Teaching At the El Salvador Sailing Federation

Bringing Hope Through Sailing             February 2016
 

Second thoughts flashed through our minds as our van traveled down a very bumpy mountainous road to our sailing destination. The foliage was so thick it was hard to see the path through. Eduardo, our skilled driver, navigated the switchbacks like a pro as the van lurches back and forth.


Usually I travel down to the waterfront, and not up. Why were we climbing to the waterfront? Our host explained that we would be sailing in Lake Ilompango, a huge water filled caldera. My bewildered look brought further explanation:  A caldera is a crater left behind by the collapse of a volcano after an eruption. It was somewhat ominous sailing inside a volcano!


There are places where steamy bubbles still come up from the depths. I was told that after we leave the shoreline it drops off to unknown depths. In some parts of the lake, the bottom is yet to be discovered.  I found myself longing for the dangers of sudden Chesapeake Bay squalls. I’ll take those any day over the fear of a sudden molten lava ride down the mountain range.
 

The beauty that we encountered at the lake front was indescribable. We were rewarded with some fantastic sailing on Lasers, Optis and J24s. I am still wondering how they got the boats to this incredible location. A news crew from a San Salvador TV station came out to do a story as we taught on the lake. Our greatest rewards were the friendships that developed with the nationals during our trip.
 

PHLAS was asked to teach sailing in El Salvador at The El Salvador Sailing Federation. The State Department’s Travel Warning is concerning, especially because El Salvador is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The high crime rate is largely due to gang activity that plagues much of the country.  Families fear when their children reach their pre-teens, the age gang recruitment starts in many neighborhoods.
 

With 60% of the population living in poverty, opportunities for many young people are slim to none. What can a sailing school do that would impact the lives of those so seriously in need? Even if we can provide hope for a handful of students the trip would be worthwhile.
 

PHLAS instructors helped to coach a group of young sailors from the poor communities around Lake Ilopango. During the “chalk talk” we shared that although they were sailing in a remote location in El Salvador, they are part of an international community of sailors. Sailing skills can open doors for the future.  By building their sailing skills and certifications, they are learning marketable skills that are needed at resorts, clubs, sailing schools and charter companies all over their region of the world.
 

The personal confidence and teamwork gained by competitive sailing will also help them excel in any field they pursue in the future.  Many young people feel like they are at the mercy of their situation in life, their economic status and the pull of peer pressure. Such forces cannot be controlled. Learning to sail does not teach the sailor to control the wind, waves and current. It teaches the sailor to reach their destination in spite of the forces pushing downwind. In fact, the same forces that will blow the majority downwind or against the rocks of life are the very forces that a skilled sailor can use to his or her advantage to reach their destination.
 

Light bulbs seemed to light up in the minds of these young people.  New vision was cast for committing to the ongoing sailing program at their lake. We then headed out on the water for practical instruction and coaching.
 

At the end of the day, the head of the Sailing Federation saw something that he had never seen before in the youth team:  Laughter. Even working through an interpreter, the five American instructors bonded with the teens. New relationships were formed and their smiles gave us the feeling that our encouragements were well received.  We are definitely looking forward to going back next year to see their progress and to spend more time sailing with our new friends.




 

 

 

 















 
BAHAMAS Fotilla 2016


About 25 of us from the DC area sailed together in the Abacos for a beautiful week aboard 4 yachts, two catamarans and two mono-hulls. Great wind for sailing, fantastic snorkeling and plenty of beach time.


This week was timed (almost) perfectly. I say "almost" because we missed the snow storm that hit the DC area, but many of our flights were canceled getting back home! If you are going to be stuck somewhere for a few extra days, it might as well be in the Bahamas!


All made it home safely after the airports were back in service.


We were able to re-connect with Capt. Angie, who has been teaching in the Abacos all winter. We were glad to sail with her for a few days. A bitter sweet time though: We had a special memorial for "Cricket" on Tiloo beach. If you have been to our base in Maryland, you probably have met Angie's dog Cricket, who was her special sailing companion and our school mascot. Cricket passed away during our flotilla.


