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Captain’s Log: A Couple’s Getaway

diagramThe Basics

The boat: Speculation, a 2012 Leopard 44 

Crew: Captain JT (instructor)  

ASA Students: Steve & Tirzah

Courses Completed:   ASA 103 (Basic Coastal Cruising), ASA 104  (Bareboat Cruising), ASA 114 (Cruising Catamaran)

Day 1: The Start of Something New

Steve and Tirzah meet Captain JT for dinner and they spend the evening sharing their boating experience and hopes for the future. The couple has quite a bit of boating experience on lakes in Florida and California. However, most of this experience has been on houseboats, pontoon boats, and ski boats and they are excited to try something new! For them, sailing represents an opportunity to improve their seamanship skills and eventually, bring the whole family along for an ocean sailing experience. 

Day 2: Getting to Know Speculation

One of the great things about taking a sailing course with your spouse is that you already feel comfortable with your crew! However, Steve and Tirzah have never met Speculation before and their first day of sailing is all about getting acquainted with this beautiful sailboat. The couple practices maneuvers under power to get a feel for how Speculation moves before raising full main and jib. Captain JT also asks the pair to practice point-of-sail drills south of Water Island before dropping anchor in Secret Harbor for the night. 

Day 3: Anchored In

While the day starts off with successful learning about rules of the road, chart elements, and points of sail— the crew runs into an issue when trying to set sail. The anchor is stuck! Captain JT dives down to free it and it’s a good reminder to everyone aboard to be ready for the unexpected while sailing. The rest of the day goes smoothly with point-of-sail drills in Pilsbury Sound and exploring the area with full main and jib. By afternoon, the crew picks up mooring in Caneel Bay and takes the dinghy into Cruz Bay for dinner!

 

Day 4: The Learning Never Ends

Day 4 can feel like one of the busiest days while taking a week’s worth of ASA sailing courses. It’s the midway point and there is still so much to learn! The day starts by discussing man overboard procedures, how to plot waypoints, how to use a radio, and more. By early afternoon, it’s time to put those skills to work by sailing reef main and jib as well as practicing those man overboard drills! The crew celebrates the long day of learning by picking up mooring in Maho Bay to paddleboard and lounge on the beach. 

Day 5: Fun and Food

Taking a couple’s sailing trip with Go Sail Virgin Islands leaves plenty of time for fun! While the students start the day by going over light and sound signals as well as plotting a course, by lunchtime they have sailed their way into a day of adventure. After picking up mooring in Henley Cay the couple enjoys snorkeling and relaxing together in the beautiful Virgin Islands waters. Then, it’s back to sailing! The rest of the afternoon includes reefing practice south of Jost van Dyke before picking up mooring in Hawksnest Bay. The couple is then treated to JT’s delicious BBQ chicken on the grill. 

Day 6: Honeymoon Beach

It only seems right that this couple finishes off the last day of full sailing with a trip to Honeymoon Beach! The crew makes their way to Honeymoon Beach via French Cap Cay, practicing double-reefed main and triple-reefed jib along the way. They also get some anchoring practice in, as well.

Day 7: Tying the Knot

This couple’s first sailing adventure is coming to an end— however it’s only the beginning of the lifetime of sailing fun from here on out! Captain JT ends the trip with some knot tying, strengthening this couple’s love for sailing with bowline-on-a-bites, fisherman’s bends, and Carrick bends.