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Captain’s Log: Just the Two of Us

diagramThe Basics

The boat: Speculation, a 2018 FP Helia 44’ 

Crew: Captain Jalil 

ASA Students: Steve and Tirzah

Courses Completed:  ASA 101 (Basic Keel Boat), ASA 103 (Basic Coastal Cruising), ASA 104  (Bareboat Cruising), ASA 114 (Cruising Catamaran), 

Day 1: A watersport transition

Steve and Tirzah meet up with Captain Jalil to begin their “Cruising Couples” catamaran course! The Go Sail Virgin Islands couple’s live-aboard cruise is the perfect fit for this couple looking to transition from powerboating to sailing. They have quite a bit of experience with pontoon boats, ski boats, and even houseboats on the inland waters of Florida and California, however, none of these experiences has quite met their expectations. They are hoping ocean sailing is the key to their watersport happiness! 

Day 2: Boat orientation

It’s time for Steve and Tirzah to get a feel for the boat! Captain Jalil goes over systems and rigging with them before having them practice maneuvers under power on the way to Flamingo Cove. There, they raise full main and jib and then practice point-of-sail drills south of Water Island. Before long, it’s time for dinner! The crew drops anchor in Secret Harbor and enjoys a beautiful sunset after a delicious dinner ashore. 

Day 3: Never stuck for long

Occasionally, misadventures happen on the water but Captain Jalil never lets these mishaps stop the adventure for long! When the crew tries to set sail in the morning, they find the anchor is stuck. Captain Jalil saves the day by diving down to free the boat and off they go. Anchors aweigh! Together, the crew practices raising full main and jib, completes point-of-sail drills in Pillsbury Sound, and then finds themselves in Cancel Bay for the evening. It’s a great place to stop so they can take the Dinghy in for dinner in Cruz Bay! 

Day 4: Man overboard! 

What happens when someone goes overboard during a sailing adventure? Students find out during their ASA courses! Captain Jalil spends the day practicing man overboard (MOB) procedures with the west of Sandy Cay, as well as teaching them about waypoints and calling for help over the radio. To celebrate a job well done (and no actual man overboard incidents), the crew spends the afternoon soaking in the sun at Maho Bay and grilling up burgers before calling it a night.  

Day 5: Practice makes perfect

Raise the sails— it’s time to set sail! Steve and Tirzah are in for a full day of practice as they tack to the weather through the Druif Straits, raise single-reefed main and full jib as they wander around the St. John area, and then practice reefing south of Jost van Dyke. By the evening, the crew picks up mooring in Hawksnest Bay and enjoys bbq chicken on the grill!   

Day 6: Stuck? Not this time!

After the anchoring debacle on day 3, Captain Jalil wants to make sure Steve and Tirzah feel confident about the process of anchoring! They head to Sprat Bay and practice anchoring— without getting stuck once! The crew also practices their not tying skills and by evening find themselves moored at Honeymoon Beach. A perfect spot for this couple to enjoy their last night aboard! 

It’s time for this crew to head home— but not until learning a few more knots from Captain Jalil! He sends them off with the knowledge of bowline-on-a-bite, fisherman’s bend, and Carrick bend knots and the couple knows this will be far from the last time they practice these new skills as they sail into their new hobby!