Our trip was fantastic! What an expedition and it was a great experience overall. I thoroughly enjoyed being out in the Big Blue, and I’m already thinking about my next voyage…
Turnagain is a 50 foot Beneteau Oceanis and she was very well equiped for this trip. This was not her first time and it showed. She handled everything thrown at her and at no point in time did I wonder if she could handle what we were in. The crew on the other hand… 😉
There were eight crew on the boat including myself: Travis the boat owner, Wren, Joe, Geoff, Kait, Duncan and Paul. Wren, Joe, Geoff and I were on one shift, while Travis, Paul, Kait and Duncan were the other. It became pretty clear after a few shifts that one team was a little more laid back and laissez-faire than the other. And so, Team Cruising and Team Racing were born.
Team Cruising’s moto was “we’ll get there when we get there! Let’s enjoy the ride!” while Team Racing’s moto was “grind, grind, grind, drop winch, grind, grind, furl headsail, grind, drop winch, grind, grind, unfurl headsail, grind.” Good thing Team Cruising could operate on less sleep 😉 All kidding aside, the two teams worked out really well and we each brought something different to the table.
Travis – Da Boss
Turnagain is Travis’ “Lady of the Lake” and he has sailed thousands of nautical miles with her. I met Travis about two years ago during an Instructor course and he is a wealth of knowledge and experience. Travis has put up with my many questions over the last couple of years as I launch Sail Nelson and acquired my own boat. Ironically, Travis’ first boat was also an Aloha! Perhaps there’s a Beneteau in my future… one can only hope.
Wren – Bad Ass Gaffer
Wren is a local Nelson legend and she actually completed a Pacific crossing with her family when she was younger (also on an Aloha 32). She is not new to adventure and expeditions! Wren was a great resource and teammate to have on board. Wren also took charge when we hooked a tuna and we discovered she is a beast with the gaff.
Joe – Tea Master
Joe had me in stitches throughout our shifts, especially during our overnight sails. He could not figure out how we were not sailing in circles, as it feels like that when you stare at the compass for hours on end. In the end, Joe sailed Turnagain like a pro and had a smile on his face (almost) the whole time.
Geoff – The Gymnast
Watching Geoff try to wriggle his 6’4″ frame into his tiny aft bunk was something I will not soon forget. Especially since I would “tuck” him in by clippling in his lee cloth. It ended up looking more like a straight jacket! Geoff was our greenest crew, but his sailing abilities increased ten fold during this trip and I think he has a new passion in life.
Duncan – Curious George
Duncan was hopping and bouncing around the entire boat going through as many things as he could. I think he probably asked Travis over 100 questions per day and managed to get himself into all kinds of trouble while fiddling with things. Duncan is litteraly Curious George in Kiwi form.
Paul – The Master Chef
We were lucky enough to have Paul on board and he made us all kinds of magical meals with all of the tuna he, Duncan and Travis caught. Paul spent endless hours in the Belly of the Beast cooking up a storm and created several different dishes using tuna and mahi-mahi.
Kait – The Racer
This was Kait’s second crossing, as she also competed in the 2016 Vic-Maui race. She had a great crew of scallywags to work with as she was stuck with Paul, Duncan and Travis. There seemed to be a lot of laughing in between the grinding though, so I think Team Racing shared some good stories!
Penny – Miss MoneyPenny
And then there is me. I am the quiet observer who tends to let everyone sort themselves out and I only step in when required or asked. This was my first Ocean crossing, but not my first time navigating sailing shifts and crew dynamics. I thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone experience the trip and I also really enjoyed experiencing the trip for myself as a sailor and not an instructor. I don’t often get to sail for fun, so it felt really great to do this for myself and to experience the Big Blue with my fellow sailors.
And so, the cast has been introduced and let the adventure begin…
Up Next: Ocean Adventures: Casting Off!