Beating to the Berrys, Our Longest Night Sailing

Beating to the Berrys, Our Longest Night Sailing

We set off from West End, Grand Bahama and checked the weather predictions one last time.  It was showing less than 10 knots of wind and a meager 0.2 meter seas (less than one foot).  With these predictions we thought we’d be in for a slow, uneventful, overnight sail to the Berry Islands.

However, good ol’ mother nature is never as predictable as we’d like to think she is.  She keeps us (and the weather man) on our toes.  Touché madam, touché.

As the sun rose I was already passed out and Jason was obviously a little sleep deprived.  Which probably explains why he was eating carrots for breakfast and channeling his inner surfer dude.

I do mirror his enthusiasm though.  It was another sailing experience and accomplishment that adds to our confidence in ourselves and our boat.

It was a busy night and our shift duties included lots of tacking, trimming sails, altering course and using the radio to communicate with oncoming commercial vessels to confirm our course.  We usually do all these things together, and not alone, so that was another accomplishment for us.

Some days we feel like we’ve been at this sailing thing for a while and we should have our S#!T more together.  Other days, like this day, it’s a reminder of how new we are to this world.

Six months ago, we didn’t know how to sail…much less sail the boat we had purchased.  This is our longest journey to date and while it really is nothing in the realm of sailing, it’s the most our newbie sea legs have seen.  It’s exciting, rewarding and leaves us feeling like we’re earning our salt.

It’s the little steps like these that seem so big while they’re happening.  I’m sure we’ll reflect on these exact moments with fond memories and plenty of laughs.  What we call rough or uncomfortable seas today, we’ll probably be calling a cakewalk in a few years.  Nonetheless we allow ourselves to pause, give a little pat on the back, and prepare for the next big “first” (whatever that may be)!

learning to sail

A few things you may be wondering about

Tacking and Why Such a long sail

On a perfect day our journey would only be 80 nautical miles, but for this sail the winds weren’t in our favor. Sure, we could crank on the motors and use good ol’ machine power to plow our way there, but what’s the fun in that?

We bought a sailboat because we want to sail, and if the winds aren’t cooperating that means we’re forced to take the long way.  Which usually means zig-zagging our way there (aka tacking).  It’s like hiking a mountain trail filled with switchbacks, it may take longer than climbing straight up, but it’s certainly the path of least resistance.

Sea Sickness

Knock on wood…neither of us have been sea sick aboard our sailboat Curiosity (not even the cats).  Let’s hope it stays that way.  We do have ginger, aloe, sea bands and a variety of different meds on board should we ever need them.

Safe Is a Relative Term

Everyone’s idea of ‘safe’ is going to be different.  We comply with all the US Coast Guard Safety Requirements.  We have PFD’s on board and do wear them when we feel we need to.  We did wear our PFD shown in the video anytime we went outside the cockpit and never left the cockpit without first alerting the other person to keep an eye out.  That’s what we’re comfortable with and what we find reasonable for most situations.  You may agree or disagree.  That’s ok, if we are ever sailing on your boat, we will happily comply with your on-board safety rules.

Inviting People On Board

Yes, we are serious about bringing people on board and super excited about it.  We’re talking it through with our Patreons and we’ll announce our plans soon…so stay tuned!

Sailing Report

To see our full map with interactive pins, click here:

sailing to berry islands map

Nautical Miles Sailed: 136.6 from West End, Grand Bahama to Great Harbour Cay, Berry Islands
Dates: January 6-7, 2017
Anchorage: Bay Of The Five Pirates
Cell & WiFi: Our BTC signal was good and even better with our booster on.

Gear Used In This Video

Cameras Used to Capture This Video:

Note about cameras and filming at night…

Filming at night is extremely difficult, especially without the right gear.  You may notice we’re not in focus or the footage is grainy.  We know there will be a lot more night and high wind filming in our future.  We hope to upgrade some of our gear soon for these challenging situations.