Originally Posted by CarolynShearlock
Ditto on all the above. And note that if you ever are in a situation where you can't tack and there's an obstruction (such as shallow water coming up), you can do a quick jibe all the way around -- instead of tacking through 90 degrees, you jibe through 270 degrees. Hard to make upwind progress as you'll lose a lot, but it can keep you in safe water.
Good advice. A few weeks back I was in a similar situation as yours (did not want to scare the crew or deal with the main sail) so I only used the jib. Winds were gusting up to 30 knts with seas to 5 feet. I could not get the boat to tack no matter what I did, so I did a jibe. I have a reefer furler jib so to lesson the strain on the rig, I rolled the jib in quite a bit and then jibed then rolled it out.