08 March 2007

Sailing with Dave

Sailing with Dave on his 45 foot Shannon. Kristen is at the helm, doing about 8 knots.

Still going strong in Hope Town

March 8, 2007

We’ve been spending a few days in Hope Town going to the beautiful beaches around the island, and also going for short day trips on Whisper.

Above, a picture of Tahiti Beach on the southern end of Elbow Cay, where Hopetown is also located. We went here for the day on Saturday, and even though it wasn't a work day in the real world, we still felt pretty lucky to be there.

Yesterday we sailed to Man-O-War Cay, the island north of us in blustery conditions. It was a beautiful day for a sail, although the Hopetown Sailing Club thought that it was too windy, so they postponed the days race for the following day. Undaunted, and disappointed that the race was cancelled, we set out for Man-O-War. On the way there we were on a broad reach with one reef in the main and our 120% jib doing a comfortable 6 to 6.5 knots most of the time! We dropped the anchor in a quiet cove and dove overboard to scrub down Whisper’s bottom, which we haven’t done since we went into the water in Norfolk in November. All things considered, it didn’t look too bad, but it took us two hours of hard work to get the barnacles and slime scrubbed off. The sail back was to windward, so we put a second reef in the main and a couple of rolls in the jib and headed south. Again, it was a beautiful sail. Whisper was well balanced and cut through the waves with ease. Too bad the race had been postponed as we felt like we could have schooled everyone! The winds were about 20 knots gusting to close to 30.

The race, which had been postponed, was held today and even though the winds were a bit weaker, Whisper still sailed very well, and we ended up 9th of 12 boats. Hardly stellar, but definately an improvement from the last race.

Above, a picture from today's race.

Above, Kit Kat in her racing position, inside the starboard cockpit locker--her new favorite place.

We’ve now been in Hopetown for two weeks. Much longer than we anticipated. However, because we’ve stayed for more than just a couple of days, we’ve been able to develop friendships with lots of cruisers here in the harbor, something we consider much more valuable than seeing every single cay and island in the Abaccos. We share dinner or are invited for dinner on someone else’s boat every other day it seems. It is nice to be able to get to know people on a deeper level than the “where are you from” and “how long are you planning on sailing for” questions. We should note, however, that almost no one comes over to Whisper for dinner (not for lack of invitations) but, we presume, because she is a bit small… or maybe we just smell bad!

One of the main streets in "downtown" Hopetown.

Last night's sunset