Making my way aft, I soon discovered that not only was the ride impressive but so too were the numbers. Hard on the wind, which fluctuated between 18 and 22 knots, and under the self-tacking jib and the square-topped main with a single reef in, we registered 6.1 to 6.4 knots. Cracked off to a close reach, the speedo shot above 7 knots, and eventually settled at 7.5 as we leveled away to a beam reach. As we fell off even more, with the wind on the aft quarter, the speed climbed to 8 knots. What's more, with all the changes in heading and sail trim, the motion remained fairly smooth and appropriately balanced.
It occurred to me that this was something I could get used to.