The Race That Wasn't and the Bachelorette Party That Was Page 2 - Sail Magazine

The Race That Wasn't and the Bachelorette Party That Was Page 2

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:
dress

Enter “The List”. While I innocently listened to music on the flight to St. Thomas, the rest of the crew had been busy compiling a bachelorette scavenger hunt consisting of 25 things I had to collect or do before the end of the week. The list ranged from simple debauchery to full on humiliation.

With the list in mind, it was convenient how easy it is for a boatload of women to meet fellow sailors. At the Bitter End alone we were invited for drinks aboard two different boats where we were able to “steal” a monogrammed item, acquire a team shirt from a competing boat, and burst into song upon asking the crew if they knew the way to San Jose.

The third day saw us circling the start line in 30 knots of wind watching high-end raceboats bury their rails soaking the rows of color-coordinated crew. We began the race with little fanfare, but as we turned downwind we enjoyed a beautiful sail back to Nanny Cay. After crossing the finish line with as little fanfare, we headed back to The Moorings for the night. The crew was in high spirits at the race party that night and a few more items were knocked off our “list”. The next morning we decided, with strong urgings from our captain, to withdraw from the regatta. With wind conditions so extreme, boats were being damaged in every race. The Moorings reported a lot of damage, a collision left one raceboat with a gaping hole, and a sailor aboard another was hit by the boom and was airlifted home with a broken neck. Being on a charterboat, it seemed prudent to play it safe.

On Friday we left the races behind and sailed from Road Town to The Bight on Norman Island where we enjoyed some remarkable snorkeling. I ticked off another item from the list when I requested a drink at the bar in snorkel and fins and was rewarded for the exhibition when a complete stranger paid our drink tab. Now we were really enjoying the splendor of the BVIs: turquoise waters, exquisite snorkeling, rum drinks, and white sand beaches.

dinner_time

The next day, after an early morning snorkel at The Caves, we sailed back across the Sir Francis Drake Channel and past Tortola to Little Harbour on Jost Van Dyke. There are three restaurants in Little Harbour which take turns collecting mooring fees. Cynthia Harris, owner of Harris’ Place, was all smiles when she dinghied up to Caribbean Soul, and she impressed us as much with her ebullient personality as with her description of her delicious dinner specials. Dinner ashore was now a must.

Cynthia was radiant that evening in her yellow sundress, and the lobster was unreal. We were regaled with stories, treated to soup and salad, and cajoled into dessert. We tried them all!

The next morning, after watching the resident goats pick their way down the hillside as we breakfasted, we plotted our next move and were off to Sandy Cay for more snorkeling, sunning, and a hike through this tiny speck of an island. Walking through the winding paths in its interior brought to mind the tropical setting of Lord of the Flies, but Lord of the Mosquitos may have been more apt. I was forced to retreat with red welts covering my body.

Related

SWTR005_SWJK022

MPX Pro Offshore Jacket

Heavy Duty JacketMusto’s new MPX Pro Offshore Jacket features the same waterproof, breathable three-layer Gore-Tex fabric as its predecessors, but weighs 15 percent less. Changes to the hood make it easier to adjust and the fleece-lined collar and hood pod provide both warmth and ...read more

2018-BestBoatNominees

Best Boats Nominees 2019

As we approach the upcoming fall boat shows, perhaps the best word to describe the boatbuilding industry’s latest crop of new designs is “consolidation.” Specifically, in recent months we’ve seen a number of innovations introduced in years past continue to work their way up and ...read more

9781472947666

Book Review: The Atlantic Crossing Guide

Jane Russell & the RCC Pilotage FoundationIf you have a yen for sailing across the Pond to explore the delights of Northern Europe or the Mediterranean, you’d best do some homework first. There’s no better primer than this weighty tome, now in its 7th edition. It’s crammed with ...read more

shutterstock_63705382

Raytech Gelbox Line

Well GelledEvery so often you run across a product you never knew you needed, and then you wonder why it took so long for someone to come up with it. Thus it is with the Gelbox line from Raytech. These reuseable plastic boxes for low-voltage connectors are filled with gel, so ...read more

shutterstock_295810247

Cruising: Nova Scotia’s Bras d’Or Lake

I have rarely had a cruise that wasn’t different from my expectations, and my Nova Scotia travels have borne that out. For my friend and shipmate, Steve White, and me, our 2017 trip to Cape Breton Island and the Bras d’Or Lake on One Timer, my Sabre 362, was a much anticipated ...read more

ElanGT5-a

Boat Review: Elan GT5

Aboard many modern yachts, it can be hard to remember exactly what boat you’re on until your eye happens to light upon a logo. However, this is most definitely not the case with the Elan GT5, a performance cruiser with a look all its own and style to burn.Design & ...read more

01-Lead-P1060210

Handheld VHF Radios

For many sailors, cell phones have become their primary means of both ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. Even the Coast Guard will often ask for a cell number after it receives a distress call. None of this, however, makes a VHF radio any less important—and this goes ...read more

Seascape24

Boat Review: Seascape 24

Since its inception in 2008, Slovenian builder Seascape, founded by a pair of Mini Transat sailors, has focused solely on creating boats that are both simple and loads of fun to sail. With their 18-footer and then a 27-footer they succeeded in putting out a pair of trailerable ...read more