Beating close hauled
For those not aware, sailing encompasses a vast array of verbiage. A new vocabulary, really. Today we set sail from the marina in St. Thomas and sailed for about an hour to her close neighbor, St. John. We had excellent wind – close to 20 knots at some points. Because the wind was ahead of us and not pushing from behind, we had to sail into the wind on a close hauled course. That means that the boat is angled about 30 degrees to the wind and the sails are set quite taut on the boat, so you have less sail area. This helps you maintain control of the boat while “beating” into the wind. You heal towards one side of the boat and feel like if you let go, you would slide into the water. You’ll also feel the ocean’s spray on your body and face, as the boat rocks over the waves. Thankfully, none of this action produces any nausea for me, and is actually quite pleasant. Makes me feel sleepy, actually.
Due to my rather enlarged size, pregnant belly and new-found cankles, I am no longer the stealth leopard I once was on a boat. I am not really able to run around on deck, pull lines, or heave my body through small openings between lines all over the place. So I sit at the steering station and help out a bit where I can. Thank goodness our captain is a bundle of energy and my boyfriend is highly adept at sailing. Otherwise, we wouldn’t go far.