a sailing holiday

After 15 long back-to-back days in the yard, it was great to take a break and go sailing for Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the couple running Bolero rounded up some of us West Endians and took us sailing for the day, as a way of thanking us for our help and hospitality during their stay in Soper’s Hole. At least that’s how it started…
Soon enough, it was we who were taking them sailing! West End is full of unassuming folks who’ve logged hundreds of thousands of miles at sea, all over the planet, and the “passengers” aboard Bolero that day were the cream of the crop!
What a ride! Bolero herself is a beautiful wooden yacht, designed by Sparkman & Stephens for Atlantic ocean racing and built in 1949. She is regarded as one of the great ocean racers of her era, for both her beauty and speed, setting many long-standing records.
As we all had hoped, we took her out and got onto a fabulous reach, setting her signature mizzen stays’l and kicking it into overdrive! When Marty handed me the wheel, it was hard not to grin and giggle like a little kid with a brand-new toy; in this case, a multi-million dollar toy!

Christmas morning had many of the same group of West Endians (and a few others) sailing up to Jost Van Dyke with Robin on Kuralu for the fourth annual “Bubbly at The Bubbly Pool” outing. The bubbly Pool is a small, nearly circular beach and natural pool, walled in by a rock wall. In the north wall, there’s a narrow cleft leading directly north, and when the Atlantic is swelling out of the north, the waves foam through into the pool, making for a great bubbly foaming wash! Of course, we had our requisite champagne and OJ at hand to compliment the seafoam swirling all around us!
That night, i was invited to a Christmas dinner at another friends, again attended by many West Endians. What a great time! Food and drinks galore, but best of all, real Christmas decor, with an imported evergreen for the tree (not the more usual local potted palm), and proper seasonal music, wreaths, and such! Over the last few Christmases, i’ve been missing these “northern” touches…

Today for Boxing Day, Paul & Diana have invited me out to sailing aboard Simba this afternoon, which should be great fun, as the wind and weather is perfect for a rollicking good time in the north sound. This evening it’s a full-moon beach party over at Smuggler’s Cove, to which we may yet end up dropping the hook and swimming in to enjoy!


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