Monday, June 16, 2008

Wind In Your Sails: Part III

We set sail in the fall of 2002, almost six years ago, aboard a 42’ Beneteau named Quantum 2. Our crew consisted of Bill and Claudia Smietana, Pete, and yours truly. The day of our departure dawned cloudy and drizzly. We all attended the mandatory and essential boat and chart briefing. The Moorings is well known for the preparation they provide their guests. Prior to our charter departure, we were given a complete chart briefing covering the local cruising grounds. We were given a chance to ask any questions we had about navigation, anchorages, and prevailing conditions. We were given a complete briefing aboard our yacht and covered all the operating systems, including rigging, electrical system, water system, windlass, stove, head, dinghy, outboard and emergency systems. By the time we finished our briefing, and stowed our gear and food supplies aboard Quantum 2, the clouds broke and a spectacular blue sky appeared.

Leaving Road Town Harbour behind us, we sailed south toward our first destination and overnight mooring – The Bight at Norman Island. After catching a mooring ball to secure Quantum 2, we enjoyed a dinner prepared on the grill at the boat’s stern. We slowly savored the bottle of wine that I carefully smuggled in our luggage and reveled in our first day’s journey. Watching the fiery sun slip below the horizon, we grew lazy waiting for the first evening stars to appear. Star gazing is a must after sunset. Without the reflection of artificial lights on land, the skies are pitch black and the stars bright white. If you’re patient, you can see satellites as they traverse the night sky. The plane of the Milky Way is visible from Earth as a band of light in the night sky and billions of stars twinkle in their brightness. Drowsy from the day’s excitement, sleep came early and easily to the crew. Lulled by the gentle rocking of Quantum 2, and the soft lapping of waves against her bow, we fell fast and hard asleep. Morning light comes early and quickly in the tropics. We’ll need our rest for the next day.

The quality of our photos are poor by today's digital standards. My camera at the time was an old 35mm film. Still, I think you'll get the picture (no pun intended).


Doughboy said...

.........This was the night Bill (the Dingy Captain) decided to use a can of charcoal lighter to get 6 brickettes going on the stern grill. The signal fire we were told could be seen as far away as San Juan. Helicopters arrived shortly into the main course of blackened snaper.

Judyann said...

Can't wait to read part IV and see more photos. I'm sure they are as beautiful as the scenery in the Caribbean.

Chere said...

Can't wait for Nov. 2009. It is exciting to re-live your trip and enjoy the feeling of knowing we are going. We have beautiful sun set in Fla. and the stars are really bright. Thinking of the waves lapping againist the sides of the boat, brings me back to childhood. My Grandparents had a place at the lake with a boat that had side curtins and the seats made into beds. My brother and I would spend all evening getting ready. Curtains up, beds made, radio, enough snacks to feed an army and a cooler of drinks. The house was only maybe 100 yards away. We would last about two hours. The sounds of the water and the wild life would scare us to death. Up to the house we would sneak. My Grandparents would find us in the bed in the morning. I think I will last 8 days longer this time.

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

What a lovely story, Chere. At the time we are children, we can hardly wait to grow up. Looking back on childhood memories, we find that youth was more idyllic than we thought at the time.

We can't WAIT to return to the BVI's with you/Fred and Judy/Mitch. Imagine all the wonderful photos we'll get with each of us shooting non-stop:) After a few rum drinks, who knows WHAT moments we'll capture!

Jamie Payne said...

Hmmm. The rum drinks scare me. I've seen photos of you and Peter after some of the local booze had been consumed. It's not a pretty pun intended:) Ya'll are definitely going to have a great time next November.