Our sailors were able to get some fun heavy weather experience. Our first day, while leaving Marsh Harbour the winds filled in to over 35 knots! This made for a quick exciting trip to Hopetown. The wind moderated nicely for the rest of the week.


Our skippers dove for fresh fish and lobster that was shared with the group. Congrats to Phinehas, who brought up the most fish. Roger won the most conch award, keeping us in conch fritters and conch salad during the trip. A special thanks to Mary who prepared the fresh seafood. Maybe it was because we were eating in the cockpit of a 45' Catamaran, but her dishes sure seemed better than any of the local restaurants.


Of course, Nipper's is always a highlight, with beautiful ocean reef views that overlook the ocean. My fish buger was fantastic.


My family got "stuck" in Nassau for a few days after the flotilla, waiting for a flight into BWI. The time was well spent! Extra beach time, swimming and exploring the island was a welcome addition to our vacation.


We are all looking forward to our next island adventure!

                               -Capt. Jeff
                                January 2016



























BAHAMAS Fotilla 2015


What perfect weather we had all week!

I can't remember a trip when every day was perfect. Great sailing winds and calm, cool evenings.


We had four families on this year's flotilla, so it was a wonderful family adventure. Eight children in all ranging in age from 3 months to 11 years of age.


The Abaco's are the perfect islands for families to explore. Very friendly communities with virtually no crime.


We did not want the week to end. See you in 2016 Bahamas!





Saturday Jan 19               Bahamas Flotilla 2013


I was going to post a blog, but Bruce, one of our club members, is a much better writer than I and really captures our trip. Hope you enjoy his recap!  -Capt. Jeff


Day 1

I slept for maybe an hour or two anticipating that it would be hard to sleep in a new tight environment surrounded by people i had never met. Im thinking this was a wise idea and hopefully my gamble pays off. No doubt im tired, especially considering my trip consisted of two plane changes and a four hour layover in west palm beach, which if the airport is any indication is a golfers paradise.  On the approach to the Marsh Harbour run way I happened to glance down through the window only to see the remains of a plane crash. Hopefully it isn't an omen.


My first impressions of the Abacos are mostly positive. The locals seem very friendly and it seems to be much more laid back and relaxed than from what I remember of Nassau.  It is certainly a Caribbean island with its fair share of glitter and glitterless property but at the same time not nearly as touristy and commercial as other places I've been. It seems to exist to cater to the cruising lifestyle, laid back, relaxed but with plenty of places to buy booze. 


As for my crew, the people I've met so far are very friendly. The crew of our boat Yankee Haven (the irony is thick since our crew is from Mississippi, Kentucky and Atlanta) consists of Charley (our captain), his fiancé Katie, Stark, and his wife Kelly.  Filling out the boat is Gene who manages mutual funds. Our sister boat bear necessities consists of Charley's parents, his younger sister Susan (nicknamed Worm) and his older sister Margaret and her husband Chris.  


Despite my status on board as the stranger I'm excited to see what's in store. Tomorrow we cast off around 7:30 on what should be about a five hour sail north to a desolate cay where we will anchor for the night. The idea is to snorkel and hunt for wild lobster followed by an evening bonfire on a secluded beach. This is the type of thing I came for. Still  I realize i have a lot to learn about a yacht of this size and complexity. So for tonight as I type this gently rocking on my settee berth I am anxious to see what is in store but can't help but think that I'm in some way fulfilling a dream. I'm sleeping on a 40 foot Juneau yacht that is stocked with provisions for seven days of cruising in the Abacos. Things could always be worse.






Sanday Jan 20th               Bahamas Flotilla 2013


Surprisingly I wasn't the first person up although I did toss and turn a bit last night (no pun intended). We had early morning coffee and were in a rush to leave with the flotilla at 7:30. Light winds on the nose meant it was a day of motor sailing.  I learned a few new skills on the way about coiling the lines and for the most part i think my captain is starting to trust my skills. En route We passed through some narrow channels with restrictions on our draft (whale cay) so we had to be cautious.  A lot of big swells but nothing that was breaking over the gunwales, maybe six feet max.


