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.

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My sister Tricia.  I could not have had a better shipmate.

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.

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Landfall after 18 days at sea. A very happy skipper.

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!