Post 158: Raising the sails!

Post 158: Raising the sails!

Aligning of the Stars

We have been out in the sailboat many times, but always under power. We were waiting for the perfect conditions to actually try sailing for the first time: time off from work, a little wind but not too much and enough courage to give it a shot!

It was mid August, a busy time at The Outpost.  It so happened that our boss was visiting and we were offered a day off while he held down the fort. We looked at the weather forecast and it was calling for 10 knot winds from the North. Ocean swell was only 1 to 2 meters, overcast with occasional sun. It was exactly the day we were looking for! We put on our big boy and big girl pants (panties)  and decided to give sailing a shot!

One thing we have learned with our motor sailing adventures is, make sure everything is ready and in place before casting off: All loose items had been stowed away, AC power disconnected, life jackets on, Navionics (& charts) ready, fuel pump on, VHF radios on, engine started and idling etc.

Girls ( Lucky and Bailey)  tucked below deck and secured, so we could concentrate on casting off and leaving the harbour safely.

The Plan

Our plan was pretty simple, head out of the harbour towards Kain’s Island. The lighthouse on Kain’s Island, is still run by onsite lighthouse keepers.

For our first attempt at sailing, our plan was to let out the head sail about 25%, that way we could experiment with tacking and getting wind in the sails. As we started to learn how the sails reacted we let about 50% of the sails out.

Head Sail raised
Enjoying some quiet sailing
Raised Main Sail
Raising the Main Sail for the first time!

It was a great feeling, making about 4 knots of speed. As we felt in control,  we started to tack a bit better each time.

Joy stationed on the port (left) side,  Bill on the starboard (right) side, we realized as we tacked to the starboard side, Bill had to be quicker getting the sail set.

We finally had the head sail and main sail fully deployed, it was great. Watching carefully as we were getting closer to the lighthouse and the open Pacific Ocean. Sailing between 5 -6 knots, the boat began to heel slightly as the wind picked up. Bill and Joy  jointly made the decision we were getting a bit uncomfortable  with the situation. We quickly decided to turn  into the wind and lower the sails, before we got in over our head!

Happy, we motored back to Browning Inlet and set anchor for a relaxing afternoon. The trip wasn’t very long but it was successful and exciting. Quite pleased with ourselves, we settled in for the return trip.

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