Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Opportunity Knocked

We recently had a unique opportunity to go sailing on this 2012 Jeanneau 43 sailboat.

Our friends needed to get a certification in order to charter a sailboat in Croatia next fall. Being the excellent boat handlers that we are, we were invited to join them to help sail this large boat during their check-out.

It has been a long time since we have sailed a boat of this size, and boy, is it fast! The wind was perfect, and it felt good to steer and feel its power.

We were going so fast (about 8 knots in a 13 knot breeze), that my hat flew off...now you know why I wear one all the time. LOL

When a gust hit, our rocket ship just heeled over a little more and charged through the water.

However, we did have to take into consideration that we were covering ground faster than we're used to (even in our trawler), because it took us awhile to get the huge roller furling mainsail and jib in, since we were unfamiliar with the boat...at first. We became old hands at it, since part of the check-out was to tack, jibe, and handle all points of sail.

Downwind 'wing on wing'.

Ann contemplates the enormity of the rig.

"Wind's Will" even had dual steering wheels, which proved to be advantageous in a boat this size with a very wide stern.

We also had to motor in and out of tight spaces, dock the boat, show we could pick up a mooring, and even anchor and come off the anchor under sail alone.

Anchoring strategies being discussed at the bow.

Of course all of us have done these things before in our own boats, but Captain Mark from Cruise Abaco, was there to observe, help, teach, and assist if needed. I keep saying 'we', but it was really Paul that was in the hot seat and being tested. We kidded him about how we helped him to look good though! He passed with flying colors, even when we first left the dock and immediately confronted the challenge of having a barge coming at us in the narrow channel.

Thank you Paul, Ann, and Captain Mark for an exciting experience!

Great minds at work during orientation.

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