We have had some big winds and seas (at least for here) lately, and the other day I decided to head out with a few adventurous sailor friends to see how my boat would handle it all. It was blowing 18-20 knots at my dock, so we reefed the main before we even left so it would be in place and we wouldn't have to mess with it as we headed out. I am glad we did, because as we headed out the main channel of Marina Del Rey, the winds were about 22 (or more) knots. We decided to go for it and hoisted the reefed main inside the breakwater and headed out. As we rounded the breakwall, we immediately became aware of the huge swells that we had to deal with. It was a bit wild and crazy out there! Once we got out far enough, we unfurled our jib but kept it reefed a good amount. As we got going Haunani got into her groove and handled the conditions very well. I was in seventh heaven!!
One thing she did not handle well was the constant barrage of waves coming over the boat. I proved to myself for once and for all that I indeed need new hatches, because within minutes the interior of my boat was soaked. We were also soaked topside. I took one huge wave in the face and was immediately inspired to don my foul weather jacket (I think I was being a tad optimistic/stubborn in not putting it on at the outset). I was so happy out there, and apart from getting a little queasy when I let someone else steer, it was an exhilarating experience!
I was happy with how my boat handled the seas and the wind, as well as to be personally challenged by a rough and wild day! I am so grateful to my crew that day, and was so happy to tuck in to our slip and toast our sail together when it was all said and done! We looked up the wind after we came in and the Santa Monica buoy reported winds up to 27 knots during the time we were out there. I forgot to check the swells, but they were massive and getting bigger as we came in.