So I put away my fishing gear and started sailing back. I couldn't help but notice that the wind was increasing rather quickly. Up ahead I could see whitecaps forming. I hove to, put on my rain gear and tied in a double reef in the main. I knew I'd need it, and boy was I right. I had to sail through the worst conditions I've experienced yet for an hour and a half. As you can see in the wind chart from SailFlow.com, the winds went from near zero to 25 mph gusting to 30 mph in two hours. Here's some video:
Conditions got even worse so I had to put the camera away, drop the main, and sail under jib and mizzen. The boat handled the conditions just fine. Me, I was a little rattled. But let me tell you, I am so glad I ran my halyards back to the cockpit. It was so nice to be able to drop the main while remaining safely seated in the cockpit. I would not have wanted to walk up forward to deal with the main under these rough conditions.
And once again, I continue to be more and more impressed with Navigator's capabilities.
Reef early, my friends.