Trip Update, Delta 2, Day 10 Challenge Day – Eric von Aschwege
After yesterday’s hike into the Quill, the Delta Fleet was ready to set sail to our next destination of St. Christopher, also known as St. Kitts. The skies were clear and there was a fresh breeze that promised an excellent sail ahead. Today however was special – it was Challenge Day! During Challenge Day, the instructors take a step back and allow the students to run the boat from wake up to power down! On board Arwen, everyone was up by 7:30 prepping for breakfast and getting the boat ready for departure. Students on Patricia J. were up at the same time, well ahead of instructors, and had bagels and cream cheese for breakfast.
Both boats were off the mooring around 9 and immediately set sail for Basseterre, St. Kitts, which lay approximately 20 miles away. Much to the instructors’ relief and pleasure, the sails went up without a hitch, and soon the engine was turned off for some seriously fast sailing. Arwen’s speed peaked at about 9.2 knots, with Patricia J. close behind! We sailed on a close reach course all the way to St. Kitts, and continued to fly as we passed Fort George on Brimstone Hill (to be visited on Monday), and eventually tacked our way into Basseterre. As Arwen passed Brimstone Hill, she was visited by a rare treat – a pod of dolphins! They swam in our wake and alongside for about 30 seconds before heading off to play elsewhere.
Basseterre is a low lying city that is difficult to spot against the background when offshore. Joaquin, acting as a navigator today, guided Arwen exactly to the spot in the harbor where we needed to anchor. Both boats arrived with time to spare, which gave us plenty of time to prepare for our first docking.
The wind was still quite strong as we docked the boats in Port Zante, a marina immediately adjacent to the cruise ship terminal in Basseterre. Arwen docked first with Gracie at the helm. PD Eric caught dock lines and the boat came to a gentle stop along the finger pier. Next came Patricia J. with Charlotte at the helm, for as smooth a docking as can be desired! Though the sailing was over for Challenge Day, everyone still had to make their boats spotless for their cleaning inspection.
Once the boats passed their cleaning inspections, students took fresh water showers and relaxed in the cockpit and on docks. The local supermarket was unfortunately closed on Sunday, so for dinner students chose to visit some local cuisine – Dominoes Pizza. After such a long day of sailing and hard work, a “slice” of home tasted delicious and everyone was fast asleep by 9:30.