North Pacific High
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North Pacific High

North Pacific High

North Pacific High

It is one thing to be pushed ever farther North and West by the great windless expanse that is the North Pacific High in pea soup fog and drizzle. It is something else entirely to suffer the abuse under cloudless skies and bright sunshine.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was whipping Seaburban upwind in strong winds and nasty chop trying to make East. Now we limp West rendering the previous effort of getting East moot. And with the sun out, it seemed worth trying to lope as opposed to limp.

Light winds combined with any swell at all from any direction conspire to roll the boat mercilessly. The endless rolling constantly spills the wind from the sails causing them to bang and slat non-stop. It’s hard on the boat, but harder still on my nerves. Ironically, the answer  is to reef down. This stabilizes the rig and sails. The price to pay is slower speeds.

I figured we might get away with the spinnaker. A much bigger sail of very light material made especially for light following winds. It’s worked before, why not now?

In one of those perfect storm kind of affairs, the spinnaker and main got us  going faster all-right, and with the boat a bit faster it is less prone to rolling. All good. Except for the apparent wind. It went to zero and when it bottoms out, the wind vane can no longer steer. With the spinnaker set, our course looked as if a drunk was driving. Blindfolded.

Thus endeth the experiment.

Back to the Solent poled out to port and a single reef in the main. We limp North and West, away from the BC Coast and home, the North Pacific High chasing us all the way. But hey, at least the sun is shining.

Follow my tracks in real-time: