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Old 14-07-2009, 08:38   #1
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Exciting Morning Sail

Well we had a very exciting trip to our local lake this weekend. We were camping at Stockton Lake Missouri and had a few days of very light wind in a row. Getting a little tired of floating on our rafts we decided to do a little controlled drifting in our mutineer 15. We had checked the weather the day before and did not see anything coming and felt that the cloud cover was the typical do nothing clouds that we get all the time. We drifted out of our cove and began to feel a 7-8 knot breeze and thought we were in for a nice morning sail. About an hour into our sail I started to notice a change in the clouds and saw what I would describe a wall forming to our north. Being from Missouri I know how fast the weather can turn so we pulled out the weather radio to hear them broadcasting an approaching thunderstorm with 30 - 40 mph winds. I know on a bigger boat that might not scare the pants off you but in my little 325 pound dingy that sounded a lot like an impending capsize. We started beating back toward our protected cove hoping to get there before things too hairy. Well we got about halfway there and the wind started to pick up and I really thought we were saved. Our boat was up on plan and screaming across the lake like a windsurfer and I was thinking to myself surly we will make it now. Then it hit the fan. We started getting gusts and the lake turned into a washing machine. We were over powered twice (taking water over the gunwales but not capsizing) and we realized that there was no way we could beat up wind to our cove. The wind continued to build and the gusts were becoming a real problem. Final after a very short conversation about our options we dropped the main sail and started to head downwind with half our jib out. We found a nice protected cove and anchored there and rested our nerves and began laughing about our wanting more wind about 30 minuets ago. Unfortunately we have some patching to do on our poor jib but it could have been much worse.

Things I think we did well
Starting heading back as soon as we thought conditions might get bad
did not capsize in very heavy (for us) wind
Brought the radio, anchor, and misc gear eventhough we were planning on a short day sail.

Things we should have done
We should have listened to the weather report eventhough everything looked benign
We should have taken the rising wind speed as a hint we did not have much time instead of ridding it out as long as we could (it was fun)
We should have dropped the main before we started to get overpowered or at least after the first time

I just thought I would share our experience with some other sailors since I enjoy reading everyone else's stories.

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Old 14-07-2009, 09:02   #2
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Glad to hear everyone is okay. Perhaps your lessons learned will help someone else.


Life begins where land ends.
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Old 14-07-2009, 20:30   #3
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Very nice sailing breeze in Fenton Mo. today! Was my first time out in good wind.
Glad to hear you have an invigorating morning to go in the memory files!
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Old 15-07-2009, 17:02   #4
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Originally Posted by wampler View Post
Things I think we did well .
Best thing you did well was to laugh about it at the end!

The difference between an adventure and an ordeal is attitude. And you guys have shown you have the right attitude.

Notes on a Circumnavigation.

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
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