Since my last post on this thread, I found myself out in some wind that I am pretty sure was up around 40 mph with prolonged gusts that were even stronger. I knew when I left the launch-site that the wind was kicking up, but I thought it would calm down a bit as the day went on. It didn't. I had headed downwind and was quite confident that I could handle whatever I would have to confront on my way back. Well, I made it back, but I probably wouldn't do it all over if I had my druthers. Fortunately, the wind was not as strong in some places, so I had some respite along the way, but I still believe that this kind of paddling is not what I would call normal. The sailboats weren't even trying to sail in that stuff and all but a few big-water motor yachts were looking for a safe harbor.