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The First (Real) Sail

Oct 22, 2013


Location: Mustique to Bequia
Author: Gwen
This morning in Mustique we had another French breakfast of fresh croissants and baguettes, something that seems to be happening whenever I am skipper for the day. The carbohydrates became a great fuel for what would be our first sail completely without the motor. After breakfast, cleanup, our two classes, and passage prep, we raised anchor mid-morning. Our challenge this morning was to sail off the anchor. This is a concept we had learned about in our sailing class but had yet to perform. We raised the mainsail and the foresail first and then, working in time with the anchor team, the shipmates on the staysail and the jib raised the sails as the anchor came off the ocean floor. We even back winded the staysail as the jib was being raised, a skill we have practiced but have not executed in a situation like this. Needless to say, we were successful in our first attempt at sailing off anchor and there were high fives from Captain Kris and smiles from the shipmates all around; it was a cool moment and one that everyone was proud of. Once we had raised anchor we were on route to Bequia. During our previous passages we have not encountered many winds in our favor and often relied on Ocean Stars motor for the extra power to keep our course. Today was different. Today we sailed without the motor, executing many effective tacks. Being completely under sail we also experienced Ocean Stars ability to heel over. Until then I am not sure any of the shipmates understood how important it was to 40/40 the boat during passage. But as the boat heeled over to the port side, everyone was clipped in and hanging on tight to the lines. As we sailed into the harbor we were prepared to sail onto anchor just as we had sailed off. But in the last minutes the winds died so we turned the motor on and flaked the sails as usual. Despite this small disappointment, it was an overall enjoyable day of sailing. Anchored now in Bequia, we are all taking our time to prepare for this weeks midterms and trying to make those grades our parents know we are capable of.