Downwind To Tahsis
05 July 2012 | posted at Kyuquot
Photo: Westview Marina, our destination in Tahsis. June 26, 2012
The west wind was blowing 20 knots up narrow Ewin Inlet when we left. We abandoned ideas of going on to Friendly Cove in favor of a fast, easy sail to Tahsis. We set sail outside the Spanish Pilot Group. We knew that a northwest wind always blows up inlet in Nootka Sound, no matter what direction the wind blows outside and that meant we would be sailing north with the wind behind us in Tahsis Inlet while just a few miles away in the ocean, the wind would be blowing from the north!
The wind was easy but the sailing was not. When we converted to a roller-furling jib a year ago, we worried that we wouldn't be able to sail effectively upwind against strong winds. In fact, that hasn't been a problem and we like the ability to shorten sail quickly. What has been a problem for us is sailing downwind in light winds. The weight of the jib with its UV protection makes the sail droop. Winds in which we would have sailed wing-and-wing without a pole under the old system, now require a pole. That means a topping lift, a foreguy and of course the big pole. Not a big problem if you can just set it and forget it but in confined waters like Tahsis Inlet the wind shifts frequently and every time it does, we have to jibe. Invariably the topping lift gets in the way of the sail coming around and the foreguy tangles, resulting in lots of swearing and shouting from Steve including threats to tear the whole system out in favor of our old hank-on sails. Obviously this is something that needs more work.
Near the top of Thasis Inlet, with Westview Marina in sight, the wind trailed off to almost nothing. We rolled up the jib and started the engine. The wind, of course, promptly picked up to almost 20 knots. We were glad to have the help of two young men from the Westview Marina to help us tie up.