Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sailing Bucket in Bucket List. A lot of sailors have bucket lists. I guess it comes with the territory. Selling off everything and going cruising is, after all, a big bucket list item itself. Most sailors' bucket lists are places they want to sail, distances they want to cover, etc. Mine? I confess, I'm a sailing geek. My bucket list is slightly different. It consists of sailing skills I want to master.

The Crab Cay Anchorage

One of the skills I have always wanted to perform seamlessly is sailing on and off the anchor. I've watched a good many people sail off the anchor and Tim and I got that pretty much down pat while we were still sailing on the lake. Now, before you go on thinking that I'm saying I've mastered all the sailing skills on my bucket list, I haven't. But I've at least tackled them and am continuing to attempt to master them. All except one. Sailing onto the anchor was something that I was always too afraid to even try. The "what-ifs" drilled fear into my head and kept me from tackling this last major item on my bucket list.

A week ago we were anchored in the Manjack / Crab anchorage north of Green Turtle and this sailboat came screaming in to the anchorage under jib alone, swept between us and the boat next to us, carried on well in to the cove, spun up and the crew kicked the anchor overboard while the jib luffed. A few seconds later the jib was rolled up, and the wind was pushing the boat back on it to set it. Tim looked over at me and said, "That guy's my hero." Every day the niggling thought poked its way into my consciousness. Wanna try it. Gotta try it.

After a couple days at Green Turtle we returned to the same anchorage and decided to try to anchor under sail, but outside the anchorage where there were no boats to crash into, just to practice. There really wasn't enough wind to pull it off, but we were encouraged. We motored in to the anchorage and the thought continued to pester.

Today we sailed in some perfectly brisk breeze under the genoa alone, heading to the other Crab Cay anchorage (If you ever sail in the Bahamas you'll quickly learn that there are hundreds of Crab Cays). The wind was perfect to tack around Angelfish Point and into the anchorage, all under sail. When we tacked we rolled in the big genoa and rolled out the staysail to slow the speed a bit. At 3.5 knots we sailed straight into the anchorage, turned Kintala's nose up into the wind, and Tim kicked the anchor off the bow. While Tim tended to the very slow release of chain and some very careful snubbing of the rode with the clutch, I rolled in the staysail and within a few minutes the Mantus was set pretty as you please. I was grinning like a toddler with an double-decker ice cream cone.

Next? Sailing off the anchor, sailing all day, sailing on to the anchor, no Westerbeast required. Stay tuned...

A Schucker 436 motor sailor we crossed paths with several times.
Not sure of the make of this one. Beautiful boat though!

A Catalina 42 that we chatted with on the radio.

1 comment:

Joel and Emily said...

That is a Malo. Very cool boats.