Sitting on a couple of sail bags on the foredeck, sipping a morning coffee.
Here’s the view this morning from Plumper Cove on Keats Island.
Had a super fast beat up Howe Sound north of Bowen and all the way to Keats Island.
The wind was funneling up Collingwood Channel, and with a reef in the main and the new 100% jib from North Sails, Madsu was flying. Check that starboard side window and you can see the base of the stanchion awash on the lee side.
I’ve been playing with sail combinations since I got the new 60% and 100% jibs, and with the wind at around 18+ knots, this combination (single reef, 100% jib) was perfect. Madsu was heeled about 25% and pushing to 35% in the puffs, but the helm felt just right and I screamed with delight when the GPS was showing consistent 6.4 and 6.5 knots SMG.
Madsu’s no rocket sled, but I did manage to (almost) keep up with a couple of 30 footers ahead of me (you can see them just ahead). Ok, I didn’t keep up, but I didn’t get my clock cleaned either 😉
It wasn’t as windy or as rough as last week’s trip up the same bit of Howe Sound. Highly recommend it for a good workout and some nice little surprises in the wind department.
It’s really tough to pull the Nikon out when I’m solo and beating into a breeze. I keep the D70 in a waterproof bag just inside at the base the companionway, and I have slide forward enough to reach in an get it. By the time I get to it, things have settle down considerably. Maybe I’ll have to start shooting more with the waterproof pentax.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wind was basically inflow into Howe Sound, but loads of puffs and crazy gusts on the outbound trip made for a fast and furious ride, albeit in the sunshine. Madsu rarely made under 5 knots SMG, no matter what point of sail it seems.
Spent a rocky night at the Cove with the wind blowing in from the straight. Once again, Madsu was the smallest boat in the park – but looking sharp under her blue tarp and a foredeck full of sailbags.
Trip home this morning was outstanding – hit by three separate squalls and cracked 6.5 knots SMG on a close reach. Frantic tiller/mainsheet work as boat went from flat to pinned in gusts, even with a reefed main and #2 jib.
Thankfully, now have my new North Sails foresails – made for a hairy and fun trip home. Surprise ! Not another sailboat in sight until I headed into Queen Charlotte Channel. Squalls came complete with cold, horizontal rain and a few hailstones. Still wearing shorts, but also had to don a toque and heavy foul-weather jacket for the ride.
No time for lunch or photos, just time for tiller and trim.
Verdict: when can I do THAT again.