To Matt and the rest of the hard working Hobie crew - thank you, thank you - your temp fix for the Mirage Tandem Island WORKS.
Cindy and I finally went out again today, the first time since the beginning of September. We had stopped because the water and air temps had dropped enough to make some medical conditions kick up for her. However, we went to the Annapolis Boat Show last weekend and ordered some dry suits - which arrived last night. No, we didn't let any moss grow under our feet in trying them out...
Sailing conditions at Point Lookout were WILD today - easily the roughest we've yet been out in, with 3-5+ foot seas at 3 second intervals and winds gusting up to 30 knots. Conditions were so extreme that we *finally* reefed the sail for the first time (several times actually) and we felt the hull really waver
between staying upright and turning turtle on several big waves that broke just as they hit us. At that point we saw the wisdom of continuing our sail in sheltered waters and headed back to the large lagoon near the ramps where we put in.
Here's our Navionics GPS track from today: http://goo.gl/55bf
Cindy is in the process of editing her latest vid as I'm typing this, so I'm hoping to post it by tomorrow morning.
Through all of this the rudder control was NEUTRAL. I didn't have to struggle with turning to starboard like I normally do and the helm responded the same whether Cindy was on the upwind trampoline or not (it's always responded better to her being out on the tramps in the past). We didn't broach at the tops of big waves in windy conditions like we had previously and I retained rudder control at all stages when going over waves at any point of attack. At all times the amount of force needed to control the rudder was a fraction of what used to be required - the steering is superior to what it used to be in our conditions here on the Chesapeake.
Again, many thanks for the effort to pump out a temporary solution to us.