Saturday, January 28, 2012

My first sail on Salty Shores

We finally had the boat ready to go sailing on day 11th. It was Thursday and we planned to meet our friends Glenn and Naomi; who where staying with friends in St. John at the Westin Resort; for dinner at 7:30. That day Jim got the dinghy repaired, put on the 2 horsepower outboard motor, and when the dinghy was in the water, the motor wouldn't start. This was really serious because, when you are living on a boat and you anchor out, the inflatable boat is like your car to go on shore. Thankfully Jim had a spare motor and we could finally leave the marina at 3 o' clock.

It was going to be an hour and half trip motoring from St. Thomas. Jim put the scopolamine gel on my wrist to avoid getting seasick. It was my first time sailing on the ocean. Even when we were going close to shore, it was into the wind and there was some motion. I sat down facing the wind and looked toward the horizon. It was a pleasing short voyage that I enjoyed a lot.

When we got to,our anchorage in Great Cruz Bay, it was 4:00, a little bit earlier than we expected. The place was full of boats, but we found a safe spot to anchor. That gave us plenty of time to go for a swim, shower on the swim platform and take the dinghy ashore to meet our friends.

After a wonderful dinner of mahi-mahi, Spanish rice and salad we planned our next day sailing adventure. Naomi pulled up a little map and Jim showed us our destination and the best way to get there. I felt like we were the crew of a pirate ship, getting ready to find a treasure. Aghrr! That night I slept on the rocking bed for the first time and I loved it.

Next morning we woke up at 9:00, we had 30 minutes to get ready and pick up our crew. I was rushing when they texted: “Do you want to pick us up at the beach or the dock?” I guessed that the dock was easier than the beach. We asked if it was OK to do so, and they answered: “I did ask, security is not around, if you bring sailboat to dock we will jump on and leave. Can't get in dinghy from dock.” As soon as we got to the dock, security showed up and said we couldn't be there, gave a card to Jim and wrote down the name of the boat.

With everybody on board, the feet cleaned of sand and the bags put down below, it was just a matter of minutes to raise the sails and head to Leinster Bay. As our Captain said the night before, it was a little rough for a while because we were no longer protected from the waves and winds by the island, then is was smoother and nobody got seasick. Once there we picked up a mooring and went snorkeling. Jim took us to the snorkeling spot by dinghy and then he swam back to the boat towing it with a line around his waist. We saw the most colorful fishes, sponges and corals I've ever seen. Then I collected some shells and rock with Naomi on the beach and swam back to the boat with hands full of natural treasures. We got back to find out that Jim had lunch ready: guacamole, hummus, honey crisp apples, baby carrots, chips and red salmon salad.

Red salmon, capers and dill weed
1 can of red salmon
2 tbsp mustard
1 tsp dill weed
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp vinegar
      1 tbsp brown sugar
 2-3 tbsp capers

Yummy! He took us to heaven and back a hundred times. To finish our wonderful day we did a hike to Anneberg sugar ruins. Cheers to our great entertainer Jim!

Hints of the day: coffee or cereal before sailing is not good for new boaters; soda and chips settled the stomach.