Up early, we motored around to Blue Pearl Bay on the NE side of Hayman Island for a look. Quite a nice spot, and a couple of commerial dive boats were there with snorklers and divers already in the water before 9am.
We ate breakfast, with the intention of heading out NW into the teeth of the weather after finishing. We headed out at 11am in light rain and the promised 20-25knot winds.
With the #1 reef in the main and full jib, we made good speed pointing about 30 degrees off the wind and the occasional wave pushed us up above 12 knots. Waves were 2-3m, and despite having experienced worse inside the islands, we were initially a bit nervous as we were officially outside the limit for charterers.
Warming to how easily XTsea handled the conditions, we decided to turn back after the 19’55” line of lattitude after allowing a container ship to pass under us. We gybed and headed SW with a broad reach, and with the waves and wind working in concert, saw 14.6knots on the GPS!
Conditions were getting quite blustery, with wind consistently above 25knots. I went forward to recover one of our fenders and got a bit wet, but when I arrived back in the cockpit I found Colleen wet as a shag as a freak wave had broken directly into the cockpit.
Eventually we had to tack back to get back to Hayman, but found it was damn near impossible to make headway against the 30 knot wind and the tide. We motored up and dropped sail, and had a very slow, wet and uncomfortable trip back. My ‘quick one hour jaunt’ took us four hours in total.
Watched ‘The Truth about Cats and Dogs’ (chickflick!) and hit the sack early. Quite a bumpy rainy night.