Location: Pearns Point, Antigua

Greetings from Skipper Greg and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today was a very exciting day aboard Vela because we sailed for the very first time! The sails began to go up around 9am and it took us about 45 minutes to start moving. There was a sense of chaos between shipmates for we had no clue what to expect. Living on a 112 foot boat is one thing, but sailing on a 112 foot boat is a whole other ball game.

Sailing for the first time on Vela felt like the dream everyone has when they take a test, but don’t know the answers. Luckily, our teachers know the answers and through trial and error we learned how to set sail.

I now understand why people sail all the time. Sometimes it’s calm, but for the most part it is chaotic. At one moment the water is calm and the next a wave is crashing onto your feet. You never know what is going to happen, so all you can do is live in the moment and trust that you will get to your destination. It’s that feeling you get at the end of a roller coaster. You don’t know why you decided to go on the coaster, but you did it and you want to get back in line. It truly felt like we were all on a movie set. Except it wasn’t movie, it was real life.

As we fought seasickness, sunburns and falling off the boat we couldn’t help but notice the team we were becoming. Through trial and error we are becoming better teammates and learning how to help each other grow on this voyage.

Mackenzie, Charlie, Andrea, Anthony, and I all got our chance to steer the boat. Which is lot harder than any of us suspected. Ethan and I brought up the main stay sail. It felt like I went to the YMCA to try to lift weights. Except this time I actually lifted the weights! Throughout the day our knowledge of sailing increased and by the end of the day we all felt like we read a whole text book.

As we anchored there was a different hum between shipmates. We took down the sails and it felt as if Vela was truly becoming our home. A home where we go on great adventures and end the day with sunset showers.

I just started drinking the coffee this morning, so I’ll keep you updated on how it tastes.

Skipper Greg

Photo 1: Max, Charlie, Will, Ethan, Mady, Valentina, Mackenzie, Hannah, Andrea.
Photo 2: Anthony steers the boat!
Photo 3: I learn how to steer with help from Calum.
Photo 4: Watching the horizon!
Photo 5: Bennett and Sonnet coil a line.
Photo 6: Sunset showers!
Photo 7: Ocean Star through the porthole