Just Cruising

With 2 days of Peter’s stay to go we sailed the 15 miles from Rodney Bay  at the North of St Lucia ,  to the Pitons – those astonishing iconic volcanic plugs that appear in every article about the Caribbean, but  are somehow even more imposing in the flesh.

There was no hurry so we pottered along with a reef and a No 3 jib, in fact  life was so gentle that Lynda went below for a snooze. Peter and I were feeling pretty sleepy too, until we noticed a blue Beneteau  with a German flag come up from to lee and threaten to overtake us.

Up till now we have always overtaken everything in sight. We don’t make any particular effort to do so – but its a sort of unwritten law – Festina is faster! Well, we weren’t in a hurry and we were very much under-canvassed, so why shouldn’t we be overtaken?

I’m not sure who it was who started it, but slowly, surreptitiously, both Peter and I began to adjust the sheets and vang. Nothing too obvious you understand, but subtle changes that seemed to haul the German boat back a bit. “We could shake out a reef,” offered Peter casually – “Nah – were not in a hurry – it doesn’t matter “ I replied, through clenched teeth. We were in the lee of St Lucia which gave us a very variable wind , and pretty soon the sheets were being tended as if the America’s cup depended on it. The German boat came alive, the helm was changed and greater manpower applied to their (full rig) sails. The wind came ahead and we snuck past . They drove off through our lee , but we spotted a shift and got ahead again and onto the inside of the wind bend into Soufriere Bay. Here the wind piped up and we knew we had them beaten when they slabbed a reef in whilst  safely tucked under our lee.

Lynda woke up (all those winches squealing!) and sleepily asked if she had missed anything. Peter glanced at the blue boat , satisfactorily far astern. “No, nothing much happened. We were just cruising!”

One Comments

  1. What! Do you mean to say you race without a flag halyard? Outrageous! I find a well set courtesy flag can increase speed on anything from a beam reach to a run by as much as 0.0023knots. It is all sounding very pleasant – say hello to Mike and Louise from us.

Leave a Reply