Location: Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines
Have you ever wanted to wake up to the sound of the didgeridoo and Australian birds? Definitely possible on this boat since my go-to wake-up song is “Follow the Sun” by Xavier Rudd, an Australian musician who’s known for combining traditional instruments and Australian nature sounds. The more impressive thing is, so many people were already up and about by the time I went to wake everyone up at 7:00 am. There were a few people on deck, perhaps still awake from an early morning anchor watch and reminiscing about the sunrise some got to see. Down in the Salon, there was teeth brushing and some early morning studying, and from further aft, the galley crew busy preparing breakfast for 18 people, no easy task. The galley crew, consisting of Henry, Johnny, and Head Chef, Meg, were cooking up some pretty spectacular crepes accompanied by sausages, berries, powder sugar, and honey.
Once we were fueled up for the day, the shipmates dived (figuratively) into a Marine Biology class lead by our Captain, Steve. The class was all about the structure of fish, their different parts and what they do, and how they camouflage themselves in their different environments. After a short break, they got straight back to class, only this time with Brahm for Seamanship. Today’s focus was on the use of VHF (Very High Frequency) radios in the maritime world, their origins, and their importance. Whilst they delve into radio etiquette, Sam, Steve, and I began raising the anchor so we could get underway as soon as they were done.
Upon finishing with Seamanship theory, we got straight into seamanship practical by raising the sails for our day sail from the island of St Vincent to Bequia, the northernmost island of the Grenadines. First, we had to “top the booms” by lifting them out of the “gallows” using a series of lines called “quarter lifts” and people power. This people’s power used on the lines is called “Sweating.” Once all the booms are topped, it’s time to put up the sails. This is also done completely by hand, and this crew is getting pretty damn good at it. Not long after we got underway with sails up and everyone comfortable, Steve surprised the crew with a fire drill to help us, as a team, stay sharp and know our roles in an emergency. After extinguishing the “fire,” we enjoyed some wonderful views and weather on deck until we arrived at Admiralty Bay, Bequia.
Our fantastic galley crew rewarded us with a lunch of Chicken or Chickpea pitas once we had dropped sails and anchored in the bay. After lunch and clean-up, we got ready for a stay here for the next few days by putting sail covers back on and tidying the deck of all lines. The shipmates enquired about going to the beach for the afternoon, and since then, Steve had to go into the town on our dinghy; the only way to the beach was to swim… so they all did. The shipmates all enjoyed the short swim over to the beach and the sand between their toes. The crew enjoyed the sound of silence.
To round out the day, our wonderful galley crew pulled out all the stops on a pasta bake with homemade garlic bread (which Meg started the dough for the night before) for our evening meal. Now, as we finish off our day, there are people in the salon playing chess, some studying for the oceanography quiz that is tomorrow morning, a few on deck working on Lit Reviews, or just enjoying the night sky and the lap of the waves against the hull.
So from me, it’s good evening, until next time.
1. Grady, Addisen, and Erin working the main sheet
2. Grady on the helm
3. Enjoying the crepes
4. The dishy pit
5. Down gopher and our Head Chef, Meg
6. Marine Biology
7. Preparing to sail
8. Henry leading a sail raise
9. Celia and Johnny working the main sheet
10. Sweating the Peak Halyard
11. Sweating the Throat Halyard
12. Hauling on the Main Halyard with Johnny flexing
13. Still hauling on the Main
14. Homemade garlic bread and pasta bake
15. Noah enjoying a well-deserved dinner
16. Erin also enjoying a well-deserved dinner
17. More people enjoying a well-deserved dinner
18. Steve enjoying a sausage
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