Laura’s brother Leon’s blog

Leon sent us this blog after his visit to us at the end of January with Ricky.  We can not read it without laughing and nearly crying. It is perfect. My apologies to those of you who don’t get the humor in this – I promise that if you spend a week with us and listen as attentively as Leon and Ricky did to everything the Captain said – you will agree that this about sums it all up. — L.

Leon’s Blog from Sabbatical III

Spending a week in paradise with the two of you and Ricky on Sabbatical III is not only good for the soul; it is also good for pretty much anything that ails you;    With that in mind, I thought I would share a little bit of what I learned in the past week cruising around the island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenandines:

Keep you head down at all times.

Make sure to install your Firdell Blipper below your radome.

“Sea Me’s” are made in England, not Canada, and make your 52.5 foot yacht look like an oil tanker so why bother with a Firdell Blipper in the first     place?

Keep your sea cocks  in an open position, especially in the forward head.

Gen-set and make water as often as you can.

The wind in the Caribbean is always from an easterly direction.

Whatever the Rasta’s have in terms of spirituality, they lack in hygeine.

Sailboat on the windward side has to yield if you are on the same tack – easier for her to manuever you know.

Sailboat on the leeward side has to yield if you are going on opposite tacks

Wrap your lines around the winch at least three times (never just twice) and you are better off with four wraps in January in the Caribbean.

Shower quickly or better yet, don’t shower at all.

Swim your anchor.

Beware of French boaters.

Let out your anchor chain so you have a 4:1 ratio of chain: depth of the water below your keel.

Your bow will head into the wind when you are anchored or moored.

Beware of moorings with empty Clorox bottles as floats.

Lock the hatches or you will certainly get wet.

Do not ever go below for more than 30 seconds when the hatches are closed.

Lock up at night.

Green is on; red is off (Ricky and I are still trying to get that one straight).

Peeing in 6 foot swells is harder than it sounds.

Check the water tank as often as you can so you can watch the stick pop up.

Water made on the boat is cleaner than the water in your tap at home but be sure to use the special drinking spigot since it has only 80 ppms.

Do not let go of the dinghy line until you have secured it to the boat.

Folding a jib sail on the boat is a cause for real celebration.

If your anchor is wet when it comes out of the anchor locker, you have an issue.

Water should not go up a drain pipe but it can…

Two seacocks are not always better than one.

Keep your head down at all times.

Do not leave the mast light on all day.

Do not throw metal locks on the bottom of aluminum dingys.

Sting Rays can fly.

Scorpion fish look like dragons.

You can read by moonlight.

Boats make more noises at night than you can even imagine.

If your boat is moving around a bit too much when you are anchored, let that mizzen sail out just a tad.

Do not close the hatches at night.

“Da sea is good for you maaaan…”

You may want to consider a “gentleman’s jibe” if you have your large jib sail out.

You can never have enough chocolate on a boat.

The “green flash” is for real.

Getting your dingy in the water and keeping it there is no easy task.

Scrubbing the water line can be fun.

If you have water in the boat, get rid of it.

Mr. Amel was a fanatic about water in the boat but he missed a few things along the way.

In case I forgot to mention it, keep your head down.

The boom is harder than any part of your body.

The Weather Channel is nothing compared to what you need on a boat.

Do not use just one clothespin when you hang your laundry to dry.

Chances are pretty good that it going to be 83 and sunny today… and tomorrow… and the next day…

It is not as hard as you think to tell the difference between a wind that blows at 12 v. 18 knots.

Days on a boat just disappear…

You can be very happy without stepping on dry land for very long periods of time.

GPS is the greatest sailing invention since the sexton.

Above all, I learned that if you ever go sailing be sure that your fellow crew is a perfect match for you like my brother is for me and that you have a captain and first mate who are as masterful, knowledgeable and gracious as Mark and Laura (although I seriously doubt you could find any…)


Leon, your eternally grateful and former crew member of Sabbatical III

P.S.  Also, I believe the 4:1 anchor chain ratio is calculated from the anchor hole on the deck to the bottom, not from the keel to the bottom – what was I thinking???