Last Sunday afternoon, i went for a great sail aboard my friend’s classic all-teak sailboat Simba. Simba is a classic Cheoy Lee Lion-class sloop, 36 feet long, 9 feet of beam, and 6 feet of draft. Paul rowed ashore from his mooring to pick me up, and took me out to the boat a short ways away at the head of the harbour.
Then a remarkable thing happened. We sailed away. Now, you’d assume that’s what you do on a sailboat, but these days most folks are all too quick to fire up the motor and power far out of the harbour before even taking the covers off the sails. Not so on Simba! We sailed downwind through the many other moored boats here in Soper’s Hole, around Steele Point, and over to Sandy Cay and Jost Van Dyke. We didn’t stop anywhere, just poked into a few harbours, tacked out, and enjoyed the fine day, the fine breeze, and the fine company.
The best was saved for last. Reaching down back around Steele Point into Soper’s Hole, we were faced with quite a few tacks to get back into the harbour. Still no engine. Half a dozen tacks later, against both wind and current, we were in amongst the many other moored and anchored boats packing Soper’s Hole. We were quite a sight to many folks! The bareboaters goggled at us, tacking and cutting close by their rented boats, while the occasional salt grinned and waved at us as we sailed Paul’s house like a dingy.
We sailed smartly right up to his mooring, dropped sail, and sat down to chatter, the sunset, and a round or two of fine grog (the real stuff!). What could be better? i don’t suppose any non-sailing readers will really understand my excitement at all this, but there it is; a day of sailing, not motoring, and that’s a rare thing these days indeed.