||ASA103-104 Virgin Islands Intermediate Coastal Cruise
||March 6-13, 2010
|| CELESTIAL IP440
||Linda & Sam Goodwin; Linda Hanson
March 5, 2010:
The students arrived from the airport late afternoon.
Unfortunately, the checked in luggage for two of them did not.
After a quick tour of the boat, the students were invited to walk around
and check out the area until 6:30 when we would meet at Tickles, the local water
front restaurant for a group dinner. Dinner
allowed us a chance to get to introduce ourselves and discuss the plans for the
upcoming week. We returned to the
boat to go over in more detail the boat systems, however they all turned in to
their berths early due to their long day of travel.
March 6, 2010:
After breakfast at Tickles, we met at the boat to go over Rules of the Water or
which boat gets to go first. We
also went over navigation aids that help keep us out of trouble.
The trip was planned out along with what provisions would be desired and
required. As Sam went to the
airport to try and locate the stray bags (one of the two did show up) the rest
of us went up to the local store to pick up our provisions for the trip.
This is always an experience for the students because of the difference
in this store versus the ones back home. It's
also interesting to see the difference in taste and food selections amongst the
After stowing the
food, more class work in preparation for the week. We are aware of a less than desirable weather forecast.
Once more the students turn in early.
March 7, 2010:
After breakfast we listen to the weather together.
Strong winds, rain, high seas along with a crew with no sailing
experience and still missing a bag it was decided to spend another day at the
dock. Several shorter discussion
sessions during the day were held. The
students also had a chance to explore Charlotte Amalie, something that many
classes never get to do. By the end of the day, the missing bag was found and
returned to the boat by 1630. The
forecast was looking better for Monday and we were ready to go.
March 8, 2010:
Everyone feeling well and ready to leave. The
day delay permitted the seas to calm down a little.
After checking the boat, we stowed all gear and at 0900 called the marina
for clearance to leave. On the way
out past Water Island we had our first test of the rules of the road.
A seaplane must give way to all other vessels.
It always looks like they are closer than they are but what color were
the pilot’s eyes?
We had a great close
beam reach all the way to the end of St. Thomas were we had to do more tacking
to work our way up the Windward Passage along St. John.
Our intent was to clear BVI Customs at West End, Tortola.
However when we got there, there were not any mooring balls available. As the forecast was calling for strong winds again, we
decided to run over to Jost Van Dyke and see what was there. Upon arriving we were able to pick up a mooring ball and all
went to customs to clear our boat and ourselves into the BVI’s.
After time on shore, the class returned to the boat for their first
cooking on board, a dinner of beans and rice.
March 9, 2010:
Up and ready to go. After breakfast
and boat check, we headed south to Norman Island.
A great sail across to Great Thatch Island.
The turn up to head east put our nose right into the wind, a great time
to practice our tacking. The east
wind and changing wind speed made for an interesting trip.
We entered the Bight at Norman Island and picked up a mooring ball.
The students went on their first solo dingy ride exploring the area.
This allowed the captain time to take care of some minor boat issues. The
captain also felt he needed some meat. Captains
treat tonight as he prepared a meal of Chicken, spaghetti, and salad. He even did the dishes as the students took their first
written exam. All passed.
No one complained about the food.
Today our objective is the Bitter End on the north end of Virgin Gorda. The boat was checked and the route planned.
We left the mooring ball at 0820. The
first leg was no problem with the NE wind. However just past Peter Island we
found that it was a lot of trips back and forth across the Sir Francis Drake
Channel to make any distance to our destination.
Still it was a lot of great close reach sailing.
We made the turn around the east of Tortola but when it was again time to
head back to an easterly course we elected to start the engine and make the run
the rest of the way to Gorda Sound. This
also gave us a chance to put a charge back into our house batteries. We picked up our mooring ball and all went to shore for
showers and to check things out ashore. Dinner
ashore was even better then what the captain had made the night before.
March 11, 2010:
We made a quick trip to shore to get rid of trash and pick up some more
provisions. Conducted the boat
check and found that the one dingy line was starting to come apart.
The bad section was cut out and the line was retied.
Today our course turned around and the wind was behind us all the way to
Cain Garden. Winds up over 20 knots
and seas made the jibing practice interesting.
Still we were able to enter Cain Garden with no problem.
The students still would rather sail then to stop and go swimming.
A trip to shore for the students enabled them to find a good restaurant.
No place in the states do you have dogs come right up to you at your
table to let you get your “dog fix”. The
entertainment included a great band and a waitress dancing with a wine bottle on
her head. We still do not know how
it stayed on.
March 12, 2010:
After a quite night sleep we were up with the chickens (really).
The students took another one of their exams and we checked the boat for
our trip back to Crown Bay. Today
was the first good day for the new students to practice MOB which we did out
between Cain Garden and Jost Van Dyke. I
always wonder what other boats are thinking as they see this crazy sailboat
twisting and turning and going in circles. After we repeatedly rescued “Bob” (because he was
bobbing), we turned the boat for home. It
was a great sail reaching up over 8 knots many times. As we entered the area of Water Island, we could not help but
to keep an eye to the sky for landing seaplanes.
The sails were rolled in and the dock lines and fenders were prepared.
Crown Bay Marina was called for clearance to enter.
After docking and securing the boat, we all went up and cleared into
March 13, 2010:
We still had two more exams to take that were both passed.
The students packed and cleaned up getting ready for their return trip
home. Two of the students still had
more shopping to do before they headed back home. It was a great week of sailing, seeing new locations and
learning what it is like to operate a large cruse sailing boat around the
islands. A distance of 126 miles
Captain Keith Jackson
St Thomas, VI
14 March 2010
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