By noon we arrived at our anchor location at manjack cay. We set anchor in about ten feet of water and as I write this at 11:00 pm we seem to be holding fast.  After setting anchor we fired up the dinghy and took the first crew out for lobster hunting and snorkeling. This was a little  harrowing to say the least. The dingy is only about 8 feet long and was taking on too much water.  When we made it to the reef we were in the middle of the ocean and sinking with no bail out scoop.  Luckily just in time we borrowed one from our sister boat and saved the day. 


After we snorkeled for a while we had to make a trip back to the Yankee Haven to pick more people up. I decided it was time to relax for a bit on my own.  I hung out in the cockpit listening to music, snacking, enjoying our anchorage and relaxed.  When the crew came back I watched the sunset over great Abacos island before we dinghied over to our sister ship for a dinner of bratwurst, hotdogs, and fresh conch fritters.


We capped off the night with a bonfire at the beach of the private island were we are anchored. We cut open fresh coconuts, drank beer, and just chatted.  I'm off to bed now under the gentle rocking of the boat. Tomorrow will be a shorter sail and we hope to secure some fresh lobster.






Monday Jan 21st               Bahamas Flotilla 2013


Got some more sound sleep last night but we still woke up around 7:00.  The beer last night certainly helped us all get to know each other better. 


The guys on board suited up first thing and we went lobster hunting. The plan of attack is a long spear with an elastic band on the end. You swim as close as you can to them and release.  Our hunting ground was an old abandoned ship wreck and we all speared at least one, 8 total.   One of the lobsters was huge. 


Plan for today is a hike across (man jack cay where we anchored yesterday )followed by a short hour sail to green turtle cay where there is a small town and then back on the hook tonight.  12:45 update, I write this while swinging in a hammock on a quiet beach on Manjack cay. The hike to the Atlantic was really nice. 


I hung back from the others to really enjoy the quietness of it all. The beach itself would be world famous If any travel magazines ever found out about it. A little history of Manjack cay. The island is mostly owned by on couple. From what I gathered they were here originally with a business partner to buy the island. When that fell through they stayed and built a home from scratch.  As it stands now they collect their own rainwater, generate their own power, and are complete off the grid.  In fact there are only two other homes on the island and they appear to be vacation homes.  


The lack of civilization here certainly made for an incredible night last night. It was so clear and quiet and bright from just the moon you could still see the bottom of the ocean from our anchorage.

10:00 pm update.


Light winds again todayand given the short cruise we didnt even raise the main. Disappointing but such is the life of a cruiser.  We pulled in to green turtle cay and weighed anchor and shortly found out that we could basically get a slip for free if we spent 58 dollars at the marina bar which given the slip rate  (1.50 per foot and ours boat is 40 feet) which was a no brainer.  We pulled into slip 8 and all relaxed for a bit taking advantage of the marinas facilities (showers, toilets, trash). It was then off to our sister boat bare necessities where our captains family had prepared a meal of our freshly caught lobster. I kid you not when I say it was one of the best meals I have had in years. Lobster linguine with coconut bread. It was just simply amazing. 


After dinner We took the dinghy back to the bar for the required beer.  What a cool place.  The interior was covered in dollar bills with notes written from others who had passes through. We of course obliged and stuck ours quite appropriately over a flag that had a beer stein.  Tomorrow we plan to return north to hunt for more lobster then we turn around south to make it through "the whale" where we experienced the swells on the way out. Our dinghy is deflating and we need a replacement but since we are so far north our charter company needs us to come closer.  Here is hoping for good winds tomorrow so we can shut off the engines finally.  Time to rock myself to sleep in the settee.  More to follow tomorrow.









Tuesday Jan 22nd               Bahamas Flotilla 2013


What an amazing day of sailing today. I was the first one up and took a shower, made coffee, and had some quiet time watching the sunrise.


