The wind was projected to be about 10 - 12 mph with an occasional gust to 15. I decided to keep a reef tucked in just in case. I've been out enough times to know that whatever the weather guys may say, I might experience very different conditions. Not having any kind of wind gauge on the boat, I would have said that we had more of a 15 mph wind with an occasional gust of 18-20. The reef was the smart idea as I didn't want any screaming this trip.
We headed out toward Great Bay with the wind nearly on our nose. No rush when sailing so I just kept tacking through it and keeping smiles on faces. I had my sister in law work the jib sheets and let my nephews steer the boat a few times. What a great way to spend four hours.
Just after noon the kids got anxious to go swimming so I anchored the boat in a shallow spot. This was the first time I had trouble anchoring. I have a Danforth anchor that came with the boat. I suspect it's too small. (I don't have the size available as I type this so will try to measure it in two weeks when I next see the boat). Between the wind and the anchor size we were dragging. I had roughly 100' of line out and we were still dragging through the hard mud. We were completely out in the open, no one was around so I just kept watch around the area while eating lunch and let us drag, hoping that the anchor would catch at some point.
We averaged 1 knot dragging on the gps. Sometimes we would catch and hold a bit and then the boat would swing and we would start dragging again. About 20 minutes later, just as I finished my lunch, I was thinking about resetting the anchor and trying again when we stopped and held at 0.0 knots. We swung a bit and seemed to be holding.
I climbed out and felt the bottom about five feet down. We were in charted 1' water and it was high tide. We do not have a 4' tidal range here. Ever since Sandy everything has been a bit off. There is one area in particular where it's charted as 1' and at high tide it's only 2' deep. Scary stuff.
Everybody jumps out and we have a ball playing and splashing. The boat must swing a good 60' on the anchor. The kids keep their life jackets on but us adults are playing hard and getting tired fast. I get us all life jackets to float around on and throw out a 50' line that I tie off to a stanchion. We must play out in the water for a solid three hours.
It's time to get back to meet my wife at the campground for dinner. The cruise back is uneventful and fun. I let Dawn motor the boat most of the way back. I swear at one point she had us turned almost completely around.
I had an issue though when I tried to get us turned around in the canal. It was still quite windy within the canal. I usually have to turn the boat 180 degrees and head to my dock. This time however the wind was coming straight down the canal. When I turned the boat broadside, the wind caught it and I didn't have enough room to complete my turn. At this point we are being shoved sideways along the canal. I had one rudder down trailing as it was low tide. I can't put my rudders straight down at low tide. I had forgotten to drop my centerboard down 6-8 inches. Not sure how much affect that really has. With one rudder down I had great coasting and steering ability at idle, but my reverse sucked. I'm going to write up a more detailed explanation with diagrams later.
Steve has a GoPro and recorded a bit of video. Nothing special about it, just folks having fun. Not edited but there's a funny section in the last 15 seconds or so.