I've sailed into Cork once and driven out of Cork once. Both events, plus the days in between, were beset with rain and gray weather. Miserable, nasty stuff. And this was in the Summer.
Arriving in Cork, it was probably Beaufort Force 6 (25 or so knots of wind). We got in to the YC in the late afternoon and were exhausted and happy as h3ll to see land. And then I saw the strangest sight. Streams of sailors walking down the dock like a line of ants in brightly colored foulies. They all had sailbags in their hands and were heading to the boats. I wanted to scream, "people did you check the forecast?!? Can you see the sky?!?" But, alas, I speak American and they speak Irish and they wouldn't have understood me anyway.
I just didn't get it. Even if your everyday conditions are dreary and wet, why go sailing in it? Wait for the sun, it's more fun that way. There has to be sun, right? Most of my sailing to that point in my life had been in Southern Florida and a few charters around the country. All timed around sunny weather. Of course, I had just crossed an ocean, but still, there was sun for most of it. Why were these people doing it?
This was 16 years ago now. I think I get it, but still not sure. Most of the reason is they are just incredibly hardy people. A bit of rain and sleet and fog shouldn't stop them. Those Corkians love sailing.
But, my sailing bug has grown in these 16 years also. I see the allure of knowing you can sail in crap conditions. I get the joy of having to squint through the rain to see the sail you're supposed to be trimming. Sailing can be worth the misery.
Case in point, tomorrow.
There is a 90% chance of rain and a forecast of 15-25 knots, most likely on the high side of that equation. And yet, ~300 boats are going sailing. Either very hardy folks, sailing addicts, or it's going to be a fiasco.