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November 2007

Storm Trysails

 We received the following email from Craig and Kaye Compton the keen sailors who hosted Taleisin at their dock on Bainbridge Island for the winter of 2005-2006. They had set off on their first ocean passage, from the Puget Sound on board Little Wing, their B 28 foot BCC cutter. The lessons they learned definitely are worth sharing. 

39.59 N - 126.15 W 09 Sep 2007 00:08:00 -0000
Hi Lin and Larry,

Well, we're out here "doing it".  Five days of "more than we asked for" sailing.  We are currently 90 miles north of Cape Mendocino, 150 miles
out, hove to with the trysail (a sail which I love more than life itself).  Sailing has been hard at times and unbelievable fun others. 

The trysail does double duty as broad reaching turbo machine and parking break when we heave to.  At first we liked the trysail and staysail, but then it got too windy, so we doused the trysail being on a reach and wanting front wheel drive.  But stopping and heaving to was hard and we are usually tired by this time. We discovered the trysail does great off the wind and easy with no boom.  When we want to stop, we round up and put her in park. I'm sure you've heard all this many times before. Too cool.

The wind for the last four days has been steady 25 knots(streaky water) with thunder gusts of 40 (we had a 55 on the wind meter, but I don't think that counts). Today was the hardest with 35-40 with 10-15 seas.  We have been hove to three times so far when it gets to hot. This kills our speed record, but we're rested and not broaching.

We're seeing a side of Little Wing we never knew existed.  She rides on rails off the wind through the most atrocious swell/chop/wind wave mix you can imagine, with "Leonardo" the helm hound from hell in charge.  We were stupid yesterday and didn't have the washboards in.  We were
punished with a waterfall into the cabin.  That killed our spirit for a time, but as things dry out our mood improves.

Can't wait to see you and tell tall tales.
Learning Lots,
Love you both,
Craig, Kay,

Craig and Kay Compton have cruised through out the Puget Sound and as far north as Desolation Sound on “Little Wing” for the past four years. It is fun to keep in touch as they head further afield.

During the first leg of their voyage Craig and Kaye, along with their friend Eric who joined them for this first passage, had more than their fair share of heavy winds. This happened in spite of waiting for a good weather window and leaving on forecasts that predicted far lighter winds. They also chose the prudent course, heading almost 150 miles offshore. Closer to shore the winds and seas were reported to be even stronger during the days they were at sea.

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