ADVENTURES IN PARADISE
One of my friends and customers, Edward Smith, invited me to come sail with him on his Hanse 545 in the British Virgin Island of Tortola. I thought that could be fun before the busy sailing season begins in Marblehead. Edward then mentioned there might be a little race between his boat and Deni's Hanse 545, also a customer of mine.
I'm always up for a little fun racing.
Edward told me to get some new sails for the boat which I thought was a lot for a fun race, but ok new sails are always good. I also know Deni's boat is used in the VSV charter fleet at Nany Cay, Tortola so it should not be very race ready.
I told Mike and Jen Royer about this and they live in Puerto Rico, which is very close. I talked them into coming along.
I flew into San Juan and Mike and Jen picked me up. We spent the night at their condo and a friend of theirs flew us to Tortola in his plane. The flight went well and we took a cab to Nanny Cay.
We found the boat "Pirority” but noticed right away it was far from race ready. We saw our competition going into the water with a freshly sanded bottom and a new set of sails. This was beginning to not look so easy.
The next day we took the boat out to get a good feel for her. As we sailed the bow thruster which drops from under the bow, kept going up and down on her own. I tried many ideas but the thruster had a mind of her own. The auto pilot also kept coming on without us touching anything. I sent Mike over the side and he verified the thruster going up and down. I turned the electrical breaker off but no change. I turned the battery switch off to the thruster. The sideways action stopped but it still went up and down. I decided to go to Peter Island so the guest/crew could swim and go to the beach while I dealt with this. We picked up a mooring in an incredible beautiful spot and everybody but Mike, Jen, and I left for the beach. I disconnect the wiring going to the thruster and that killed it.
We swam, drank beers and hung out. Edward took us all to dinner at a wonderful restaurant on the beach. About 10 o'clock I took the boat back to Nanny Cay about 4 miles and backed the boat back into her slip without aid of the thruster.
He next day we raced Deni. Deni was prepared with new sails, very good bottom and a crew of experienced sailors. He also had very good local knowledge, so yes I lost.
Deni was a gracious winner and we had lots of drinks and stories. In spite of losing, I had a wonderful time. Edward and his guests were all entertaining and the stories flowed freely. Even the guys on the other boat were fun.
I managed only minor sun stroke. The British Virgins are as good as it gets. 85 degree temps. 83 degree crystal clear water. Dolphins everywhere.
Please mail comments to me at Bump@newwaveyachts.com