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Skippers in Training

The Basics

The boat: Peaceful Sol, a 2018 Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40

Crew: Captain JT (instructor)  

ASA Students: Chad and Pete

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

mapDay 1: Sunny Swims with Turtles

Chad and Pete both arrived in the U.S. Virgin Islands excited to gain the skills they needed for upcoming charter trips in the area. Determined to quickly learn the ropes as skippers, they set off early with Captain JT. They practiced maneuvers under power until reaching Pillsbury Sound, where they raised the sails and set off north. They tacked, trimmed sails, and even heaved-to a few times! However, one of the biggest highlights of the day was the surprise that awaited them after mooring. The crew enjoyed a sunny swim with turtles in Maho Bay before the sun set on their fabulous first day at sea!

Day 2: From USVI to BVI… and Back!

The crew decided to make the most of another beautiful day at sea by making the trek over to Sandy Cay in the British Virgin Islands. They hoisted sails, headed north through Fungi Passage– tacking and trimming along the way. Once making it east past Sandy Cay, they beared away through Thatch Island Cut and jibed down through the Narrows. And this was all before lunchtime! The trio then stopped for lunch at Hawksnest Bay before tacking up the Narrows to Leinster Bay, picking up a mooring, and calling it a day. 

Day 3: Snorkeling Sanctuaries

This crew truly had a knack for discovering the best snorkeling spots in the VI! Before taking off in the morning, Pete and Chad had already dived into the waters at Waterlemon Cay and spotted a variety of sea life. After a full day of sailing, they decided to snorkel again that evening in Little Lameshur Bay. They had the entire bay to themselves and not only saw some amazing sea life but also explored the ruins near the beach! 

Day 4: Practice Makes Perfect

Chad and Pete were growing much more comfortable with their sailing abilities by day 4. They confidently prepped a passage plan at the cockpit table and determined they’d like to take a long, downwind sail to Magens Bay on St. Thomas. They knew the 21 mile sail would give them plenty of time to practice their skills, try out using a hand bearing compass, and gain confidence at the helm. Thanks to some great team work, the crew arrived at Magens Bay with plenty of time to practice anchoring before calling it a night too! 

Day 5: “Sporty” Winds

Captain JT woke up to what he identified as “sporty” winds in the area. A great time to teach Pete and Dave about reefing sails, he thought! They left the protection of Magens Bay and put in the first reef, the second, and then began shaking those reefs out! Ultimately, the crew decided to sail with two reefs in the main sail and one reef in the jib. They tacked upwind towards St. John and sought shelter in a protected part of Caneel Bay. The crew had plenty of time to take the dinghy into Cruz Bay for a bit of exploration and dinner! 

Day 6: Feeling Prepared

Off to Compass Point! The crew was sad to be ending their weeklong sailing adventure but grateful for the great sailing, food, and friendships made! Better yet, both Chad and Pete felt fully prepared to skipper their upcoming charter trips in the BVI and USVI. And Captain JT was confident they were fully ready for the next adventure too!