Sheets Ready?! Tacking!
Posted: Sat, Jul 30, 2011
Location: Savanna Bay, Virgin Gorda
The roosters woke us up this morning after a challenging first night’s sleep (people sleeping outside in hammocks kept coming in and out because of the rain). The hilarious ActionQuest director Mike gave us a briefing on how to stay safe and healthy in the BVI. Afterwards we grabbed snack foods from the convenience store before sailing off. As the first skipper to drive the boat I was so nervous I would crash or mess up, but my instructor Craig made sure I knew what I was doing. Craig taught us the basics about the various lines, ropes, sails, and things all used to operate/sail the vessel. In addition to new terms and names, we learned about turning the boat 45 degrees away from the wind and how to read the wind. This was pretty challenging and confusing for most people, but by the end of our sail we had a nice flow to our sailing operation. We couldn’t sail directly to Virgin Gorda from Tortola because we would be going directly into the wind. Instead we tacked our way up the Sir Francis Drake Channel. This means that we went in a zig zag motion up the channel, which was fun and exciting. Every once and a while two shipmates would man the sheets (ropes connected to the sail) and pull rigorously while the skipper at the helm (wheel) spun the boat around. Everyone was wasn’t sailing the boat at the time would reposition as the entire boat moved to the opposite side. We listened to calming island music and relaxed on the deck while waiting for our turn to sail. It’s cool to let the huge waves rock you into a lull. We anchored very skillfully off the coast of Virgin Gorda and jumped right into the clear blue water for a swim/shower. Zach, Cameron, Naomi and I learned how to put together our scuba gear while the chefs made dinner. It smells so good so I gotta go!