Tiny boat HUGE SAILS

While orienting us to Bermuda our new friend Audrey told us about the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy.  These crazy race boats are only 14 feet long, but carry a mast that is up to 40 feet tall!  Rode Trip’s mast is only 44′ tall!  We were intrigued and Audrey said she would make some phone calls and try to get us a spot on the committee boat.

As we were leaving the club to head back to Rode Trip a friendly voice called down from the balcony, “Are you the two interested in being on the committee boat this weekend?”  We stopped and looked up to meet Gary, a supporter of the St. George’s dinghy Victory.  Gary told us that there would be plenty of room on the committee boat and we were welcome to join in the event.  As we were saying our goodbye’s he asked if we had a lot of dinghy sailing experience.  After telling him about racing lasers in New Hampshire he informed me that there just might be an open crew position on the Victory.

Sunday morning we met up with the crew at the Sports club and started assembling the dinghy.  First step attach the bowsprit (12′) and launch the boat.

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IMG_5201Then we loaded up the rig selection for the day.  Our skipper Tom chose the #2 rig.  There are three different sizes of rig for the dinghy # 1 is a light air rig with a 40′ mast, #2 is smaller with a 32′ mast and #3 is for heavy air with a 25′ mast.  We loaded the mast, boom, sails, spare parts and tools onto the support boat and headed out to a mooring to rig the boat.

All hands to raise the mast!

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Here comes the competition!

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Once the mast was raised we had to keep at least 3 people in the dinghy just to keep it upright, and this was without any sails!

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With 8 people helping the sails went up quick and the crew headed out for the first race, unfortunately I didn’t get to sail in the first two races, but had a great time watching.

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Stephanie helped on the starting boat for the first race.

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For the second race Skipper Tom’s girlfriend Leatrice came by in her powerboat and followed the Victory giving us a play by play of everything that was going right and wrong on board the dinghy.  We learned that she had represented Bermuda in the 2004 Olympics for sailling!

During the second race the crew of Elizabeth didn’t move their weight quite fast enough and ended up sunk.  It took a long time to get the boat upright and floating again.

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For race 3 Tom decided that a little more weight would help and I was selected as crew.  We had a GREAT race, taking first place!  I haven’t hiked ( held my weight out over the water by tucking my feet under a strap) that hard in a long time!

IMG_5300It was a great day of racing and meeting new friends.  Leatrice even invited us to come down to Hamilton on Wednesday for “big boat” (not dinghy) racing.

More pictures!

 

Kayaking Bermuda – Day 2

Our next kayaking excursion took us through the Intracoastal Waterway between St. George’s Island and St. David’s Island.

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Beyond the swing bridge,

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we found beautiful homes and quiet mooring fields.

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Not to mention a great view of incoming air traffic as we paddled along the Bermuda International Airport.

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Blue Hole Park was our destination. We beached the kayaks once we’d arrived at the park, located just beyond The Causeway at the edge of Castle Harbour. Here we saw the blue hole and it’s inlet stream. After having visited Dean’s Blue Hole and the Blue Lagoon, this was like a puddle in comparison, but quiet and relaxed.

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Along the park pathways, we stumbled upon a grotto. There weren’t any pink shrimp swimming here though. In fact, it was dark and buggy and smelled like decay.

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Goodbye, park. It was nice getting our feet on the ground for a bit.

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Brian took a snorkeling dip in Castle Harbour and we spotted 15 sea turtles on our paddle back.

Kayaking Bermuda – Day 1

Time to get the ‘ol kayaks back into the water! We haven’t paddled since the Bahamas and the clear waters of Bermuda were quite inviting.

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Through St. George’s Channel we have a nice view of the Town Cut entrance channel, as we paddled around Paget Island and into the open ocean.

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Too choppy to kayak in the ocean…we turned back after a nice view of St. David’s Head.

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On Paget Island we found a secluded patch of mangroves. The island is actually used for an Outward Bound program and boaters are not permitted to land.

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We circumnavigated Smith’s Island and Hen Island on our way back to the boat. Hen Island is used for scout programs; they presently have camp set up and from Rode Trip we’ve been watching boys diving, swimming, canoeing, and sailing.