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post #2 of Old 09-24-2014
Alex W
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Re: Short tacking to windward is sailings heavy lifting.

I love short tacking out of a long narrows. It's active, takes strategy to do well, and is fun. The wind shifts from land shapes often keep you on your toes. At least half of my favorite days of sailing involve a couple hours of short tacking in tricky conditions.

A good example from 15 months ago took place in the Malaspina Inlet:

We were passed by a lot of motoring sailboats with a bored looking crew, but we had a lot of fun and felt good when we cleared the end of the inlet and were able to fly the kite. If you examine the charts for that area you'll see that there are a lot of rocks to dodge, which also adds to it.

One of my favorite day or one-nighter trips involves sailing around Bainbridge Island. If the wind is out of the south (it normally is) then we usually have to tack through Rich Passage, which is S shaped, has ferry traffic to watch out for, and has tricky winds due to the shape of the land nearby. It was fun doing this last week with a friend's boat nearby and keeping track of our relative tracks. This photo was taken just after he snuck all the way up to land and tacked over:

Edit: Last year I did spend an hour short tacking against the current in a narrow passage (near the Wasp Islands in San Juan County, WA). It was fun seeing how much progress I could make given my lousy planning (I shouldn't have picked times that would have me sailing through a narrow passage against a 1.5-2 knot current). After moving forward less than a 1/4 mile in an hour I did throw in the towel and motor through.

I'm no longer participating on SailNet.

Last edited by Alex W; 09-24-2014 at 12:38 PM.
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