June 20th, 2014
I took delivery of my new Weta from Dick this past weekend in Cedar Key and had a chance to take her out for her first sail while there, I am so thrilled with the boat!
Prior to that weekend, Randy and I had a great adventure! We had each borrowed a Weta (I used Cliff's boat and Randy sailed Mike Meade's boat) and sailed from Fort Walton Beach to Panama City with the intention of catching up with our Fort Walton Yacht Club spring cruise. What would have been about a 60 mile trip turned into 115 miles and 27 hours of non-stop sailing in the Gulf of Mexico.
The wind was 15-20 knots with higher gusts, but the direction was not as predicted, so we had to tack a lot. The seas built to 4-7 feet with occasional breakers and there was a very strong current against us. We found the boat handles these conditions very well with the main alone as it would have been very risky to try to take down a jib at night. With modifications, that process will be much safer and easier in the future. We both had dry suits on and all kinds of safety gear, so the main goal was to press on and avoid capsizing.
As we arrived in Panama City, we sat through an hour of squalls with heavy rain and in one case 40kts of wind. In the flat water of the bay, we were able to feather into the wind with little drama. The boat really responds well to the rudder. Needless to say, we were tired, but elated to arrive safely. I have to say, these are tough little boats! This experience gave me a huge boost in confidence in the boat for the Everglades Challenge! What an amazing training opportunity...I'm stoked!!
Thanks very much for the sponsorship! That makes a world of difference. We'll be tweaking things here and there and will keep you posted.
All the best,
Weta Gulf Sunset