Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 1: Road Town to Coopers Island

Provisions arrived the evening prior in a red two-wheeled cart with pneumatic tires. All hands participated in stowing the grub, which meant that no one knew where everthing was. Butter was not found for days. Little attention was paid to the sailling craft other than as a B&B the first night. Bunks were chosen on the basis of stories of snoring. The captain and mate fled to the bow as these stories intensified. The snorers were split between the aft cabins. The benefit of the foreward cabin was the integral head just aft of the anchor locker. The aft cabins had to share a head, but had larger cabins and could use the salon as an antiroom.

We chose a restaurant based on a tip from a cabby: not always a reliable source. This turned out to be a hot tip. We ate every apetizer on the menu and arranged to meet there again in a week due to the quality and originality of the food.

During the morning chart meeting, Julien, the young man in charge, raced through the many harbors at our disposal during the week. He had tips about meals, bars, live music, fresh water, ice, and provisions. Julien also covered some boat and saftey issues. Mostly, it was too much to take in.

Preparing the boat. The boat was missing a horseshoe and saftey strobe, which a hand replaced. Two of our party picked-up fishing gear and bolted it to the aft rails. Gear was stowed. Provisions were counted and assessed.

We reviewed casting off for the crew. Fenders were placed at the ready. Mate Bob handled the bow line tie to a post. None of us, including Captain Beth, had used a shift with a button for in gear vs. neutral. This caused a problem because the boat was not in gear as we cast off and we drifted toward the neighboring boat. Once the craft was in gear, we motored out of the slip using fenders to push off the neighbor.

A course was set to a near island, Coopers. For a few minutes lines were inspected for their purpose. None of us had sailed with a full complement of lines brought back to the cabin. As we brought up the main, we had trouble with a batton getting stuck in the topping line. We adjusted the topping, but in retrospect, adjusting the main halyard would have done better. The roller furling worked very well. When we dropped the main, it wouldn't flake completely into the Lazy Bag and had to be pulled and flaked by hand.

We reached Coopers Island before 4:00, but only one mooring ball remained. We took it and commenced creating an outstanding salad for dinner.

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