Look, no sails

Because most modern yachts sail well downwind under bare poles, dropping a mooring with wind against tide is easier than it looks. It’s often possible simply to make sure the sails are ready, then slip the mooring without setting anything at all. The yacht will be lying stern to the breeze, so, in a two-knot tide, there is plenty of water passing the rudder to ensure steerage. Having a headsail flogging upsets the guys on the foredeck trying to slip the buoy as well as dragging the boat ahead faster than you may want or need.

Once the buoy is detached, ferry-glide sideways into clear water, unroll the jib to increase way and manoeuvrability, find some searoom, then luff onto a close reach. Let the mainsheet right off and hoist the main as it spills wind. It’s easy, and free of all drama.