Lately, sailing out of Pillar Point has often meant sailing in 8-15 kts of wind in a fair swell. But today brought back the good old 20-25 kts in an 8-10 ft swell. I sailed out under jib and full main, keeping the AWA between 40-50. Some of the rollers were impressive. There were times when it felt like Changabang genuinely climbed up the waves. Of course, the sea state was a little confused and we were drenched several times. I did load the ballast and, a first in a long time, I wore my life jacket and used my tether. Moving about CaB as we were heeling and being rocked about was good sport!
When it came time to tack, I first went off the wind to store the inner headstay out of the way, to make tacking easier. Then I emptied the ballast to leeward, and tacked away, sailing back to port. I noticed that the jib sail bag was being dragged in the water as I didn’t secure it. So I went off the wind again to secure it properly. At this time Changabang was powering at 9-11 kts and the bow was being generously spread. I took a couple of showers, which I felt good about.
Although I’m back in running form and can run 5-6 miles again (slowly mind you), I find that my upper body strength is not what it used to be. I have lost weight (20+ lbs!) and feel that I need to re-strengthen my upper body. Grinding the winches and moving about proved somewhat difficult, which may be mostly because it’s been a while since I’ve sailed in these conditions. I had grand ideas to try the spinnaker or pole out the jib or even the jib top, but none of that took place. At a minimum, I probably should have reefed …
The tiller sometimes loads up and is very hard to turn. I’m not sure what’s causing this. I don’t think it’s weather helm that I’m fighting. It may be just the power of the waves loading the rudder. But what concerns me is that it maybe that the rudder bearings are damaged.
I saw a whale, a few mola molas, and another sailboat going up to San Francisco under mainsail alone, looking very slow.