The weather called for 20 - 35 mph winds and that's just what we got. We reefed the main and set out to make it through "the whale" (whale cay) so we wouldn't get stuck too far north. I've been told that you can only go through when the conditions are just right and I think we were on the edge. We were fully heeled over on a close reach to broad haul and the six foot swells were pushing the boat hard. It was AWESOME although I admit a tiny bit scary at times. With winds at about 20 knots we got our boat speed up to about 7.2. Not bad considering we were reefed and our sister boat never raised her sails.  We were lucky that we didn't have to tack at all today given the conditions. It took us about 2 hours but we made it down to Guano cay where we picked up a mooring ball.


We took the dinghy into the small "settlement bay" and had lunch at a place called Nippers overlooking the atlantic. I had the grilled grouper burger. Fantastic!  After that we walked through the town (if you can call it that) and had a beer at a bar overlooking our boats. Right now it's over cast and a little chilly with the wind blowing out of the north at 25 mph but I'm enjoying relaxing on the settee as the boat gently rocks and the water passes under the hull. Our sister boat bare necessities will come to us tonight for dinner of spaghetti and then hopefully a somewhat early night.  Tomorrow Katie (the captains fiancée) leaves so I'll switch to the aft cabin and our captan will take my settee berth. I haven't minded the settee at all but it will be nice to not be at the mercy of others to sleep or just have some quiet time.

 

10:47 update. We didn't do much after the sail. Mostly we just relaxed on the boat and enjoyed some quiet time before bare necessities came over for a dinner of spaghetti cooked by crew member Stark.  I opted out of the settlers game everyone else was playing and spent time in the cockpit relaxing, conversing with Kelly, and watching the other boats. When the moon is out the water is so clear (and shallow, we are moored in 8 feet and have a 6 foot draft) you can still see the bottom.


I'm looking forward to sleep tonight. The main hatch is open and from my berth I'm looking at the stars with a nice cool breeze. The wind is blowing at about 20 knots right now and it's really making the boat rock and the mooring line grind.  I find it very relaxing.  Off to sleep to the gentle rock. I'm more than half way home now and there is no doubt that I will always remember this trip.








Wed. Jan. 23rd               Bahamas Flotilla 2013


A leisurely morning today. We woke up and captain Charlie made omelettes with the left over lobster meat and then took Katie to the dock to catch the water taxi back to Marsh Harbour. After breakfast We went in to Guana cay where we are moored for a few supplies and to use the toilet. We cast off and motored around for a bit looking for a place to snorkel and found a great little anchorage in aqua blue water. It's chilly today though so for me snorkeling and lobster hunting isn't quite as appealing as it normally would be. Instead i stayed with the boat and made a sandwich lunch for the crew. The winds are in the high teens so next on the list is a sail to hopetown where we will pick up another mooring ball and spend the night.


11:20 update. Wow, what a fun day. We left our snorkeling anchorage around two and had an incredible sail to hope town.  Winds were out of the east at 14 knots steady gusting to 19.  It was a straight 137 degree course and no tacking. Then we arrived at hopetown and it happened as I pulled into the harbor.....I RAN AGROUND......HARD!  I mistook a channel marker for a moring ball on the last part of the entrance to the harbor and BOOM.  We went full astern but we were stuck.  We called our sister boats for help on the radio but luckily we managed to get out by having the crew hang on the boom that we let out full to port with me in the dinghy pulling back on the boat. I was pretty embarrassed. I had just sailed in 20 - 25 knot winds (with huge swells) the day before and 15 - 20 knot winds today and that is the mistake I made not watching my depth. Ah well. My captain and Jeff (who runs the sailing club) were very good about it.  I was told that there are two types of sailors, those who have run aground and those who have lied about running aground. At least I will always remember this place.


Hopetown is beautiful. It is by far the best town I have ever seen in the Bahamas. In fact it equates in my opinion to the cape cod of the Bahamas. Quaint little shops, beautiful beaches, and a fantastic old lighthouse.


