Friday, April 22, 2011

Day of Drills

Today was a great training day. Leverick Bay is big and calm so we did man-overboard drills. I am going to make you suffer through the details so that it will help us remember for future reference. We threw poor Wilson, the ball with a tail, off the boat over and over again until we had it nailed. First yell man over board and someone points and never takes his eyes off of him. The helmsman immediately brings the boat to a beams reach, just momentarily, so we don't accidentally jibe, and then we tack completely around, putting Wilson on the windward side so that we don't get blown into him, turning into the wind so that the boat is in irons and stops just as we reach him so we can scoop him up. After that we beat into the wind to sail between a dock and the bowsprit of a big, beautiful, expensive schooner. That was pretty scary, but we managed. Then we had to run with the wind to our backs, the hardest point of sail as it can be slow going and you can accidentally jibe, which all of the books say you don't want to do. While sailing down wind, we practiced controlled jibing until we got out of the bay. We set a course for our next destination, Anegada. Along the way, Bob let me handle the sails during tacks single-handedly, declaring that most women don't want to touch the lines. Now I understand why he wanted me to be helmsman, he assumed I didn't want to touch the lines. It is quite the opposite, I love hoisting, cranking, and working the lines. I love looking at the sails and trying to figure out if they are in the correct position for the point of sail we are on. He had me pegged completely wrong, but now I am in a happy place. I am even getting a little better at the helm though I would much rather Jason be there since he is really good at controlling the boat. After a satisfying day of sailing, we anchored in the very shallow (around 9 feet, our keel reaches down 7 feet, yikes!) waters of the low-lying island of Anegada. After the anchor was set, Jason headed below decks and finished his third, and final, written test. I am proud to announce that he is now officially certified to bare boat charter. Woohoo! At this point, Captain Bob even let us take the dinghy alone to land to relieve the chihuahua and go for a sunset walk.

Click here for photos.

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