The winds were predicted to be 10 to 15 knots for our return from Ingleside cove to Port Aransas. Anyone who has lived in the Corpus Christi Bay area for any length of time with sailing as a hobby, or anything outdoors for that matter…. should know that you might just as well go ahead and add 5 to 10 knots to any forecast. Throw in an extra 3 to 5 for the gusts and call it even. Every now and then, that formula doesn't work and the winds are light… but that seldom happens.
So we were cruising East bound in the Ship Channel, 1 knot current against us, winds pretty steady 25 knots, doing 6 knots (Speed Over Ground). I was lounging and Bruce was looking like the "Happy-Guy-On-His-Boat". Life is good. He absently muses that with the Stays'l and a reefed main… 25 knots doesn't feel so bad. We reminded ourselves that we hardly ever ventured out on Elan with a 25 knot forecast. It just wasn't fun. We would be soaking wet, beat up and frazzled by the time we got to the slip. No… 20 knots was my personal limit on our old CS36.
That got me to thinking… Bruce recently made longing mention of the way Elan "sailed like a dream" and other such things. He obviously enjoyed sailing that most nimble of vessels… Nothing like the heavy and roomy Morgan 45, who sails like a Boat-A-Bago… (but she's comfortable he said…) Wait a dawgone minute!!!! Do my eyes deceive me? Is that Bruce sitting behind the wheel in 25 knot winds…NOT wrestling with ferocious weather helm…. NOT covered in salt spray… and actually smiling as he holds out his arms and says "Look! She sails herself!"?