Paradise to Reality
31 December 2013 | Washington, DC
Nick / COLD
Walking to work this morning, it was pretty clear winter is here. Cordelia has been out of the water for over a month and I just mailed my first boat payment for 2014.
The adjustment to a couple sail-less months was eased with a charter in the BVIs over Thanksgiving. It was a great week of 80 degree weather, plenty of sun – a couple quick showers – and a lot of partying. And, as an added bonus, we missed the first harsh cold snap in DC. After our own version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles – five cabs, two planes, and a water taxi – we made it to the BVI Yacht Charters base in Road Town and found the boat we chartered with another couple, a Beneteau Cyclades 43.
We took a slightly amended route of the 7-day itinerary outlined in Nautical Bob’s How to Bareboat Charter e-book that took us to Norman Island, Virgin Gorda, almost to Anegada with a diversion due to sea sickness over to Marina Cay, followed by two nights at Jost Van Dyke (Great Harbor and Diamond Cay) and a final night at Norman Island with the usual highlights thrown in as we sailed by.
I can see why so many not only make the trip, but also the return trip. I’d be lying if we didn’t discuss how far we could make it before they noticed us missing on the last day. The general consensus was not very far, mainly because our boat was almost painfully slow. I don’t know if the jib was too small, or I just never got the sails trimmed just right, but the difference between Syros and Cordelia can only be described as the difference between a sports car and your grandmother’s Cadillac. Syros was comfortable, roomy and perfect for hanging out on the hook – which was how we spent the majority of our time. But when it came to sailing, she didn’t even compare to Cordelia. I like – Meredith might disagree on this first point – how Cordelia heels over, buries a shoulder and tracks like a train. Syros felt like driving a, well… A boat, in the most stereotypical since. I’m sure with a little more than a week of practice, and a larger jib, Syros would perform. The only real flaw with Syros was the winch position in relation to the wheels. The sheet tails would occasionally get wedged between the boat and the wheel, making steering impossible. As with any boat, just things to get used to and watch out for.
Pretty easy trade-offs for post card views and year-round warm weather.
Back in reality, looking at pictures of blue sky and turquoise water is kind of depressing when compared to the reality of the gray sky and rain outside my window. The Thanksgiving sailing high is officially gone and I’m already thinking about when I should plan vacation days for longer cruises on the Bay. My winter to-do list isn’t incredibly long. I need to replace the drain valve on one of the ice boxes and I plan to replace some of the running rigging. I’ve already bought the lines, but need to splice an eye in them – and by that, I mean, I need to learn to splice an eye.
Other than that, just give Cordelia a good cleaning and add another coat of wax before splashing in the spring.