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Captain’s Log: Birthdays Abound!

a beach with palm trees and a body of waterThe Basics

The boat: Calypso, a 2018 FP Helia 44’ 

Crew: Captain Trevon (instructor) and first mate Stephanie 

ASA Students: Todd, Mike, Amir, Kelsey

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

Day 1: Exceeding Expectations

Todd, Mike, Amir, and Kelsey arrived aboard the Calypso and were immediately taken by its beauty. They noted that the boat was much roomier and luxurious than they had anticipated and quickly settled into their staterooms. While comfortable to lounge in their rooms, the group also had many questions for Trevon and Stephanie and decided to go to a local restaurant for dinner and an Q&A of the journey ahead. 

Day 2: USVI’s Wondrous Wildlife

By midmorning, the crew had set sail. Everyone took turns at the wheel. With Mike at the helm, the group spotted two dolphins through Current Cut. However, this was only the beginning of wildlife sightings for the day. After reaching Maho Bay and mooring, the group was quick to jump in the water and seek out the beautiful underwater wildlife that call the U.S. Virgin Islands home. While snorkeling they spotted many sea turtles, a variety of fish, and even a few jellyfish! 

Day 3: Happy Birthday! 

The group started the day with a hearty breakfast of eggs, sausage, fruit, and muffins before setting sail as the winds blew between 16-20 kts. They worked together to raise the sails, putting a reef in the main and leaving some of the jib furled in. Everyone took turns at different positions on the journey to Cancel Bay. However, Trevon had a surprise up his sleeve for the group once they moored— a birthday cake for Amir! Trevon and Stephanie had learned of Amir’s birthday and wanted to make sure he welcomed in the big 4-0 in style aboard Calypso. After cake and dinner, the crew then enjoyed the sunset from Hide Tide, live music at a local restaurant on Cruz Bay, and then called it a night!  

Day 4: Pushing the Limits

If you thought the group would be tired from a night of celebrating — think again! The crew spent the morning motoring through The Narrows, up towards Nanny Cay, and then setting Sail to the Ram Head. Then, the true hard work began! Kelsey and Amir swam from the mooring ball in Salt Pond Bay to shore. From there, they hiked Drunk Bay and right to the top of Ram Head, with Todd and Mike close behind. As if that wasn’t enough activity for the day— the group then made the swim back to Calypso! 

Day 5: Practicing Sailing in Rougher Waters

While the Virgin Islands is known for its pristine sailing conditions, every day can’t be perfect! The crew woke up to high winds, thunder, lightning, and rain. While sailing in these conditions would not be safe, the worst of the weather was quick to pass and the group was able to set sail once the seas settled to 5-6 feet with gusts up to 24 kts. While these conditions still weren’t perfect, the crew did a great job working the boat upwind to round Eagle Shoal and then beard off a bit to enter into Coral Bay. As the weather calmed towards the evening, the clouds parted just long enough for everyone to catch a glimpse of a beautiful full moon! 

Day 6: Practice Makes Perfect

As the crew was doing so well with sailing in rainy and windy weather, Captain Trevon decided it was time to test their abilities with surprise man overboard (MOB) drills. For the first MOB drill Todd was at the helm and the other sailors took on the responsibilities of pointer, grabbing the boat hook, and furling the jib away. It took three tries to get the throw ring (MOB) back on board and the crew learned valuable lessons on keeping calm and maintaining control of the boat. On the next MOB drill Mike was at the helm. This time it took one less try to get the MOB aboard! With Amir at the helm it still took the crew a few tries but on the fourth try with Kelsey steering, the group nailed it! The MOB was aboard within a matter of minutes. 

Day 7: Yet Another Birthday! 

It’s the final day the crew has together— and it’s also Trevon’s birthday! Trevon decided he’d like to celebrate with surprises for the group rather than surprises for himself. Another MOB drill and a fire drill! The crew completed both beautifully, truly ending the week on a high note!