Inside (a bag going on a sailing trip)

You may be wondering, what do I pack besides shorts, t-shirts and swimsuits for a Caribbean sailing adventure? Take a peek at what I’ve assembled here. I have cards, an inverter, mask and snorkel, passport, clothespins, waterproof camera, IPod and portable speakers, phone charger, waterproof bags, a book, a notebook computer, a marine band radio, and more! And all of it all fits neatly inside my backpack, which is another essential to take on sailing trips because I use it when I go ashore. It holds much more than a purse, and my hands are free to carry more!

Inside

Inside

For more ideas on how to pack for a Caribbean sailing vacation, click here. Can you imagine yourself taking a great adventure sail? Check out our website: www.sailsoutherncal.com

Sail of a Lifetime! (complete with stories to tell for the rest of your life)

This spring we’re returning to the British Virgin Islands and we want YOU to join us! We’ll start our week with an overnight stay on the boat on Saturday, April 26, 2014. The next day we’ll begin a seven day tour of the British Virgin Islands, and we’ll get off the the boat on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Approximate cost per person will be $1600.* This includes all park permits, eight nights and seven days aboard a 46’ spacious catamaran, a rigid inflatable dinghy with motor, taxes, fuel, insurance, and a mandatory donation to the Virgin Islands Search & Rescue.

You don’t need to know how to sail. There will be at least two or three experienced sailors aboard. All you have to do is have fun in this highly desirable, world class sailing destination! We’re never out of sight of land, the sailing is great, and the water is 80 degrees. (perfect for scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming!) Just a few highlights of the trip will include:

Cane Garden Bay-Here you can visit many beachside bars and restaurants for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can walk from one to another, and live music is almost always available at one or another. There is also Callwood rum distillery where you can explore the grounds and purchase some locally produced rum!

Cane Garden Bay

Cane Garden Bay

Anegada– The lowest island (only 28 feet above sea level at its highest point) of the BVIs, is home to pink Caribbean flamingos, beautiful wild orchids, and pristine white beaches. Here you’ll be able to enjoy locally caught lobster and snorkel or scuba dive in the crystal clear waters of Loblolly Bay.

The Bight– Just a short sail from our starting point of Road Town, the Bight on Norman Island is home of the popular Willie T floating restaurant. There are four flooded caves where snorkeling is unforgettable.

Sunset at Willy T floating restaurant, The Bight (Norman Island)

Sunset at Willy T floating restaurant, The Bight (Norman Island)

North Sound– This is where we saw the beautiful 287’ Maltese Falcon sailing vessel last year! North Sound, on Virgin Gorda offers enough for several days of fun. There are many luxury resorts, gourmet restaurants and quiet anchorages in this beautiful, protected area tucked behind Mosquito and Prickly Pear Islands.

Saba Rock, North Sound (Virgin Gorda Island)

Saba Rock, North Sound (Virgin Gorda Island)

Contact Jon at 602.330.2921 or email jon@sailsoutherncal.com with questions or to sign up to sail with us! A deposit of $500 per person will secure your spot.

*price may vary slightly-this is just an estimate

A is for Andrea (Hurricane Andrea, that is…)

2013-05-06 10.40.50Today marks the first official day of hurricane season for the Atlantic. While it’s not something ANY of us want to think of, it’s pressing on the minds of those sailors in the Caribbean right now. Most of them are trying to hightail it to Grenada or Trinidad, where the likelihood of being hit by a hurricane is less than those islands farther north.

My only personal experience with hurricanes was in Ocean City, Maryland in the late 70s. I worked as a waitress in a hotel restaurant on the boardwalk. On Labor Day weekend, the restaurant was empty but open, and the tail end of a hurricane hit us–the restaurant flooded and we all went home. One heck of a way to end the summer! About a month and a half after that, I returned for a weekend to Ocean City. That was a weekend I’ll NEVER forget. A hurricane swept its way into Ocean City and we were holed up on the third floor of a hotel, watching waves come up to the second floor of our building. The hotel pool had whitecaps and water sloshed over its sides.

Fortunately we stayed safe and the storm passed. That was nothing compared to the more famous hurricanes, like Sandy last year, and Katrina in 2005. My hope is that this is a calm year, but predictors say otherwise. To all my sailing friends out there, all I have to say is – stay safe and be smart and prepared!

In case you are curious about this year’s hurricane names, the first will be called Andrea. Let’s hope we don’t make it through the alphabet to the next one (Barry). I really don’t want to think about getting all the way through the names to Wendy (last name on this year’s list)!

On our last trip to the British Virgin Islands, which was just a couple weeks ago, we experienced only one bad night. Otherwise, we enjoyed perfectly beautiful weather and had a wonderful time, despite being on the cusp of H-season!