Beauty, eh ?


After yesterday’s fun and intense inbound trip, our trip home was at the other end of the spectrum.

We left the dock on Keats Island around 8, and ended up motorsailing all the way back to Horseshoe Bay, with barely a ripple on the water the entire trip.

Hard to complain when it’s so darned beautiful.


Dock’s Eye View


From the outside float, looking out into the Plumper Cove.

That yellow can marks a big rock, just off the float.

Years ago when I did my cruise and learn course, we did docking practise here.

The rock wasn’t marked then, and we did manage to hit it going dead slow, in a Banner 37.

Hiting a rock with the keel isn’t a sound you ever forget.


Makes You Wonder


There’s a big yellow can marking this rock, just off the outside float at the Plumper Cove Marine Park.

I’d love to know the story behind the engineering decision to build out the docks right next to rock just below the surface at chart datum.


New Sails Pay Off


We had a crazy ride up Howe Sound from the northern tip of Bowen to Keats Island.

The wind was a gusty 25+ knots on the nose – I had a deep reef in Madsu’s main and my new 60% North Sails jib up.

Fantastic combination – we ploughed through the waves at a steady 5.5  knots, heeled at about 25 degrees or so.

It was a wet ride, with spray well into the cockpit as we pounded through the steep waves.

I loved the feel of the boat riding through the rough stuff – she was working but under control and seemed ready to scream along for days – comfortable and in the slot.  Loads of fun in brilliant sunshine.

I didn’t get the camera out until we were approaching Keats – I’d pulled one of the reefs out of the main by that point and the wind and particularly the waves had let up considerably.


A Tad Damp on the Foredeck


With a reef in the main, and a brand new 60% jib from North Sails, Madsu’s doing 5.5 knots beating to windward, and slamming into some lovely waves.  Madsu’s in her favourite spot – heeled about 20 degrees with lots of power off the main, despite the reef.

Another sunny and warm day in Howe Sound, with a strong (southerly) inflow that started to lighten up around 3:00 pm.


Composting Mariner


The original article is tongue in cheek, but there are some interesting tips and ideas coming from the comments section.

I really like Carolena’s  system for dealing with food waste while on a kayak trip.

Madsu’s minimal galley – a sink, a single burner alcohol stove, a portable cooler and a pushpit mounted bbq.  You need more why ?  That blue line is from my boom vang.

In the winter, we use Madsu’s Origo 1500 stove at home as a table top fondue stove  – works brilliantly.  The gimbals stay on the boat 😉


When to Reef


One of the search terms I’m seeing here pretty regularly is ‘when to reef Catalina 22’.

There’s really no magic answer to this, but the boat will give you clear signals if you know how to read them.

The most obvious is excessive heel.  Madsu seems to have a sweet spot at around 20° of heel.  Up until that point, the boat is running efficiently.  Once she starts to heel more than that, potential speed decreases, even though it doesn’t always feel like it.  Keep in mind that Madsu is an older model Catalina 22 – narrower in the beam than MKII models.  She’s also a swing keel.

If you have a knot meter or GPS on the boat, you can easily see the results of reefing. Putting that reef in the main decreases heel and weather helm, and the boat actually goes faster than when it was on its ear.

Just when you’ll hit that spot on your Catalina 22 depends on your sail inventory, condition of your sails, and your trim.  Flattening the main and moving the centre of effort forward as the wind pipes up is the first thing to do.

Since I sail alone a lot, I tend to reef early, particularly when it comes to deciding whether to change head sails.

Reefing the main should be easy.  Heave to and practice it.

There’s nothing more satisfying than popping a reef in, flattening out the boat, then sailing past someone who’s heeled over like crazy.  Not that I’m competitive or anything.


On Ramp

20090622_plumper_cover_rampThe ramp down to the docks at Plumper Cove Provincial Marine Park


Room with a View


I’m settled in on the port side settee reading Taras Bulba on my eBook.  I look up and am reminded why I love everything about cruising.

There’s the sailing of course; the exhilaration, challenge, even fear.  And then there’s the feeling you get after tucking in a nice meal at the end of a good day’s sail.

As the boat rocks gently on a mooring bouy, the sound of the water lapping on the hull is accented by eagle cries and the occasional screech of a  blue heron.

Madsu is far from luxurious, but sitting there, looking out through the companionway hatch, it sure feels like a million dollar view.


Let There Be Squalls

20090620_squallsSaturday morning squalls quickly blew through Howe Sound.

You’d never know it from this shot taken at 8:30 am, but the afternoon was mostly sunny.

Gambier Island is on the left in this shot.