BVI: Session 1 - Spindrift III
Posted: Sun, Jul 8, 2012
Best Boat In The Fleet
Today we woke up in beautiful Norman Island. All the skippers were told to go to Mike’s boat to chat about the race today. After our chat we began the race at 8:30. I drove through the heavy seas all the way to Road Town. We were in third right behind Laurasia. We made a brilliant maneuver to pass Laurasia to finish in second. Then we sailed to West End where we cleaned intensely for hours til the boat was spotless. Next we have a BBQ tonight.
Staff Update Day 20
It’s hard to believe that just twenty days ago what is now our tight-knit Spindrift family were fourteen strangers from all different points of the world. We all came here with just one thing in common, the quest for adventure. We now prepare to leave here having changed each others lives permanently for the better. From the delirious slap happy late nights to the sluggish early mornings, it has been quite the experience and privilege being able to see each and every one of our shipmates personalities in all different lights. Our shipmates have not only learned how to SCUBA dive or sail a 51.5 ft sail boat on their own, but also how to live harmoniously in close quarters with 13 other people. They have learned how to take responsibility for their personal items, how to communicate and motivate each other to accomplish the days task and also how to live in the moment and soak it all in. Alyssa- Thank you for always keeping things interesting and letting us know what is really on your mind. Stephen- Thank you for always keeping us thinking by posing your thoughtful questions. Tim and Gabe- Thank you guys for always making sure the lines were looking fresh on board, sails were trimmed just right and generally getting things done in a timely manner, especially during the races. Ori and Dani -Many thanks for keeping those smiles bright and infecting everyone else with those positive attitudes everyday. Avice- your hard work and ability to relate to people and motivate the crew in a positive way will most definitely be missed. Cameron- Many thanks for your willingness to learn and always be involved and for being our boats photographer. Mary- our sweet little southern bell, thank you for all your hard work and positivity even in the most demanding times. Derek and Cole- Thank you for your hilarious humor, sweet dance moves, awesome music and ability to share all your cookies and sweets you bought with the rest of us. You two always kept things light and cheery and will most definitely be missed. Jack and I can hardly believe how lucky we were in bringing together some of the most amazing people to form such an unbelievably tight little family. I’m so proud of every one you guys and all the effort that everyone put forth to make the most of such an unbelievable experience. We really were the best boat out there. Spindrift III for life!
Posted: Sat, Jul 7, 2012
There’s a new wildcat in town and outfitted in more cheetah print than Laurasia and Tanis Marie can handle. We killed it today. An early start got us full of oatmeal, we cleaned up, and were in the water by 8:20 for the best dive yet! The RMS Rhone shipwreck was absolutely beautiful. We rubbed the last brass porthole for good luck, explored the boat-gone wreck- gone reef, and are happy to say we are all now officially PADI certified! After the dive we split our sailing groups and took our much more difficult than expected sailing tests. Then we wrapped our adventures up by hiking up Salt Island to a spectacular view. Now we sailed to our original anchoring spot from the beginning of our trip, Norma Island. Now we’re waiting for our lovely chefs to wrap up some broccoli cheddar pasta. We are beginning to wrap up the best three weeks of our lives. It’s a bittersweet homecoming.
Posted: Fri, Jul 6, 2012
Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
A sizzling, a low thumping, and a piano. The crew groaned in exhaustion. Then came the saxophone. We were roused by a Charlie Parker wake-up song. A breakfast of banana pancakes over the Caribbean sunrise, backed by Charles Mingus’ “Bird Calls,” was eaten. A lengthy cleanup period followed. This fed into a navigation nightmare with four people shouting about the chart table over true north vs. deviated magnetic compass north. Ten minutes later, water was skied on. We then sailed across the Sir Francis Drake channel to Road Town on Tortola, where we prowled for about two hours time. A friendly race with Laurasia and Tanis Marie ensued. Laurasia took the victory. During this race a small, drippy, white and brown glob appeared on the mainsail, presumably from a bird. This was followed by dinner, and the closing shot was one of Cole attempting to smack down a swarm of ravenous seagulls.
Posted: Thu, Jul 5, 2012
We woke up early to get underway. Today was the Vega sailors practical test. It consisted of knots, driving the boat, tacking, jibing, and a man overboard drill. Each shipmate took the helm of the 51 foot monohull. All the basic sailors passed the practical test with flying colors. After about two and a half hours of testing we headed to West End harbor. We filled our three water tanks and went to get lunch. After lunch we walked around and went to the grocery store. I was told that there was a skippers meeting about a race that would be happening in the afternoon. I was thrilled. Yesterday was too windy to sail, so I was chomping at the bit to go sailing. The race would be from West End harbor to Great Harbor on Peter Island. It would be one of two races against the six monohulls. The winner would get six points, second five points, and so on. A point would be given to any boat towing a “super dinghy” and a point for carrying dive tanks. Since we were both towing a super dinghy and carrying dive tanks, we would automatically get two points. All six boats lined up and shot off the starting line at the end of a countdown over the VHF. A dream was coming true for me. Driving a 50 foot yacht in a race with 20 knot winds. We got close to the Prosecutor at the start, but we were able to pull away and get underway. I was grinning from ear to ear. We were the heaviest boat and I still was pushing 6 knots. This placed us in second place. The race was into the wind so we had to tack multiple times to achieve a zig zag course to the finish line. In the middle of the race, Laurasia and we were on a collision course. We were penalized since we made Laurasia change course. The penalization required us to do a 360. This ate up valuable time. Although carrying scuba tanks, towing a super dinghy, and having to do a 360, we still came in third. Though we lost the battle, we did not lose the war. With our two extra points, we tied pointswise with the leader. I was exhausted and amazed. I will never forget that race. It is an amazing privilege to be at the helm of a yacht in a race. We’re looking forward to what is in store for us tomorrow, but for now we’re eating freshly baked cookies underneath the majestic Caribbean night sky.