Passage: Cape St James to Kyuquot

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We left straight from SGaang Gwaay to sail past Cape St James (above) which is the Southern tip of the Haida Gwaii (well, except for some islands). We sailed through the first night and that next day we had to ditch our plans to go back to San Josef Bay which we loved but which is a crap anchorage when a SW swell is running and it was.

We decided to go to Winter Harbour but throughout the day the winds were lighter than forecast and although we were sailing, we were traveling slower than expected and we knew we wouldn’t make Winter Harbour by dark. The winds picked up in the evening and we decided to take advantage of the lovely NW wind to continue sailing through a second night, rounding the Brooks Peninsula and arrive at dawn at Kyuquot…which we did.

The challenge of this passage was to keep the sails from popping when we had swell coming from two directions at two different periods. We ended up running with our main only for part of the trip because the winds were around 120 degrees on a starboard tack and when the two swells combined to roll us heavily to port the jib would deflate and then inflate with a crack and a shock to the rig. Besides the use of the preventer, we also tried bungee cord on the mainsheet to minimize mainsail popping and on one watch I sat on the cockpit combing with my hand on the mainsheet and pulled on the mainsheet when it slacked to keep tension and reduce the popping (this worked except on the worst rolls).

Ideas?

43.5 hours and 200nm averaging 4.6 knots.

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