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Contrary to yesterday’s post, there was little laughing going on during our sail from Solomons Island to Deltaville, where we are at this moment. Perhaps it had to do with the weather forecast being off a “tad.”

-> Forecast: NW 15-20 gusting to 30
-> Reality: Sustained winds of 30 gusting closer to 40!

The highest gust we recorded was 37.4 although Rebecca says that she saw 38.xx on our wind meter but it didn’t record it (that happens occasionally). I’m not all that good at measuring wave height but at one point I’m sure we were looking down about 12 feet or so from the tops of some of those waves. The winds weren’t so scary… the waves were scary!

Oh, and if all that wasn’t enough, we went aground too, trying to get into our selected anchorage. 🙁

On the bright side, we did brake our speed record. Our previous record, set with full main and 150 Genoa was 13.3. Yesterday we recorded 14.1, set with double-reefed main and partly furled jib. And we made some new friends who are sailing a beautiful Admiral catamaran.

We’re just packing up to head out again, heading towards Norfolk, Virginia. More to come…


  1. What time did you leave Solomons? We were just down the Bay from you at Point Lookout yesterday with our little Hobie trimaran and went out for a brief spell – too much for us! We also went aground later while in the sheltered waters of the lagoon and bent a post on one of our Mirage drives. Check out the video on my blog that Cindy posted last night after we got back.

    I kept telling Cindy we were in much higher wind than she was seeing on the NOAA forecasts with her iPhone. Prior to seeing the wind speeds you posted (we don’t have a wind gauge on our tri) I figured we were in Force 6 level winds – sustained – with gusts even higher. Wikipedia has a good description of the Beaufort scale (

    Glad to hear you guys made it safely to shelter!

  2. Sounds like quite the adventure! Be safe guys.

  3. 14.1……..Your a fast trawler now……How did it feel? Was this speed surfing down waves?

  4. Sounds like you guys had a rough go! Everything ok with the Katana? Hope the sailing the rest of the way is smooth! Haha have fun guys!!!

  5. What a wild day you had! We were in Puerto Penasco Mexico this week and an unexpected storm come through and blew 40 at the marina. We were sure glad to be tied up at the dock. Now you have great war story. I am sure it was not fun at the time but you survived and so did ZTC. Stay safe!

  6. 14.1 – AWESOME! (and perhaps a bit scary!)

    Our two highest speed records were set on the “downhill” run south on the Chesapeake (17.5 knots in 2006 and 18.5 in 2008).

    Where did you anchor in Deltaville?

    Fair Winds,

  7. I’ve been told that the basic rule for extimating wave heights in a blow is to look down, then estimate half what you think it is! Glad you made it with out gettting stuck, even if you did go aground. People who have not gone aground haven’t been sailing! But, now you know your boat will take care of you. Pity the poor folks who were out on monomarans in that same weather! They got REALLY wet! Also scared, even if they don’t admit it. I remember being out in what were later called 9 foot waves on Lake Erie. It was scary, but my tough little boat still kept her rail out of the water. My sister-in-law. however, didn’t escape mal de mar. So I put her on watch for he highest waves, which helped.

  8. It’s always so much more embarrassing when a boat that draws 3 feet goes aground. We did it more often that I care to admit on our PDQ, and I will admit I was at the helm pretty much every time it happened. At least you stay level 🙂

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