"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

The BVIs

>> Monday, February 7, 2011

After a day of orientation to the vessel and the shipboard routine at sea, our new student crew weighed anchor and set sail for the first of countless times over the next 4 months, bound east for the British Virgin Islands. Standing watch throughout the night, both the wonders and pitfalls of a sailing ship at sea greeted our students; shooting stars, squalls, seasickness, and the breaking of dawn illuminating the green islands just a few miles distant.

Once cleared into Road Town, Tortola, our students came ashore to learn about West Indian culture. But we didn't bring any books ashore, only our appetites. We walked the short distance from the quay to the Roti Palace, where Jean, its proprietor, cooked up her world famous roti, a distinctively Caribbean dish with roots in Trinidad and India. A roti "skin," or flatbread, infused with crushed roasted peas and spices, wraps around a curry of goat, chicken, beef, conch or vegetables, with her homemade mango chutney, cuchela (a spicy chutney of the scoth bonnet pepper) and pepper spice hot sauce. Indian cuisine was brought to the Caribbean in the mid 19th century, when Indian laborers were brought to the region to work in the fields after slavery was abolished. Over time they have infused a unique West Indian flavor into traditional Indian dishes, utilizing local ingredients and produce. Our visit with Jean is just the first of many culinary adventures.

A quick sail across the Sir Francis Drake channel brought us to Norman Island, where we explored its reefs and hiked the goat paths along the ridge line as rainbows followed us to the peak of Spyglass Hill.

All aboard are well and well fed thanks to our fantastic cook Lizzie Loomis, and will enjoy some delicious cake as we will celebrate Ben Huyard's 15th Birthday today!



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