Return to Milford Bay
At 4:00PM we finally reached our destination, the Holiday Inn Resort on the eastern shore. They were very accommodating and allowed us to dock our boat to walk around. We spent 30 minutes admiring the grounds and stretching our legs. Wind was rapidly building up, and we headed north to sail back in a harsh beat.
It was still a beautiful, sunny blue sky as we left the resort in this picture, but storm clouds were forming in the back.
Within half an hour, the sun was completely hidden behind thick thunderclouds and the lake was whipped into 3-feet waves dotted with white caps by 25-knot gusts. The sea-worthiness (relatively speaking, for a 17 ft dinghy) of the Hen really shows in such conditions. This boat is not meant for true open waters, but in a large lake under strong wind and heavy seas the boat is well mannered and sails well without reefing. Sailing upwind at about 45 degree to the waves, large waves hit the bow and break into occasional sprays overboard, but the boat holds its course solid as a rock and is never swayed. My crew however was getting quite wet, and my hands were getting tired in gripping the main sheet.
We finally managed to reach the dock without getting lost and before the rain started, but not before we had an accidental gibe while running down the channel. We survived to watch another sunset:
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