell... Peter!
Heat up to a closer point of sail and we'll luff for a bit while I drop the main and reach the last reef point so we can get a tight foot.
Leaning/stretching into the sail I have the last reef point threaded... A gust/wave takes hold, knocking us down!  
Boom into the water, "slow mo" the water rush over my arms, and my feet plummet straight down between the boat and the boom!   
As I'm slowly dropping into the water (remember in my mind this is all slow-mo) My arm is thrown over the main sheet, and my right hand grabs the jib sheet winch. Awesome! Locked in place. 
Looking up at Peter I can see him scrambling... Take care of the boat! I'm OK! 30 seconds later the boat is under control and Peter tries to drag me up... nope...  Ok... Breath! 1, 2, 3... Pull! 
Rolling onto the deck there is still the reefing to get sorted out and my adrenaline provided me with energy to get it done..  And we are only 5 min past the mark.

 1:30 - Hardening up on the last windward leg to the finish the boat is now manageable!
We are keeping our speed without too much weather helm.  Much more relaxing - almost dull! :-)   Probably blowing 42 by now!  So it's Miller time. I am still buzzing... but starting to realize that I am exhausted and shivering... But we are not done yet.  Tacking, finishing, de-rigging, mooring yet to come.
2:00 - Tacking is a snap!
The working jib doesn't take much to pull in but it's still blowing like crazy... during one tack the snap block that holds the sheet to the jib breaks loose! Up onto the foredeck again to try and catch the wipping clew and re-snap the sheets. Tired!
Of course the sheets get all tangled up because they are wet and flipping everywhere!  But mission successful.
2:45 - Finished the race!  Last over the line... A few wind related delays!
Trying to catch the punt mooring so we can get the sails down and the motor mounted.  Grabbed the punt and get the pole wrestled out of my hand... and all sails are down.  What a shit show! Two tired old guys! hahaha 
Peter madly pulled the motor out and we avoided drifting into the shore and the Mussel lease.
De-rigged, moored at the correct mooring, had some lunch and a beer. ahhhhhhhh....
3:30ish - Ann is on the shore - but her cell phone is dead or off - so we pack-up and row ashore.
Following them to their place was lovely. What a view from the St. Andrews Point Road!  And the house on the hill with trees, gardens and windows out to the straight is glorious.
Ann cooked up some Blum's Sweet corn and coffee, Peter gave me some dry cloths and we had a nice visit.
5:00ish - Started to head for home in the Subaru.
           Man I love that little old car. The heated seats were a welcome feature!

6:30ish - Epsom Salt bath
7:30ish - Curry Chicken
8:00ish - John showed up with his new 1700 vStar.  NICE!
9:00ish - Bed! :-)

Looking forward to going out with peter on a nice day and getting the Spinnaker up.  I think I'll avoid 50km/h winds for the time being... still rocking this AM.

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