Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Complimentary Catamaran? Why, Thank You!

It's Groundhog's Day. Which is appropriate, as I have been trying to write this post over and over and over and over and then Sonny and Cher starts playing on the radio and Andy McDowell has her face carved in ice and that gopher from Caddyshack drives the truck off a cliff and ....

Sailing in Jamaica. This site greeted me on the approach to Montego Bay. It still makes me shake my head but I have to say, there are no words to convey how much I love the feeling of being under sail.
What a lovely thought on a windy, dreary February day.
Also a lovely thought on our SFJV* last autumn. 
We had the opprotunity to take out the COMPLIMENTARY catamarrans while we were guests at the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall in Montego Bay. 

In fact, any guest of the hotel has these boats available, along with snorkel gear and kayaks! All complimentary! 
No experience needed.
Theses are a very trusting people.
(I believe they do offer a quick lesson.)

Rob and I are comfortable on mono-hull boats, you know - the kind Captain Jack commandeers. But we had never tried catamarrans. In fact, all I knew about them was to HANG ON! Every one I have ever seen was tipped on its side with the crew hanging off the up edge.
Of course, soaking wet is my go-to sailing look.

We had pretty strong, steady winds - NE to SW, Cuba to Panama. Something like that. The boats are very easy to maneuver downwind, especially if your wife is acting as ballast. However, going back upwind to the point where the boat is to be turned in is a little more tricky, especially if you haven't really sailed. Which seemed to be the level of expertise among most of the sailors we saw. We counted at least three boats trapped at the far end of the beach, waiting for the rescue crew to tow them back. No one was in danger of anything more than a bruised ego and a pocket book lightened of $50, which is the going rate for a rescue. 

All that class time and puking in the BVI really saved us. In fact, after our first excursion we were complimented by an older lady and her son, who both noted that we clearly had a little sail time under our lifebelts.

We took the catamarans out several times the week we stayed, never bothering to reserve a boat. Although our last excursion was at the mercy of a guest who finally never showed. Two friends went with Rob for an afternoon- even after I warned them of the 'ballast' job and the fact that the guy in front will be soaked with spray- and came back so excited and thrilled that they went out again with us the following day. 

I guess I am not the only one who appreciates a fine salt water splash now and then....

*SFJV - Super Fancy Jamaica Vacation. 
For more sailing stories click on the Sailing link above. 
Happy Groundhogs Day! 


  1. Sounds like a great time! I would definitely be getting the $50 rescue!

    1. I can't believe they let people just take the boats out - it would be very easy to wind up in Costa Rica!!Of course, falling overboard is pretty easy....

  2. That sounds amazing. I've just put learning to sail on my bucket list this year. I'm not even sure where it came from. I was typing away and there it was. Beautiful pics! Thank you!

    1. I thought my husband was crazy when he began building a sailboat - and now he is blaming ME on our growing desire to sail in more foreign bodies of water! I highly recommend at least going out on a sailboat, preferably a smaller boat to get the full experience. And if you want an amazing vacation experience check out Rob Swain Sailing School in the British Virgin Islands. (They also have a school in Rhode Island.)

  3. I'm reading this while a winter thunderstorm is raging outside. Ah to be on a sailboat enjoying a SFJV.....

    1. As I was posting this I got an update from a dear friend regarding her daughter's wedding - looks like I may have ANOTHER SFJV in 2017!!


Got a Hairnet sighting? Other weirdness?