When I got down to the boat the breeze was just building - most of the forecasts were saying force 3 or 4, dropping to 3 as the day went on so I took the decision to drop the mooring without putting in a reef... mistake..... force 3 my rear end - a very solid 4 was kicking in and "Papillon" was not happy - griping up head to wind in the gusts even with the rudder hard over, so I headed into wind at about "Marker" and put a couple of reefs in the main which she was happy with for most of the afternoon...
Brilliant wind direction - almost dead westerly all afternoon (SWW I guess) as I made it to the bottom of the harbour on one long tack - in fact I got there so quick I decided to carry on!
Entrance to the harbour was like the M25 in the rush hour - 30 and 40 footers by the handful in both directions but I pushed on as they were beautiful sailing conditions. I finally turned back just before the West Pole Beacon as time was running out to get back to the mooring before the water went..
On the way back the wind continued to rise, and a fast reach up the harbour was on the verge of being unmanageable so I stopped to drop the main and did the rest of the trip on Genoa - four knots even then!
One pleasant interlude on the way back - Simon and his missus (??) was returning on "Wolf" so I popped over for a quick hello - hopefully more time for a chat next time!
Distance: 12.86 miles (cumulative total over there to the left)
Wind: SWW - started Force 3, rising to a Force 4+ throughout the afternoon
Speed: Max speed was 4.9 knots which I'm guessing was under sail on the reach back up the harbour; average speed was 3.3 knots.