One thing about sailing is it’s the most gnarly days that become the most memorable. And 30+ knots for 6 hours is a good recipe for some sporty conditions. That’s what we had when we chose to ride the cold front southeast from Nassau to Allen’s Cay (Allan’s Cay) Exumas.
Most cruisers we come across end up traveling in headwinds. Not sure why. Maybe it’s because they wait for the heavy winds to subside.
The problem with that approach is it leaves the winds clocking in the direction you’re heading…almost always. (There’s a good reason for this in the northern hemisphere, the Atlantic Ocean).
But no, not us.
We have a badass little sailboat and aren’t afraid of a bit of wind.
Even though we had 60 minutes of second-guessing ourselves on this trip! LOL
On this trip, the NE wind turned to 35-45 degrees apparent. Apparent wind is the wind you feel – kinda like putting your hand out the window in a moving car.
Apparent wind is really all we care about in a sailboat because it’s the real wind.
At 30knots true wind, and us going 6 knots of speed, we saw 36 knots apparent quite frequently. This causes oncoming waves to splash over the bow as we cut through them.
In this 45-second video, you’ll get a contrast of the 30-knot winds compared to 5-knot winds at anchor.
So what do you think? Is it worth traveling with the wind, versus motoring into the wind? Even if the winds are in the upper 20s and 30s? Drop us a comment below, so we can chat!