So there is one slightly negative aspect of rafting (though there are a lot of good things about it and makes the entire experience come out positive). If you're not one of the boats on the end, you're kind of stuck until enough boats peel off that you are now an end boat. That means your boat doesn't leave not only until your own crew is ready, but also the other boats are ready and head off as well. Not all the boats are running on the same internal clocks either (I'm an early riser).
But we did get off and head out under motor into another day of working with our sails. We also went over some of our emergency procedures, provisioning, reviewed where various pieces of equipment are (such as fire extinguishers, hull through-holes), etc. So we did make use of the time this morning while rafted.
On the agenda today was the storm staysail and the storm trysail. These are both smaller versions of the jib and the mainsail, respectively, that are used in big winds. One might ask why you don't simply furl the Genoa and the Mainsail if the wind is that strong. The answer to that has several aspects. The first is that a furled Genoa is less efficient than a storm jib. It has too much "draft" (i.e. it curves too much). Remember that we're using the storm sail when the wind is moving the air fast. The faster the wind is moving, the "flatter" (or in sailing terms, the less draft) you want in the sail. Another aspect is that a storm jib's (or trysail's) "foot" (the bottom edge of the sail) is designed to be quite a bit higher off the deck. In a storm, this helps keep the bottom of the sail from being hit by waves coming over the deck. You do have to be careful not to raise it up too high becase that will add to the heel (or lean) of the boat.
Note that it's not a matter of strength (although in my experience, a storm sail just seems a bit more rugged than the usual fair-weather sails). A double (or triple) furled genoa or mainsail should be able to deal with the wind power in a storm.
One advantage of a furled genoa or mainsail is that you can furl them even further, to the point where you're basically flying a sail the size of a handkerchief, whereas the storm sails don't have that luxury. It's something to think about.
We did some more work on the spinnaker and have worked out some of the kinks in our procedures. We're going out again in June for another three days and that should afford us more practice time.
We ended up with just some pleasant sailing about before heading past the drawbridges and through the locks again to make for home. Remember when I said going throuiugh the locks was weird when headed out? It's even more strange going in the other direction. You're in this deep box and then slowly the box height shinks until you can see over the doors more and more. They open the doors when there's still a slight differential in heights, so there's a sudden inrush of water. Make sure the boat is tied in securely when that happens!
Once back to the docks, it's clean up, lock up, and head up back to home.