"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

From the Captain: Trinidad bound for Vieques

>> Wednesday, March 23, 2011

 Slow boat to the Spanish Virgin Islands

Ok... Trinidad: a mass of immigrant influences and a vibrant local culture. Best food in the Caribbean? Best carnival celebration? Most trying customs agents? Creepiest former leper Colony Island? Best bird watching?  Yes all this and more!

But you must leave at some point. So after waiting for 4 hours for the customs lady to stamp 2 documents we up anchor and prepared for the  sweet downhill 480 nm run to Puerto Rico and her surrounding islands normally taking about 4 days… um, not so fast there. Maybe the wind is not in your favor. Ok. North east wind? Check. Ok. Light northeast wind? check. Ok light northeast wind and sort of large confused swell from… where, exactly? Ok light northeast wind and sort of large confused swell from… where? and west bound current setting you toward say Jamaica? Check as well.
But even if it takes twice as long I don’t care. We are here to be at sea as well as on land. The students fall beautifully back into the routine and the work of sailing and they haul with a will. As of now they are navigating, one each watch; running out our DR using the time honored “dutchmans log”( a piece of jetsam tossed in at the bow and timed coming down the ships side) for our speed added with our course and time giving us a rough estimate or best guess as to our position.  While the crew works on their Celestial Navigation in preparation for teaching the students to do the same.
Theo now looks at stars and sees the constellations she always talks about in a new light. Milo uses his math to pinpoint our location without electronics.  Bahia learns the shipboard words for kitchen (Galley) floor (sole) rope (halyard ,sheet,gantline, falls etc.). Sam and Will maneuver the ship from “Hove-to” to under way using only his shipmates as the professional crew stand by. 
And by now they are tan. They are stronger. They have a certain keenness to their eyes, a kind of “sparkle.” They start to put it together: Sailing, learning,  growing up.
Fair winds, Captain Flansburg
P.S. Caught 2 Wahoo yesterday. I hope someday you will taste fish that are as good!


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