The boat: Sweet & Salty, a 2018 FP Helia 44’
Crew: Captain Trevon (instructor)
ASA Students: Kristi, “Starboard” Mark, Lana, “MarkO”, Tina M.
Courses Completed: ASA 101 (Basic KeelBoat), ASA 103 (Basic Coastal Cruising), ASA 104 (Bareboat Cruising), ASA 114 (Cruising Catamaran)
Day 1: Feels Like Home
A crew of six eager sailors arrived at the marina, ready to jump aboard “Sweet & Salty!” Their provisions arrived at about the same time as they did and the crew jumped right in to sort provisions, unpack, and organize their things. Once everyone had spruced up “Sweet & Salty” with a homey feel, it was time to share sailing experiences and goals down at the bar before turning in for the night.
Day 2: Picking Out Nicknames
One of the most important elements of sailing is good communication with a crew. Captain Trevon quickly noted a potential communication issue with the two Marks on boat. The crew jumped into action, giving both men nicknames– MarkO and Starboard Mark!
The rest of the day was smooth sailing. Kristi navigated the crew through the Current Cut, sharing the space beautifully with oncoming traffic. Tina then drove as Kristi observed from the helm and the others were on the bow, preparing to pick up the group’s first mooring ball in Caneel Bay. The crew looked like pros, nailing their mooring on the first try! However, Captain Trevon made sure everyone got a chance at each position and learned the importance of slow and steady approaches when mooring.
Day 3: A Calm Day Out on the Water
The crew took a day to relax in the calm waters of Pillsbury Sound. The crystal clear waters and sunny skies made for an ideal day for the crew to perfect their mooring skills, rotate through positions, learn to tack, and discuss different points of sail. While the seas remained calm, the students’ brains teemed with new information and skills to use throughout the rest of this sailing adventure and beyond!
Day 4: Restaurant Hopping
The wind wasn’t its usual sprightly self when the crew woke up on their 4th day aboard “Sweet & Salty.” The crew quickly recognized that this must be the reason they were watching so many boats motoring rather than sailing across Caneel Bay! However, the group still had a great day practicing anchoring and sampling the best dishes at a few of USVI restaurants! The group enjoyed tacos at the famous Lime Out restaurant and then enjoyed delicious burgers over at Skinny Legs.
Day 5: The Winds Pick Up
The winds make up for their lack of gusto the day before and day 5 heralded 17-20 knot winds with 4-5 foot seas! The crew felt nervous at first but their practice in calmer seas gave them the advantage of having solid muscle memory and recall of what to do under stress. However, the crew of new sailors tired quickly under the demanding conditions and they determined a snorkel break was in order! The group put into Salt Pond Bay and ended the day with a few more mooring exercises after their snorkeling adventure.
Day 6: Ever-Changing Conditions
Calm waters, 4-5 foot seas, and now for the latest adventure of ever changing sea conditions… rain storms! The crew spent the morning dodging rain storms and boat traffic. While they successfully dodged the storms in the morning and were able to practice broad reaches, gybing, and negotiating waves– the crew wasn’t so lucky in the afternoon. They found themselves in the middle of a huge downpour as they neared Christmas Cove. Luckily, Kristi handled the helm expertly and once moored the crew celebrated with a pitcher of painkillers!
On the last day of sailing, Lana drove the crew back to the channel and to Compass Point Marina. The crew had seen a lot in their short time aboard “Sweet & Salty.” With their varied weather experiences, hands-on ASA knowledge, and International Proficiency Certificates (IPC) now in hand, the crew began looking forward to their next sailing adventure. Go Sail looks forward to welcoming them aboard next time!