11 May 2016, The Far Reach, Anchored, Sint Maarten, West Indies
Last night I found myself thinking back about our passage from Cape Lookout to the BVI. I feel fortunate that Tricia and I made the trip together. She and I have sailed together since before we were teenagers and let me tell you that is a long time! I couldn’t have asked for a better shipmate. A retired San Diego Fire Captain, she is smart, athletic, tireless, fearless, and harder than woodpecker lips.
We started out sailing dinghies when I was about 12 and she was 8 years old. We sailed constantly…weekends, after school, every chance we got. She quickly aquired her own boat and is in fact a very accomplished sailor in her own right. Though we have sailed together many times I think our passage from NC to the BVI was almost preordained.
Tricia took that photo of me just after we crossed the Virgin Island bank on Christmas morning. Anegada Island is about 14 miles east of us. As I recall I was pretty spent but elated to have finally made landfall. The wind built up to about 30-35 knots that day. We are jogging along with just our staysail when that photo was taken. A little later, we hoisted the main with the stays’l and we were flying! The last few miles were dead down wind, a full on 30+ kts, and I sailed the Far Reach with the tiller between my legs and my hands on the mainsheet like she was a laser. As she surfed down the waves hitting speeds of about 9+ knots the tiller became very light almost as it it were a balanced vice barn door rudder. It was amazing!