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Captain’s Log: A Little Bit of Everything

Captains log Go Sail Virgin IslandsThe Basics

The boat: Good Times & Tan Lines, a 2023 Lagoon 42

Crew: Captain JT (instructor)  

ASA Students: Kostas, Katri, and Peter

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

Day 1: This Is Just the Beginning

Kostas, Katri, and Peter met Captain JT at the Compass Point Marina and headed to the bar for a welcome drink and to get to know each other. Kostas and Katri shared their plans to charter a boat in Greece after receiving their ASA certifications! Peter explained he already owns a 26 foot monohull but was excited to learn more about sailing a larger boat and gain catamaran experience. This weeklong course would prove to be a great jumping off point for reaching their larger sailing dreams! 

Day 2: A Little Bit of Everything

The crew started the morning with a full briefing on “Good Times & Tan Lines’” systems. They also discussed sailing terms, safety, and the anatomy of the sailboat before setting sail. Once underway, it was time to get a feel for the boat! Kostas, Katri, and Peter took turns at the helm and tried out some maneuvers under power before hoisting the mainsail. Captain JT provided the students with a lesson on reefing before having them unfurl the jib. Each crewmember took a turn at the helm and winches and traded off controlling the lines and holding a course. As if that wasn’t enough new material, they then practiced tacking their way upwind, north of St. John, and practiced heaving-to by Great Thatch Cay. It was a jam packed day with crewmembers practicing a little bit of everything!

Day 3: A Taste of the VI

After a long day of sailing the day before, the crew decided to take things a bit easier on day 3. It was time to get a real taste of the Virgin Islands! The group tacked, jibed, and used the traveler up through the Narrows, through Thatch Cay Cut and then headed towards Trunk Bay for lunch! Captain JT introduced them to “bang bang” cause on their burgers ashore which was a huge hit and left the crew excited to try more local food for dinner! They worked their appetite back up by sailing over to Lovango Cay and snorkeling. Then, for dinner, they tried out lobster schnitzel, sea urchin gnocchi, and Caribbean Bouillabaisse. The crew voted the Caribbean Bouillabaisse as their favorite of the dishes!

Day 4: Staying Put

The light winds of five knots on day four made for a great day to practice some cruising skills. Captain JT walked the crew through the steps to pick up moorings and anchoring. The group practiced these skills and then Captain JT tested their man overboard skills! Each student also had the opportunity to practice maneuvers under power from Magens Bay to Caneel Bay. Once in Caneel Bay, the crew decided to try another delicious meal ashore! Their choice?  A four course meal including a charcuterie board, pasta, fish, and duck breast. Plus a variety of rich desserts!

Day 5: Navigating and Exploring

Learning to sail isn’t just about successfully reaching a destination— you have to plan how to get their first! The crew spent the day practicing using a chart plotter to make a route and following waypoints to make their way east. After a taco lunch at Coral Bay, they hopped back on the boat and headed over to Little Lameshur Bay. Just in time to grab the last available mooring! After a full day of sea navigation, the crew shifted their focus to on-land exploration and found their way to an old rum distillery near the beach.

Day 6: Rounding Out the Week

The crew put all their skills together on their last full sail day! They assessed the weather, made a passage plan, and sailed out south. They jibed and steered course towards St. Thomas, completed a three point fix, and then jibed their way around French Cap Cay. They ended the day in Christmas Cove. After a discussion on safety equipment and the VHF radio, the crew rounded out the night with dinghy delivered pizza and a relaxing last evening on the catamaran.  A well rounded trip with plenty of wonderful memories!