Lightning - First Hand
I’m sitting on my yacht in Coffs Harbour (Australia) this morning scratching my head in disbelief at what happened last night.
Sailing north along the NSW coast yesterday in a 10-15 knot southerly, I wanted to put out my new spinnaker but the forecast was for the southerly to pick up to 30 knots. Not wanting to get caught out with too much sail, I opted for the safe option of a ‘blade jib’, stowing the mainsail. Speed was slow, only 5-6 knots. I’ve been caught out too often over-canvassed and it sucks.
Around 8am I past the town of Camden Haven (aka Laurieton) and joined up with a flotilla of other yachts (around 40ft), heading north up the east coast. Content with sailing in company I slowed down and the faster of the four boats caught up and we sailed within a mile of each other for the rest of the day. With only a small ‘blade jib’, it was a little frustrating given the speed of my catamaran and our normal cruising pace. They had a single headsail out and I could not find reason to outrun them.