Autumn has a special feel as nights get darker, air colder and winds stronger. I have dreamed about making a bit longer trip to the outer Archipelago during September or October, but it has proved to be quite difficult to find a space that fits both the calendar and the shortening weather windows. On the last week of September we cast-off for a three-days trip to Archipelago as we started on Sunday the 23rd of September. Our initial plan was to come back on Wednesday, but had to return a day earlier before the approaching storm.
During Monday and Tuesday, the wind was already gusting at near gale speeds and therefore, after a fairly light wind summer season, this gave a good opportunity to test Dolphin Dance II in rough weather especially on Monday, when we were beating to windward in +30 kts winds. In general, the 342 seems to require a bit more active sail trimming, compared to our old boat, in order to reduce the power on the sails and to keep the pressure on the tiller in control. But when you get the sail balance right, the 342 seems to perform very nicely also in stronger winds and have the same kind of sturdy sea-keeping qualities, that we liked in our previous boat.