Tonight we were invited aboard Jeff's 40 foot catamaran where he is teaching ASA 114 to another group in our flotilla. Jeff treated us to fresh conch fritters while I chatted with his very impressive sons Fineus  and Elisha. The Conch was tasty but more so it was exciting to see just how much space a boat of that class has to offer. I'm definitely not ready for that yet.  Jeff and his family spent years living on their catamaran sailing these waters and are close friends with the family who owns Manjak. I was especially impressed with his son Finneus who is 17 but has more sailing and fishing knowledge than someone twice his age.  After the fritters we dinghed over to bare necessities for more conch and Mac and cheese followed by desert at a local bar on the other side of the harbor. We ended the night with a few drinks on Yankee haven and coined a new drink by the same name that consists of rum and baileys.


Side note, while we were in Guano Cay Stark and his wife Kelly and I conspired to play a trick on Geane (another crew mate) who is apparently a bit of a germaphobe. We've all noticed bug bites which we have been caused by the infamous "noseeums".  The plan was to attribute these bites to sea lice which come from swimming in seaweed.  We have all been bitten by bug while here so it worked perfectly when we casually mentioned it as the cause. Hilarious.


I also decided to keep my settee berth. No need to change at this point and by now I've gotten comfortable with the rest of the crew. Not to mention I can see the sky through the open main hatch and the breeze through it is perfect.  Funny, it was a bit on the chilly side today but still in the low 70's. apparently back home in DC it is in the 20's!  Well ok, time to rock to sleep again. Two sleeps and a wake and I'll be back home. 









Thurs. Jan. 24th              Bahamas Flotilla 2013


I need to buy the Commodores album (Lionel Richie).  Needed to make sure I reminded myself about that , it's perfect boat music and it has been the soundtrack for our crews evening night caps of Yankee Haven's and the local beer Kalik. Anyway, a nice day today. We decided to stay in hopetown another night and hit the lighthouse in the morning. It was great but a little too high for me so I only went half way up.


I bought a pirate flag which I quickly tied to the port stern standing rigging. After that we met up with Jeff on the big catamaran and went out into the Abacos sea for some spear hunting on the corals.  We went out about 15 minutes into the ocean and weighed anchor on the dinghy. The hunting was a lot of fun until we noticed there was a two foot barracuda following us. I tried to put that out of my mind and the hunt went on for another unsuccessful hour. I jumped back into the dinghy to warm up for a bit and we moved to a new coral.


Stark and Charlie jumped in with Fineus and Jeff while Gene, Elisha and I relaxed. All of a sudden Starks fins were splashing through the water as fast as he could move the and he jumped on the boat with the dexterity of a paratrooper.  SHARK!!!!  And a big one at that.  Based on the description our best bet was that it was a blacktip. Despite our better judgement we went to another coral for some more hunting. No sooner than 5 minutes in we noticed another and much larger barracuda following us. It was following us and got within five feet. We had our spears on the ready but that was enough excitement for me and I retired to the dinghy.


An hour later we motored back to the boat ant had lunch on the trampoline of the catermaran  followed by a short motor back to hopetown.  I ferried Kelly, Stark, and three others from the catamaran crew to the nearby hotel for bathrooms and showers followed by a dinner of Cajun red beans and rice on bear necessities.


We ended the night with a short dinghy ride to captain jacks to play settlers and to have a few Kaliks (the Bahamian version of Miller Light). It was then back to the boat for a night cap of our Newley coined drink "Yankee Havens" and we all prepped for our last day. Tomorrow we will explore hopetown and then it's an hour to Marsh Harbour.  Funny how a few days ago I felt like the lone wolf and now I've gotten to know and really like all of these people and we are all becoming fast friends.   Ok, time to brush my teeth and gently rock to sleep for another night on the yacht under the Bahamian moon. 






Friday Jan 25th               Bahamas Flotilla 2013


I was woken up by rain drops through the main hatch. Nothing too bad but the wind is howling today. Otherwise it's a leisurely morning, I made a fried egg breakfast sandwich and now we are about to head into hopetown.


10:53 update. It was a nice day today. We motored to a shoal that was essentially a post card from every view. I was pretty nervous leaving the channel out of hopetown after my grounding. it was especially nerve wracking considering it was low tide and we never had more than 10 feet of water on the way there so for me it was stressful at the helm. I didn't want to be that guy who grounded twice in as many days. We made it out ok luckily. After our beach stroll we went back to the boat and Stark and his wife Kelly made us sandwiches for lunch. Very good, in fact I think I really haven't had a bad meal on this trip.


