One Trip, Two Boats
The boat: Sweet & Salty, a 2018 FP Helia 44’ and Vayu, a FP Helia 50’
Crew: Captain Trevon (instructor)
ASA Students: Alan, Becky, Anthony, Ethan
Courses Completed: ASA 101 (Basic KeelBoat), ASA 103 (Basic Coastal Cruising), ASA 104 (Bareboat Cruising), ASA 114 (Cruising Catamaran)
Day 1: Fast Friends
Captain Trevon and Go Sail employee Ethan met with Alan, Becky, and Anthony at the Compass Point Marina and immediately knew they were in for a fun trip! Becky, Anthony, and Alan were long time friends and quickly had Ethan and Trevon laughing and joking alongside them. As they loaded Sweet & Salty up with provisions and began briefing on the boat, the crew looked forward to beginning their weeklong sailing journey together!
Day 2: Quick Progress
The night before, Tony had let Captain Trevon know he had never been on a sailboat before. Captain Trevon was excited to get Tony practice as soon as possible. After steering the boat out of the channel, Trevon handed over the reins to Tony and coached him on the finer points of steering a large Catamaran. It wasn’t long before Tony demonstrated he could not only drive straight into the wind— but also 90 degrees to it! Everyone else made quick progress on learning the basics of sailing too. By the afternoon, the crew had reached a nearly empty area near Jost Van Dyke. They enjoyed having all the space in the world to themselves to practice various crew positions and taking the helm!
Day 3: The Nitty Gritty
Up through The Narrows and over to St. John! The crew prepared to learn the ins and outs of sailing on their way to Coral Bay. They began by practicing raising sails, tacking upwind, and trying their hands at a few heave-to drills. By the afternoon, the crew had also discussed the importance of avoiding the lee shore, gybed a number of times, and even practiced anchoring. It was a long yet fruitful day of learning!
Day 4: Switching Boats
Everyone was a bit worn out after a long day of sailing the previous day— including Sweet & Salty! The boat’s generator had given in and Captain Trevon made the decision to trade out boats for the remainder of the trip. However, the crew wasted no time enjoying the Virgin Islands while they waited for their replacement boat! The crew snorkeled in Salt Pond and saw a number of reef fish and then headed to Lameshur Bay to meet their new boat. Becky was particularly excited to explore Lameshur. Her mother worked for NASA in the late sixties and was stationed in Lameshur Bay at an underwater astronaut training facility!
Day 5: Learning Anew
The crew had begun feeling confident in their abilities to sail Sweet & Salty but aboard a new boat— they realized their sailing techniques may require some adjustments! The group noted that while the new boat seemed more stable than Sweet & Salty, it was also less responsive. They also learned a lot about how a large boat could carry quite a bit more momentum. The new boat was 50 feet, versus Sweet & Salty’s 44 foot length. However, by the end of the day, everyone had a chance to drive the new boat, practice grabbing mooring balls, and become familiar with their new vessel’s intricacies!
Day 6: Joining the Crowd
Traffic and crossings can be one of the most intimidating parts of learning to sail— but it’s an important skill to master! Captain Trevon took the crew through some busier areas, having the crew navigate the Current Cut and then heading towards Christmas Cove. The crew was able to grab the last mooring ball in the Cove and decided to enjoy the afternoon snorkeling in quieter seas. While out exploring in the water, the crew even spotted an enormous stingray!
Even with an unexpected boat swap, the crew had smiles on their faces the entire trip— that was, until it was time to leave! Saying goodbye is always difficult on the last day of sailing but all the students were grateful for a fun trip and Captain Trevon was delighted to have spent another great week with another great crew sailing the U.S. Virgin Islands!