If all good things must come to an end, then it had to happen sooner or later. After 7 years and nearly 400 tips, DIY projects, yarns, and wordy expressions of opinion, we have decided to end our Monday posts and shut down the website. We will still be sharing tips and great information on our facebook page, and pictures of both the practical and eye candy variety on Instagram. So as we and technology move along, please move with us and like and follow us at either or both of those locations. And as always, feel free to swing by and say hi when you share an anchorage with Eurisko. Thanks for all the support. See you out there.
Lately we've been spending a lot of time sailing on OPBs. You know, those incredible boats that require zero maintenance, only as much work as you want to put forth in order to sail them, and cost you very little. (In some cases, just a batch of chocolate chip cookies.) Yup, OPBs are not only the best way to go sometimes, but for some people they are the only option. And that's quite alright.
Sailing on Other People's Boats has brought us so much joy in the past few months. We've sailed to Buck Island Reef National Monument just off St. Croix several times. (Thanks, Three Sheets!) Many pleasant hours have we spent in someone else's cockpit, only jerking on the lines we felt like jerking on, and otherwise sitting back and enjoying the ride.
But a few weeks ago, we experienced our first taste of actually PAYING to go sailing. And it was well worth the price.
The schooner Roseway is a gaff-rigged wooden schooner built in 1925. She sails down to St. Croix every winter and back to Boston for the summers. Her current owner, World Ocean School, is a non-profit educational organization whose goal is to reduce apathy in students. While in the Caribbean she takes students sailing from each of the US Virgin Islands, though her "home port" in the Caribbean is St. Croix. And we love claiming her.
Through all the years we've sailed in and out and around St. Croix, we had never been aboard Roseway. This winter I was determined to change that. Since we prefer to give experiences rather than physical gifts, my present to Dave this Christmas was a sunset sail on Roseway, though it took him several months to cash in on the present.
We timed our sail to coincide with a visit from our oldest son, who has his 100 ton license and has captained educational sailing trips for high schoolers in the Caribbean for several seasons on modern catamarans. I wasn't sure what he would think of this experience, but his continual smile said it all.
As we motored out of the channel toward the Sea, one of the crew completed his canned spiel with the dangerous question, “"oes anyone have any questions?"
Being who I am and having traveled the number of miles I have with my captain, I asked, "When do you shut off the motor?"
"When we've cleared the channel, channels being what they are."
I get it, I was just giving him a hard time. Mostly.
Once she was under sail alone, Roseway was like a gift from the gods. She rose over the 7-foot swell as if it were a ripple, leaving her decks dry and heeled at a pleasant angle. The entire outbound half we were mesmerized by the motion and the Sea, as if we'd never been sailing before.
By the return trip the magic was wearing off, and we started investigating. Dave and I owned a gaffer for a few years (what we called our "summer home") and spent some time comparing our little 29'' Bolger Sharpie to the 100-foot schooner. Then we went back to the helm and talked to the captain.
We were sad to hear that Roseway was sailing back to the States so early and distressed to learn that it was on a schedule. (We all know how sailing on a schedule can go.) The captain was as concerned as we, but he has a paycheck to earn. The last I checked, Roseway, one of our favorite OPBs, was still en route to Boston. We wish her and her crew fair weather and kind seas. And thanks for calling St. Croix home. We'll see you next year.
NEXT WEEK we'll play tourist for a bit.PREVIOUS
Connie McBride's work has been published in Good Old Boat, Sail Magazine, Small Craft Advisor, Cruising World, All at Sea, and Blue Water Sailing. As a full-time liveaboard cruiser for over 15 years, she has written several books and in her spare time, well, who has spare time?
It's here! My latest book, Years of Ideas from a Simple Sailor is now available on Amazon.
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