Madsu On The Water

Quick Overnighter


Had a lovely sail to Keats Island from Horseshoe Bay – a short overnighter mid-week. This shot is mid-afternoon at Plumper Cove.

After I rounded the top of Bowen Isalnd, the wind in Howe Sound was about 14 knots on the nose and I tried a different sail combination – my 60% jib with a full main.  Normally I’d have the 100% jib up with a reef in the main in this wind, but I wanted to see how well the smaller jib performs.

I was surprise to find the boat a lot flatter – even with the full main.  Beating  all the way up, Madsu was never heeled more than 15 degrees and we were doing a respectable 5 knots average SMG.

When North Sails cut this jib for me, they kept it fairly full low down, but the luff only goes about 2/3rd of the way up the forestay – so I does make sense that I’m getting less heel even with the full main.

I like this combination a lot, keeping the main full means more power through the chop.  I do think with the 100% jib and a reef in the main I might have a bit more speed, but also a lot more heeling and not as much punch through the waves – or at least that’s my theory.


Tucked in for the Night


Plumper Cove, Keats Island, British Columbia.




We had a super quiet night at Plumper Cove on Keats.  The only dock party involved a Great Blue Heron, who decided to fish from the outside float.

It was a super still night weather wise as well – which resulted in a bumper crop of mosquitos in the cabin.


Bay Watch


Given that there’s a small schooner in the cove, and the water was super clear, and it was hot hot hot,  this could easily pass for a quiet little bay in the tropics – except for all the cedar trees.

This was shot from Keats Island, Plumper Cover is the left, across the sound is the town of Gibsons Landing.


The Moon Also Rises


It was a lovely moonlit night at the anchorage.  Full moon is still a few days away,  July 7th


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.


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.


Wet, Cold, Hungry and Tired. Now That’s Sailing


Two days away on Madsu, a short solo trip up to Plumper Cove on Keats Island.

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.