On Weathering Gales

Whether to rig the sea anchor from sterm or from stern will depend on the cut of the hull. if the line is streamed from the bow the boat may lie broadside to the waves, or make sternway too fast--jam the rudder. If you rig from the stern, the following seas can flood the cockpit -- and you'll swamp. In either case, tow ropes chafe, fray and break. Run for port -- assuming you know where you are on the chart -- you risk going aground, or smashing up at the lighthouse. Mainsail and mizzen are reefed but still you heel more with each swell - shortening sail is no longer enough. Then strip the masts, lash the helm, lie a'hull in the troughs between crests. Bare poles will still respond to the wind. Slowly you reach on through the seas. Perhaps you can ride out the night. The question is, why are you out here at all? Yet you know: As soon as you're dry and repaired you will set sail again, still stalking the perfect wind.

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