Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Wow, what a day! Yesterday we had out boat checkout with the charter company and learned just how much everything will cost us if we break it. Then our Captain Ron/Russ came on board and we were ready for casting off the lines and our day of sailing to determine if we were responsible enough to have the boat on our own. What's the chance of that? We left the slip with only a little drama and then proceeded to motor out of the Harbour and lifted the sails. This boat is an Island Packet 37 foot sailboat. Our boat at home is a Catalina Capri 22 foot sailboat. There are a few differences it turns out. 1- The sails (3 not 2) are huge - read heavy to handle and complicated. Wish I had lifted those cute little purple weights I have in my office once in a while. 2- wheel not tiller of course and backing up is more of a challenge than expected. Duane did great as the captain. 3- systems, systems, systems, power management, and where stuff is and what stuff is. For example the water tank guage - you could trust the digital readout but the advice is to use the "little wooden stick". Our training exercises: lift sails, sail, tack,tack,tack start motor, drop (really furl) sails, pickup a mooring ball, and again,and again, start motor, make sail, anchor, weigh anchor, anchor, weigh anchor, etc, etc, etc. So the division of labor began as Duane driving the boat, me handling the sails and doing the mooring balls and anchors. Well I was ok with all sails except the inner head sail or stay sail. For some reason that one is really hard to unfurl - Duane's job. Mooring balls - got it. Anchoring without a windlass(broken on this boat)- down me, up Duane! Bottom line --- we PASSED!!!! We got a mooring off of Scott's Beach at Caneel Bay St John (exactly where we stayed 8 years ago) and took Captain Russ by dingy to Cruz Bay to catch a ferry home. We are on our own. We made dinner in the galley and sat in the cockpit tired and happy. ***having an issue posting pictures with my iPad - need to download an app which requires real Internet connection so not sure when.