The Oyster 82 came over the the island to take the young sailors of Bequia on a trip out into the St Vincent channel, to show them what sailing a much larger yacht is like.. He yacht was crewed by Skipper Roger and his crew of Henry & Naomi who made the day very special.
Roger said, “the yacht is 82′ long, has a mast of 100′ high and over 3,800sq ft of sail area. It is a pleasure to sail, but because of the increase in size, so there is an increase in load on lines and you have to be careful working with these high loads.”
After each of the young people gave a brief introduction about themselves, Henry took a few of them forward to help raise the anchor, which is performed hydraulically on Starry Night, something very new to these young sailors.
As the yacht sailed out of the bay into the channel the winds picked up and blew between 17-23knts for most of the trip, the yacht cruising along easily at 10-11knts. We headed out across the channel, with a single reef in both main and foresail, with each of the young sailors taking a turn at helming, under the watchful eyes of Roger and the crew.Unlike the boats they are used to sailing, Starry Night has twin steering positions with wheels rather than tillers, which work in the opposite direction, which caused some confusion, but which was quickly learnt through the gentle instructions from Roger and Henry.
The owners of the yacht decided to give the young people the chance to sail on Starry Night after hearing about the work on Bequia to teach the young people to sail. ” Its such a great opportunity to channel positive energy and to sail on a much larger yacht. It shows what can be achieved through hard work and gives the young people something to aim for.”
After tacking out in the channel we returned back to the Bay, sailing downwind providing much gentler form of sailing, until we hit the ‘Bequia Blast’ in the Bay where we tacked a couple of times and then headed back to our anchoring position. The day was finished off with cake baked by Naomi and a drink before heading back to base.
Andy Mitchell, Head Coach of Bequia Youth Sailors said “Its such a great day out for everyone. The youngsters are loving the experience and this is the most amazing yacht I’ve been on in a very long time.”
We’d like to say a HUGE Thank You to the owners of the yacht for such a great experience and to Roger, Henry & Naomi for looking after us so well and providing great instruction and a very memorable experience.
Click here for further images of the day.