Screaming Fun


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.


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 brand new North Sails jib – one of two new foresails that arrived today.



Ideal Conditions, Again


Another brilliant day in Howe Sound.

I got down to the boat a bit late in the morning, and the southerly inflow was already well established.

A reef in the main and the #3 jib were in order – as the puffs were fairly strong and Madsu, like most sailboats, prefers not to be on her ear.  Skipper too.

It was another hot day and working our way to weather at 4.5 knots felt pretty good.  This may be the last time I use the old #3. Marcia at  North Sails called today to say my 2 new jibs have arrived.   Perfect, since we’ve been getting lots of  katabatics in Howe Sound with all this heat.

I’m sure the 100% will get used tons, and the storm jib will be a welcome over the next few weeks.


Sail Changes and Reefs


It really was a day packed with sail changes and reefs.

When I headed out at 9:30 (when I took this picture) there was a light wind from the North, just enough to keep Madsu moving at 2 knots.  The forecast was for 20-30 knots from the south by noon.  I put some BB King on the MP3 player and sat back and enjoyed the air.

Right on track with the Environment Canada forecast, the wind shifted to a southerly inflow around 11:30.

After beating for 2 hours, I now found myself having to beat again to head back the way I came.

No complaints though.

The wind built steadily, so I reefed the main.  Next I had to douse the 150 in favour of my bagged out #2 jib.

I made a quick half tack and dropped the jib on the bouncing foredeck, bagged it, and hoisted the #2.  It’s beat up and tired – it came with the boat, and aside from looking a lot like a pillow case when I hoist it, it was never cut correctly for the boat.  Still,  we managed  a lumpy 4 knots or so to weather in a wet wind-over-tide chop.  I can’t wait for the 2 new head sails I have coming from North Sails.

By the time I got back to where I’d come from, it really was time to dump the #2 for the #3,  but I decided to call it a day, taking a few minutes (and tacks) to play in the gusts rolling off the headlands.

Besides, I was hungry.  It was 2:00 and I’d been so busy sailing I hadn’t had any lunch.

Now there’s a west coast complaint for you –  “I was too busy sailing to eat my lunch”.  Awww.




The North Sails G3 gennaker gives Madsu a new lease on life off the wind.