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Captain’s Log: Sailing’s A Breeze!

Go sail VI captain's logThe Basics

The boat: Good Times & Tan Lines, a 2022 Lagoon 42, 

Crew: Captain JT (instructor)  

ASA Students: Kelly, Brian, Meg, and Nathan

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

Day 1: Double the Fun

Sailing with your partner can be hugely rewarding. Taking a sailing trip with another couple? Well, that’s double the fun! Kelly and Brian met Meg and Nate, as well as Captain JT, at the marina to get to know each other and share their goals for the week and beyond. Both couples wanted to gain the skills needed to bareboat— and maybe even by a boat to liveaboard in the future! After some last minute provision shopping, dinner ashore, and a quick discussion about required lighting on the boat, the crew decided to turn in early aboard so they could set sail early in the morning. 

Day 2: A Windy Start

The crew was quickly put to work reefing after leaving the marina, thanks to winds blowing between 20-22 knots! They sped along upwind north of St. John with each student taking turns at the helm and winches. However, the winds continued to strengthen and by the afternoon the crew was tuckered out! They headed back towards St. John, picked up a mooring ball in Maho Bay, and took the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing swim with the local turtles. 

Day 3: Sailing’s A Breeze!

The crew woke up ready to embrace the windy weather! They took off north towards Jost Van Dyke, practicing tacking upwind. Each crewmember had the opportunity to sail from close reach, to beam reach, and then to broad reach. As the winds continued to pick up, they then added another reef to the main and even reefed the jib. The crew told Captain JT they enjoyed learning how to reef the sails to calm down the boat in the higher winds— it made sailing a breeze! Once near Jost Van Dyke, the crew turned around and jibbed their way to Magens Bay in St. Thomas. The downwind journey went smoothly and they even had enough time (and energy) to practice anchoring and driving the dinghy before calling it a night!

Day 4: Rough Seas

If the crew thought the last few days were windy, they were certainly in for a surprise on day 4 of their sailing journey. While the VI is known for its ideal sailing conditions, that doesn’t mean every day is guaranteed to be champagne sailing! Captain JT recorded wind speeds up to 34 knots and waves up to 8 feet, crashing over the bow. Luckily, by the afternoon, the crew found some calmer conditions by Thatch and Grass Cay. There, they practiced hoisting the main and tacking before jumping into the warm Caribbean waters near Honeymoon Beach for some snorkeling!  

Day 5: Peace and Quiet

The seas settled down for the crew on day 5 of their trip and they were able to lazily sail around the St. John to Ram’s Head, over to Coral Bay, and finally to Lameshur Bay. Once arriving in Lameshur Bay the crew realized the peace and quiet they had been afforded sailing that day would be extended into their afternoon. The bay was completely empty of boats! Everyone jumped in the water to snorkel and found themselves enjoying the calmness of the bay with turtles, fish, and even an octopus! 

Day 6: Watching the World Go By

The weather forecast stormy skies in the afternoon so the crew created a plan and a contingency plan to enjoy the day, regardless of conditions! Before the afternoon rain, the crew sailed south of St. John to continue practice jibing and steering using the compass. By lunch time, they had rounded the west end of St. John and tacked their way to Lovango Cay. After eating and snorkeling, they made their way to Christmas Cove to grab a well-sheltered mooring and watch the rain come down. Many other sailors had the same idea and the crew sat back and watched some beautiful yachts make their way into the bay. They enjoyed seeing a variety of mooring and anchoring styles of the incoming boats while eating dinghy-delivered pizza and discussing their highlights from their week of sailing!