Day Sail

When Quest is older, we’re going to get her hull shrink-wrapped. A light blue colour. This is of course because Quest is planting this idea in my head right now. It’s like I’m her human portal. When Jack announced he was going to get Quest’s own air-conditioning unit fixed the other day so we could finally enjoy the middle of a Caribbean day inside our floating home, that was all Quest. I literally saw the idea come into his head through the floorboards.

She was talking to us yesterday. ‘Get my sails out. Come on. The main sail. That’s right, you remember. Now the genoa. Don’t over-tighten it. When we get back to shore, you can adjust my car forwards. In fact, go on, Cap, you might as well do it now.’

Hold on. Time to channel my inner Grandpa. ‘There’s no way you are doing that now, Jack. You can do that when we get home.’ In order to channel my inner Grandpa, I have to use more swear words though. Otherwise it doesn’t work. Duh.

It always makes Jack laugh. He gets that sheepish look on his face. I do enjoy this – when you catch your partner in child mode. Isn’t it good?

We sailed the Gulf of Paria. The Gulf of Paria is the semi-enclosed sea between Trinidad and the east coast of Venezuela. We’ve never sailed it before. This is because Chaguaramas, where Trinidad’s yachting industry is concentrated, is right on the very edge of the bay. You cross from the Caribbean Sea through a channel called The Dragon’s Mouth. And you’re there. Apparently, the currents here can be fierce – which amounts to about a neap tide in Wales. Oh boy.

The Gulf of Paria is considered one of the best natural harbours on the Atlantic coast of the Americas. We can confirm it was flat as a pancake yesterday with a lovely, 12-15 knots of wind. What a day sail! A first shakedown for Quest.

We did do a bit of tacking. And gybing. For those of you who need a sailing refresher (cough I do), tacking is when you turn into the wind. Gybing is when you turn with the wind coming behind you. To figure out where the wind is coming from, you feel it on both cheeks and use the wind needle thingy. The middle instrument on our instrument panel. No matter whether tacking or gybing, you do the same thing: pull the genoa sail across the deck as you turn.

This is typically my job. Jack tends to helm. I grab the sheet (not a bedsheet which you would be forgiven for thinking, but a rope that controls the angle of the sail) and pull. As the boat turns, the sail follows. Eventually, all things being well, you secure the sheet to a winch and fine-tune the sail. I’m hoping we can do it about 7,000 more times. Sayounara bingo wings. Hold on a second… It’s Quest again. I knew it! She’s egging me on.


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