Husband Wife ASA Sailing trip 2007
What to do on a 20th wedding anniversary, but a little fun and learning how to sail. So I took my wife on an ASA sailing adventure to the British Virgin Islands. We started out nervous about our other unknown crew that would be sharing a the 40ft boat. We were told by the charter company that our ASA Captain would be a female, and our cook was female as well. We exchanged emails with the other couple who would be joining us and learning to sail. Take a risk and who knows, you might be rewarded.
Start Date: 03-02-2007
End Date: 03-09-2007
0 Nm / 0 Nm
We left Michigan in March with 3ft of snow. Yaaa! The sailing company only provided the boat name Malina and our Taxi driver had to find our boat. He looked very confused, but we made it to the marina. Oh no, nobody on board, but lights were on. We went to have a cocktail at a lounge within site of the Marina, and hope we were at the right marina. When we returned, our Captain and crew mates were there. By were we relieved. Everybody seemed great. Then into our sleeping quarters.
2.1 Nm / 2.1 Nm
First test was to get out of the marina slip which was highly congested. I started out reversing and turning the wheel, then let the wheel free spin, before the quick arm of the captain grabbed the wheel to stop the free spin. I quickly put the gear in forward and moved through the canal into the bay. Then our polite and patient captain gave instruction on the stress on rudder when in reverse. They are prone to great forces that can damage the rudder and rudder post. Never let the wheel free spin in reverse. I was embarrassed but Captain Gail worded it well. All day we spent taking turns jibing and running as helmsman. Cordial ice breaker jokes were shared. We had strong winds over 17 knots and it is still amazing that a tiny 1/2 inch jib line can hold tons of pressure on the sail. I can still hear the ship creaking under the force of wind.
7.5 Nm / 9.6 Nm
Each became masters of jibing. We could see Jost VanDyke Island - our evening resting locale. Oyur captain instructed us on the best access through the reef, then our first mooring ball pick-up. Our sister flotilla ship came in a an hour later, and we all were sharing stories with excitement. Our captain heard of sea turtles and went off snorkeling near the reef&#039;s edge. Soggy Dollar restaurant was within sight and got it&#039;s name from sailors who swim ashore and give them wet dollars.
Jost Van Dyke
3.6 Nm / 13.2 Nm
Dinner at Ivan&#039;s with BBQ buffet in White Bay. $25 per person. Food was good, but they used paper plates. Then dancing, drinking, and more dancing. It was cool to take a dingy to shore. You feel pretty important being ferried ashore with a dingy.
3.3 Nm / 16.5 Nm
Early departure for the day. Sun was up, and our Captain wanted to make one stop for lunch and snorkeling, and then to arrive early enough for the evening stop to get a mooring ball. The weather was warm, but not hot through out the day. I think we were off shore about 10 miles, and it was exciting, not sure what you might see. Our other boat was within sight, and was gaining on us. Oh how we tried to speed up, but they passed us on our wat to lunch anchorage.
5.4 Nm / 21.9 Nm
There were six boats in our flotilla, but only one sharing the same course. One of the other boats was focused on scuba diving and another on offshore cruising. We had plans to re-unite in a few days. Having other boats in our flotilla made it great for reviewing skills and stories at the end of each day. It also made for an intimate party after the end of a long day, as each evening was an lightly organized get together of eating and drinking and story telling.
3.6 Nm / 25.5 Nm
Lunch at Monkey Point was great and snorkeling was the best we would see. It was our second day and first lunch with a stop. There are many other great places, but this happened to be the best for snorkeling. My wife and I were off snorkeling and saw two large fish that looked very similar to Barracuda and they looked hungry. My wife clobbered over top of me on her way back to the boat. We laughed so hard afterwards about how we were trying to run on water to get to safety on the boat.
2.6 Nm / 28.1 Nm
Stayed overnight in Trellis bay and had a great party time at Purple Mongoose. The harbor was crowed due to a 10+ SunSail flotilla of 23+ boats. Party on... The harbor was crowded and we needed to use anchor. We used two because we were so jam packed, and another boat owner requested a night watch because we were so close. Our captain took the job without question.
7.2 Nm / 35.3 Nm
From Trellis, we sailed out to sea, on our journey to Virgin Gorda. I am not sure how any miles off shore we were, but it was my furthest from shore and was scary and adventurous at the same time. We saw some porpoises but never too close.
2.4 Nm / 37.7 Nm
After we passed Anglia Point on our way to Leverick Bay, we practiced anchoring skills. Everyone took a turn. With lots of cross wind, my wife received a scrunched big toe, as the wind unexpectedly closed the anchor lid. She was tough, but it hurt for the rest of the trip. Can you say BOAT BITE!
0.6 Nm / 38.3 Nm
The Marina at Virgin Gorda was really nice and the ladies took off for a hot shower on land. We all got dressed up - Hawaiian shirts and shorts, and a power boat picked us up for dinner, and we probably ate at Bitters End Yacht Club. That way we could keep our mooring ball. It was a very high-class restaurant with super-yachts in the marina.
1.7 Nm / 40 Nm
Bitters End Yacht Club restaurant was really awesome, and the super yachts were never ending. I think Robin Leach had to be nearby. I am not very good at recognizing famous people, but there must have been some there.
3.3 Nm / 43.3 Nm
Today we were headed to the famous Baths, where great snorkeling and rock hiking. It does get crowded soon, so get to the mooring balls early, before noon. The sailing was excellent and we all were now practicing our charting, and we all feel like we are on an advanced sailing class, and an adventure.
5.2 Nm / 48.5 Nm
Today was more practice and time to take our written tests. The ASA program wants sailors to be safe and to know terminology, and this keeps charter companies and government agencies from requiring more regulation. We think the studying was sometimes tedious, but after the hard paper test, we feel far more confident in what we are doing. Now on our way for more sailing and adventure.
0.8 Nm / 49.3 Nm
The Baths were great for snorkeling, and we made time for a snooze while tanning. There were about 100 other people enjoying the beach, and the small waves beating on shore. Some say that Pirate treasure is buried somewhere nearby. The way the boulders and abundant coves sure would lead you to do some investigating on that subject.
10 Nm / 59.3 Nm
This final night we rafted off with five sailboats, including the big cat in the middle. Not sure what style of anchor mooring we did, as we had our noses 20ft from shore and tied to shore, and an anchor of aft. A short down pour made cooking burgers on the grill a bit challenging, but I love to grill so there I was, cooking with my raincoat on. Thankvto Frogg Toggs rain gear, as it packs small and is somewhat breathable. If you never had a cocktail named Pain-Killer, then there is no better place than in the BVI on anchor. The pain-killers were great, and include ice, Pussers Rum, coconut milk, pine-apple juice, and fresh scraped nutmeg. The desk on a catamaran is big enough for dancing. Wow. We may look into Catamaran charter next time.
6.1 Nm / 65.4 Nm
We sailed into Soper&#039;s Hole, a busy harbor with Port of Entry for the country. The were hundreds of boats moored in the harbor. The city had enough to walk around and and see bars and visit marinas. I would even come back here for a land visit.
6.5 Nm / 71.9 Nm
Yes, we just sailed for as long as we could on our last day.
1.9 Nm / 73.8 Nm
We sailed around Tortola bay for the last day, everyone a bit sad, as we all made good friends. Check-in was a breeze and off to the hotel for a final shower and nap before we headed to the airport.