After lunch we raised anchor, reefed the main and sailed back to marsh harbour. It was a nice sail on a beam to broad reach with winds gusting to 20 knots. Back in marsh harbour we cleaned up the boat, went over to the catamaran for a quick hello and then went out for dinner with Gene, Charlie, stark and Kelly margatie and Chris. It was a good dinner of grouper burgers and conch fritters at konchy joes. We went back to the boat after dinner for a night cap (sadly we ran out of baileys so no more Yankee Haven's) and all reminisced about the week.


It is hard to believe it is over. At first I was worried the week would never end but I've really been fortunate to have such a great crew. I think I'll go more into detail about my favorite things on this cruise tomorrow while I wait for my flight but for now I'm going to enjoy the rocking of the boat and the water passing under the hull for one more night. It has been a good trip. I've learned a lot and I've pushed my comfort level in many ways. I'm glad I did this and I would do it again. 


_________________________________________










Last year's flotilla report by Jeff Bowen


Saturday Jan 21st               Bahamas Flotilla 2012


Why is the last day always the sunniest, warmest with the best sailing? I was up early saying good-by to departing crew. Captain Angie's yacht sailed into the harbour in time to make flights.


We all made vows of reproducing this experience next winter!


After all our sailors left, I couldn't resist. We (my two sons and I) hopped aboard a friend's boat for one more sail, one more dive on the reefs, one more night at anchor, one more fresh fish dinner.


Captain Suki (who was formerly a professional chef) cooked up our freshly speared hogfish, we had so much we could barely finish.


The only thing better than chartering is having friends with yachts in the Islands! Thanks you Suki and Angie (and Cricket) for being such wonderful hosts and extending my vacation, see you this summer!


(Email me if you would like to spend a week with Angie and Suki on their Pearson 36 in Feb or March, I can put you in touch with them)







Friday Night Jan 20th                Bahamas Flotilla 2012


Capt. Angie's boat anchored just North of The Sugar Loaves for a beautiful secluded night on the hook. Others had early morning flights so the rest of us opted to return to the charter base and spend the night there.


Capt. Jeff made his famous conch fritters and we all gathered for h'orderves aboard his yacht as we talked about our adventures over the past week. Can't believe that it is almost over, it went by way too fast! 


Friday January 20th                  Bahamas Flotilla 2012


We departed Treasure Cay early for a beautiful day of sailing. Anchoring just off the reefs north of Elbow Cay, some dinghied to a secluded beach while 4 of us went for one more dive.


We speared some hogfish and snapper while a fairly large barracuda eyed our catch. Talk about exciting: Try swimming with a bloody fish to the dinghy with a mondo barracuda watching. It's kind of like carrying a dripping steak past a hungry pitbull.


Sometimes it's better to drop your catch and get the heck outta there. Not this time though, Hogfish is the best tasting fish that I have ever had and I'm not feeding such a tasty treat to a barracuda.


We make it back unscathed, although as we are getting in the dinghy, we spot the biggest Moray Eel that I have ever seen! It was as thick as a football and about 10' long. Definitely time to get out of the water. That little shiver runs through my body. I call it "the shark shiver" but a Moray Eel of that size will send it through my spine too. 



Thurs. January 19                     Bahamas Flotilla 2012


Just after watching the sunrise with  my second cup of coffee in hand, a fast moving squall hit us. Wind went from under 10 to 30 knots in a few seconds! Our calm morning quickly turned into a scurry of activity since the anchorage was now unprotected from wind and waves.


Behind the squall the wind settled to low 20's still providing motivation to get moving since we had an ocean passage to make to the southern Abacos.


The most exciting sailing so far and with the wind just aft of beam and a bit of chop on some good size ocean swells, it was just too fun to reef. Can't believe we are sailing downwind again (going the opposite direction). 


