The Race That Wasn't and the Bachelorette Party That Was

We arrived in Tortola determined, if not to win the cruising class, to at least have a creditable go in the annual BVI Spring Regatta with the all woman crew of “Team SAIL”. We looked damned good in our pink team shirts and matching pink Crocs and were sure to look equally good on the water aboard the Moorings 51.5 charterboat, Caribbean Soul. And if we failed…at least we escaped a cold
Author:
Publish date:
bachelorette_party
start_line

We arrived in Tortola determined, if not to win the cruising class, to at least have a creditable go in the annual BVI Spring Regatta with the all woman crew of “Team SAIL”. We looked damned good in our pink team shirts and matching pink Crocs and were sure to look equally good on the water aboard the Moorings 51.5 charterboat, Caribbean Soul. And if we failed…at least we escaped a cold and rainy New England April for a week.

On the first day of the race, we headed to the line in 20 to 25 knot winds. As our start time approached the winds and waves in the Sir Francis Drake Channel continued to build and our cautious captain decided not to risk damaging the boat racing in those conditions. We motorsailed towards the Bitter End under half a jib, making eight to nine knots as the winds reached a conservative 30 to 35 knots. It was a wet and wild ride as waves broke over the rail, but we made the most of it, blaring music over the roar of the elements.

Even in the protection of the Bitter End, the wind was strong making for a rough night belowdecks. The wind howled over the portholes and whipped the halyards, burgees, and even our hatch. The wind never let up all week, and locals swore they couldn’t remember such sustained high wind conditions.

The next day, a lay day reserved for leisure at the Bitter End’s beautiful facilities, set the stage for the remainder of the week when a sudden rain squall sent us running for cover at the nearest bar. A few dark and stormies and rum punches later it was time for lunch. It was also at the Bitter End that I was informed that my week would not be wasted. With my wedding a mere month away, the crew was determined that I should dedicate myself to living it up.

ladies_sitting
sunset

Related

IslandPacket349

Boat Review: Island Packet 349

After years of quiescence in the wake of the Great Recession, iconic Island Packet is back with its new 349, a re-boot of the old Estero that not only looks great, but takes the Island Packet style of sailing performance to a new level. Design & Construction First among the many ...read more

190219NEEL51

Video Tour: Neel 51 Trimaran

At this past fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, SAIL magazine had a chance to corner Neel Trimarans founder Eric Bruneel and have him give us a tour of the accommodations aboard the new Neel 51, winner of the “Multihull over 50ft” category in the 2019 Best Boats contest. For a complete ...read more

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more

shutterstock_349918991

Successful Surf Landings with Wheels

“Ready to take the dink ashore?” Never had those words invoked as much anxiety as when my husband, Jeff, and I first moved to the Pacific Coast. Why? Because we had exactly zero experience with dinghy surf landings, and the possibility of being flipped upside down along with our ...read more