Ocean Crossing and Chafe

Ocean sailing differs greatly from coastal cruising. In a coastal situation, you can afford to be risky. You can fly too much sail, heel over too far, maybe even push the envelope of what the yacht is capable of. If something breaks, the penalty is rather costly and small, as a repair facility is always at hand. Should your mast break, a sail tear, or a sheet part, the result is the same: the boat broke and will be fixed promptly at a nearby facility.

In the ocean, there is no nearby facility. If something on the boat breaks, you are left to your own devices to repair it. Carrying too much sail can risk tearing the sails with no sail loft for a thousand miles and no way of getting your yacht to shore! Setting the sails against the rigging will also cause them to chafe, and that will lead to a gash forming in the sail cloth.

On a deep broad reach or run, you may be tempted to ease the main all the way out and let it drape against the rigging, but each wave and puff of wind will cause the sail to shimmy up and down on the stay, sawing through the cloth.

Instead of trimming the sails to perfection, it is more important to trim the sails to longevity. Keep them set in a way that they do not contact any part of the boat or rigging. This will keep them from chafing and will almost guarantee that your sails will make it across the ocean and be ready to carry you back home when the time comes.

This might not be the fastest way, nor the most efficient, but it certainly is the safest and most frugal way to trim your sails.

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Pig Beach

No, this isn't a photo from a farm, this is on the beach near Staniel Cay.

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The original pigs were shrouded in mystery, as no one knew for sure where they came from. The current pigs are brought over from Nassau as they have become a tourist attraction. Pigs do surcomb to disease and die from time to time, and they are replaced with a new pig to keep the pig population going. That being said, the pigs are doing their own part to keep their numbers up. These little piglets were going to town as they feasted upon their mother.

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The pigs do enjoy a different lifestyle from their agrarian counterparts, as they live on a beach and often go for swims in the pristine waters. There is a freshwater spring in the island, but the pigs prefer to stay on the beach where tourists bring them food. This has led to the locals providing them fresh water on their beach front villa. 

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The pigs will come out into the water when a tour boat arrives, because they know tourists are going to bring them lots of tasty snacks! 

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It was fun to watch the pigs swim with superyachts in the background. 

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While the big pigs like to go swimming, the smaller piglets seemed content to hang out under the bushes. Keeping cool in the shade as they sleep the day away with full bellies from all the tourist handouts. 

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Day 18

The stars wrap all the way around this disk of ocean and we're floating in the very center. They almost touch the horizon. Slight wisps of nebula swirls around them and they grow by the thousands the longer I stare. And I can't stop staring. Leo roars at Venus to my left. Ursas major and minor are fully visible to the right of Leo. And behind me there's the ever dependable Scorpio and Libra with Jupiter and Saturn on either side. I keep opening my eyes wider as though this action could help me take in more of the sky at once, but I still find myself sitting up and swirling my head around as far as my neck will allow on all sides. I never want to forget this feeling. This feeling of being nothing more than a pair of eyes in the center of everything.

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Day 15

We made excellent progress today. When I went to the bow, I was struck once again by the intense strength and power of nature's elements, wind and water. Together, they are a force beyond comprehension. When the air is still, the water is like glass; tranquil and hushed. But when the wind blows, it stirs up the ocean and creates a new creature: one of unprecedented strength and unrelenting power. We aren't here to fight or dominate it. We simply wish to quietly pass through and observe the creature's moods.

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Day 14

Three miles below the keel of this boat, there is almost certainly a snail who will never see or feel the sun's light. Just as we will never know his world, even though we both inhabit the same one.


Mom and Dad are driving to Canada right now. They're going roughly the same distance we are to Bermuda. They're going 70mph and we are going the fastest steady pace we've had in two weeks: 5. They'll arrive in Quebec tomorrow.

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