Go With The Flow

Howe Sound is a true delight at this time of year, as daytime heating affects the air flow up the narrow sound.20090519_howesound

The pattern lately has been outflow (northerly) winds in the morning, with the wind going light near noon, then a complete reversal in the afternoon to an inflow (southerly) building through the afternoon.

Over the long weekend it was almost like clockwork – on both Friday and Saturday I managed to sail downwind for a few hours, only to turn around and sail downwind home.

I’ve been getting lots of use out of my North Sails G-3 gennaker (cruising chute). I’m getting a lot faster setting the running rigging for the sail, so I’m using it a lot more.


On Friday I spent most of the morning getting my gybes down.

I had a distinct lack of confidence with the inside gybe – that’s where the clew passes ahead of the forestay but inside the tack, rather than bringing the clew all the way forward and around the tack. I know the theory but just couldn’t seem to get the sail around cleanly – a lot of it is timing.

The G-3 is very forgiving – fortunate for me – but after 4 or 5 ‘proper’ gybes I finally got the hang of it and now feel a lot better about having to do them quickly or in heavier air. The sail is so much fun to use, partly because Madsu behaves like a completely different boat off the wind when I’m using the cruising chute.


On Sunday the whole family was on board to enjoy the sun. We broad-reached north with the gennaker, then doused the chute and hoisted the 150 genoa for a leisurely beat home.

The wind piped up to about 15 knots and we had a fabulous trip home.

On a starboard tack with no-one below us, we cruised home at a lively 5 knots without a single tack. The only time I touched the jib sheet was to douse it when we arrived at Horseshoe Bay !
View Madsu in Howe Sound on Sunday in a larger map

Anatomy of a Perfect Meeting


I spent over an hour getting there, but who’s complaining. That hour was all sailing time, dock to dock, as I popped over to Bowen Island for a quick lunch meeting.

The great thing about sailing Madsu to a meeting ? Madsu is also the conference centre.

Its all room with a view.

There was loads of room at the Bowen government dock where I tied up shortly after noon. A few minutes later I was met by Bowen’s own James Glave, author of Almost Green and owner of the Eco-Shed.

We had a great hour long meeting sitting in the sun in Madsu’s cockpit.


It was impossible to resist the steady breeze ,so the trip back took a bit longer. I just had to spend a bit of time tacking my way towards the Straight, all in the name of processing the topics discussed at the meeting, of course.

I did have to tuck a reef in the main and Madsu did a nice steady 5 knots to weather until the wind started to go lighter around 4, when I eased the sheets and reached my way back to Horseshoe Bay at a comfy 4.5 knots.

If every meeting could be like this one, I’d be booking a whole lot more of them…


biovia Website Launch


It’s been great working with the gang at biovia this spring.

Today we launched their new website…

biovia is a Vancouver-based wholesale distributor specializing in local + organic produce including fruit, vegetables, herbs, micro and leafy field greens and eggs. We deliver to the foodservice industry throughout the Vancouver, sea to sky corridor and Whistler regions. We place the highest priority on purchasing locally.

The idea is for the biovia team to manage the site themselves, so the site is built using WordPress as the CMS, with Slide Show Pro handling the flash banners on the home page.

This is the first phase of an on-going online project with biovia and I’m looking forward to seeing how things unfold. They’re the nicest people.

With any luck they’ll let me ride in the truck one day.

In A Mood


Sitting in Madsu’s cockpit patching a few small dents in the gelcoat on the cockpit lockers, I can’t help notice Howe Sound’s dramatic sky.

The day was a round-robin of sun, rain, thunder, and little squals.

Perfect really.

The patching I’m doing is really fixing old patches that have fallen apart. They aren’t big, maybe half the size of a dime. I can’t quite figure out how they were caused in the first place, a 30 year old boat has a lot of secrets to tell. Probably a dropped wrench or some other heavy tool. One or two of them look like they might have been from the boom, maybe dropping the main without the topping lift (my boom kicker avoids that altogether).

The wind’s howling again.

I’m wishing I was heading out instead of sitting here with a putty knife and sandpaper. I’ve got a couple of new jibs coming from Dave and Marcia at North Sails for this type of weather, and I console myself with the thought that it would be a rough ride today with my bagged out #2.

Patches done, I head up to the foredeck to soak up some of the late afternoon sun, the smell of salt water and sounds of the harbour surround me.

Perfect really.