We headed in to Treasure Cay and actually tied up at a marina for the night. The crew enjoyed hot showers ashore after a dip in the pool. We all piled into the cockpit of Captain Jim's boat since he made a huge dinner for everyone. The live band at the bar serenaded us to sleep as we finished out another perfect day in paradise.

Wed. January 18                              Bahamas Flotilla 2012


Diving Expedition!
Our anchorage had perfect dinghy access to the ocean side. Three dinghy loads of excited snorkelers headed out to the reefs looking like a Navy Seal landing team.


Diving was so spectacular with fish and Caribbean lobster everywhere! With only a few more hours of sunlight, we quickly speared our lobster limit. It helps to be under the tutelage of a master diver, Phinehas (who has lived in the Bahamas for quite a while), showing us his technique.


Our bounty made it to the grill by sunset for a perfect evening on the hook. Wind was calm and stars filled the sky making it a perfect night for a Cuban cigar in the cockpit.

 

Wed. January 18                       Bahamas Flotilla 2012


We woke up to a dolphin swimming around the anchorage! He seemed to visit each boat as if to say, "hello". So close we could almost touch him.


Anchor chains rattled up through the gypsy as we cast off to new islands. Lighter air today from the Southwest, but we still had a downwind sail all the way to New Plymouth. The wind seems to follow us!


After anchoring just outside town, we dinghies ashore to New Plymouth to pick up a few provisions and eat lunch at a new local hotspot named, "Two Shorties". The fish burgers are fantastic! Best price on conch fritters in the Abacos.


We found a perfect secluded anchorage just to the north of Green Turtle Cay for the evening.

Tues. January 17                   Bahamas Flotilla 2012


The wind swung around and gave us Southeast fresh breeze, for anther fantastic broad reach to Great Guana Cay. We all snugged into Fisher's Bay and anchored for the evening.


Some decided to go ashore for dinner, while about 8 of us chose to dive the anchorage. Nobody usually dives anchorages, so lobsters feel fairly safe with yachts swinging on the hook above them. That is until we arrived! Successful diving led to a fresh seafood dinner. 

Mon. January 16                         Bahamas Flotilla 2012


With most of the shops closed on Sunday, we decided to stay in Hope Town one more day for some sightseeing, shopping and exploring.


Several made it to the top of the lighthouse. The beach that faces the ocean is beautiful!




Sun. January 15                         Bahamas Flotilla 2012


All four boats cast off for Hope Town, one of the most picturesque towns in the Caribbean. A broad reach with a fresh breeze made for perfect sailing conditions.


Once secured to our moorings, some crew went ashore to explore town and some went for a quick snorkel. Swimming was successful, beautiful sea life to view and we found several lobsters that seemed to really want to join us for dinner.






Sat. January 14                          Bahamas Flotilla 2012


We all arrived at the Sunsail charter base in Marsh Harbour late in the day. After the chart briefing at 3pm, the Skippers were busy provisioning the boats and we all were enjoying the warm breeze, swaying palm trees and crystal clear water. No more snow, ice or cold for the next 7 days!


Cabin assignments were given out and we all moved aboard our four yachts. 

Delmarva Circumnavigation, Summer 2011


Captain David and a crew of students from The Sailing Academy set off around Delmarva Sunday July 10th. They are making good progress on the ocean passage and should be entering the Chesapeake and starting on the home stretch late in the week.


Trip has been a good mix of conditions, from strong winds to calm (They had to run the engine for part of the offshore leg).


We will upload trip reports from the crew when they make landfall.





Bahamas Sailing, Winter 2011


A group from The Sailing Academy just returned after chartering from the Moorings base in the Abaco's. While cold and snowy here, it was close to 80 degrees every day with cool evening in the Bahamas!


We had great sailing days and beautiful sunsets. Between visiting island communities such as Hope Town, we had plenty of time to snorkel on the reefs.


Highlights were hiking the wooded trails on Manjack Island, opening fresh coconuts on the beach, eating fresh lobster that we caught on the reefs and fresh fish dinners.


We even managed to squeeze in the course material for ASA104. 


Yes, we are trying to make you jealous! Although, consider joining us next winter. We would love to have you along.