The next morning we were up bright and early to check the wind forecast. We had roughly 40 NM to cover in an easterly wind and wanted to know if reef 1 would suffice, or should number two be taken in. By the time we left around eleven, the wind had calmed to around 8-10 m/s and we set off. S/y Aliena was still thinking, but eventually set off a couple of hours after us.
We motored the first three miles to the norther tip of Kihnu and hoisted the main sail, with reef 2 in place. The sea was really shitty, waves anything from under a metre to what felt like over three. What we had thought would be almost downwind, turned out to be almost up wind for the first ten or so miles. Most of the time we had a moderate heel of 20°, but with the waves smashing starboard side head on, we had nice back and forth rolling with spray washing over the deck far too often to be called comfortable.
With the main reefed properly, and the genoa out only for proper steering, we still managed to keep the speed mainly over 5 kn and that was good. The GPS later told us that we had maxed out at 8,9 which is our new speed record for reefed sailing.
Since we had good speed, whimsical surfing and heeling over close to broaching (not really….) we suffered one major loss during the day. When docking at Kuivistu, the harbour master asked us where the boat is from, and the skipper turned around and saw why. The flag and its pole where missing. RIP. It was only the second pole of the season, and since the skipper has never lost one before, this is to becoming a habit.
After a rather sporty day, it was great to head for the shower and sauna. The next days leg to Kärdla would be even longer, in the same wind but hopefully easier wave conditions. After cleaning up, the lights went out pretty easily.