Crew Life. A Day In The Life Of Neil and Sam
Crew Life! It’s 06:00 and our alarm has gone off. I jump out of bed…while Neil lies there for just a minute longer – honest! He can’t move this early without a cup of tea! So I get dressed and head to the galley and put the kettle on.
Then Neil get’s up and heads on to deck and makes sure that the cockpit is all clean and tidy for when our guests get up. On some trips, we have early birds and on others, we have night-owls, either way, we amend the sail plan around their schedules.
But we do like to make sure Nemo is looking spick and span when guests head up on deck. So Neil grabs a bucket and washes down the cockpit with seawater. He lets the swim ladder down in case anyone fancies an early morning dip, and throws out a safety line…it is still early after all!
I pop below deck before the kettle whistle wakes everyone up. Then I get breakfast ready. We like to offer a big breakfast. A selection of cereals, fresh fruit, coffee, teas, fruit juice, and toast with jams and marmalades. And either some sort of eggs, pancakes or fresh banana bread.
This week our guests are early birds and before breakfast, they like to have a coffee. So I bring up a freshly brewed cafetière. We are anchored in Admiralty Bay on Bequia, and one of our guests cannot resist a quick snorkel in the stunning turquoise waters before breakfast.
Whilst they are soaking up the morning sunshine, Neil starts getting Nemo ready to set sail. He attaches the main halyard. Checks what reefs we may need based on the weather report. Rolls up the sun shades, packs away the toys and puts out the fishing line.
If we are very lucky we might catch a beautiful Mahi Mahi for dinner tonight! As we have a longer sail today, he also adds another painter to Dory the Dinghy.
After breakfast, Neil goes through the sail plan with our guests. He gives them an overview of the sail trims we are going to be needing and a recap on yesterday’s learning.
As we are in Bequia, Neil heads ashore to drop the rubbish and also get some extra fruit and salad from Sunshine, who has a great stall we always visit. Neil comes back to Nemo with mangos, pineapple, passion fruit, soursop, and christophines.
Whilst Neil is ashore I get below deck ‘sail ready’. So once Neil is back it is time to raise the anchor and the mainsail. I head up to the bow with one of the guests whilst the others help Neil in the cockpit.
It is only day two of this sailing holiday, so our guests like to have a bit of help to start with, but most of our guests like getting hands-on. With the main sail up and one of the guests managing the main sheet, we take off our snubber, bring up the anchor, and then we are on our way.
I stay up on deck for a while and stand behind the safety bars at the mast with our guest. It is fun to feel the wind on our faces as we head out of the bay.
It is 10:30 and we have about a five-hour sail to Salt Whistle Bay on Mayreau in The Grenadines. This gives our guests plenty of time to get some helming and crew practice. And, as soon as we are out of the anchorage we get the Genoa out. 95% does the trick as the forecast is for 20 knots and we have reef two in (we have 3 reef points on our main).
We get out of the bay with one gybe and then have an in incredible sail down to Mayreau…in one tack! It definitely doesn’t always happen that way. Depending on the time of day, the state of the sea, wind and how are guests are feeling, we sometimes have to motor an hour or so into an anchorage. Which is not a problem as we have a brand new 110HP Volvo Penta engine, but the winds are perfect today, so no need.
Around 13:00, I bring up lunch. We try to organise it so we have lunch at anchor most days, but sometimes we do have longer sails and have to eat on the go. On sail days it is often a baguette or as it is today, Pasta alla Siciliana, for lunch.
Cooking down below under sail is okay as long as things have been prepared before, and that is the case today. I made the sauce and grated the parmesan before we left, so only the pasta needed cooking.
We had no luck with the rod today but we did see lots of flying fish and brown boobies and the sun shone the whole way! Everyone had a go at helming and Neil got everyone practising their bowline skills! A great sail and at around 15:15 we enter the bay and I hear our guests’ oohs and aahs. Salt Whistle is a stunning bay.
Ralph, one of the boat boys, comes out to welcome us and offers us his help with a mooring ball. He has a great spot for us right at the front of the anchorage, so our guests will be able to swim ashore if they want to…which of course they do!
Once we are secured on the mooring ball, our guests waste no time and swim ashore to have a wander around. Had we been further out we would have used Dory to do a beach landing…always a good laugh ;-).
This gives me time to do a quick tidy up in each of the guest’s en-suite cabins. There is nothing worse than sand in the cabin and heads. So I like to give everything a brush out and whip down as often as possible.
I then start getting dinner ready. Neil prepares the cockpit for sundowners and gets the BBQ going! Yummy pork ribs with homemade BBQ sauce on the menu today. And with that, we are having mashed potatoes, corn-on-the-cob and tomato salad.
After our guests are back on board, have had a quick shower of the back of the boat, it is time for appetisers and sundowners! Yeh!
Our guests had kindly made jugs of rum punch for everyone the night before. So Neil and I are making a BVI classic rum cocktail for everyone tonight – Painkillers! This will be fun as we have a box of rum from our visit to the Depaz Distillery in Martinique! Our Canadian guests are also introducing us to a new card game (99) this evening…fingers crossed the painkillers work in our favour ;-).
So, after some delicious food and drink, lots of laughter, it is about midnight. The cockpit cushions get stowed. We do a last quick tidy up below and fill up the kettle ready for another fabulous day sailing tomorrow. We are sailing to Tobago Cays to swim with some turtles.
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Neil & Sam
The BlueFoot Travel Team
About BlueFoot Travel
We offer crewed cabin charters in the Caribbean. Join us on board a shared yacht and experience an unforgettable sailing holiday. Book a cabin for your sailing vacation – ideal for solo and single travellers, couples and small groups. Relax and recharge. Enjoy delicious healthy food. Get hands-on sailing experience with an RYA sailing instructor. And, have lots of fun as we sail from one beautiful island to the next. Sail in style with BlueFoot Travel.