Roundup: Big Sailing, Reverse Bucket Lists, and Flashpacking

by Nora Dunn on February 2, 2012


sailing in St Martin

Greetings from the British Virgin Islands! After trying my hand at sailing a 32ft sailboat for a day in St Martin (as seen above), I was offered an opportunity to join a charter on a 43ft sailboat for a week in the BVIs. My job: one that I love – cooking! There are four of us on the boat (the captain, myself, and a couple who are friends of the captain), and although it’s cozy, it really is amazing how ingenious the use of space is on these boats.

The 12 hour sail from St Martin to the BVIs was not without its grief, however, as I was seasick from about the three hour mark onwards, and my only relief was to be unconscious. But my spirits remained undeterred, and since then I haven’t felt any pangs of nausea as we hop around this tightly knit group of islands in the northern Caribbean; the sailing capital of the world.

I’m not sure what my future holds in store (as early as next week), but I’m fairly sure I won’t attempt the sail back down/over to St Martin; it’s officially called the Anegada passage, but unofficially known as the “Ohmygodda” passage – and for a reason. The wind was at our backs enroute, but I can only imagine how relentless it would be with the big swells going the other way. Although I’m feeling somewhat confident that I might have gained my sea legs, I’m not entirely willing to test that theory.

All this time on sailboats (something I would never have imagined myself doing a few mere months ago), it gives me pause to consider some of the amazing opportunities I’ve had in life so far….and some that are yet to come. Check out my article below on Reverse Bucket Lists for more about this. While you’re voraciously reading, check out my Flaskpacking article; are you a flashpacker?

Wise Bread

Reverse Bucket List: Look Back Before Looking Forward

Before you make a “bucket list” of things you want to do in life, don’t skip this vital first step ― it could be the key to happiness.

Care One

An Introduction to Flashpacking

Are you not quite a backpacker, but not quite a tourist? Do you like to travel with certain comforts and style? Are you on a budget but not willing to sacrifice experiences because of it? Then read on; you just might be a Flashpacker.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate February 2, 2012 at 8:04 am

Nora, eat a burger lady!!!! LOL! :)

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despina February 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm

It all sounds super cool and I am so jealous, as I’m fighting a nasty cold and sailing under the sun sounds a lot better than hiding under a blanket :)
Two things:
1. hope the captain is cute lol
2. once you’ve become an expert on boats, sunbathing and living in small spaces, i dare you to do the same my side of the word, as the greek islands is THE place to go sailing in style

enjoy yourself and happy cooking
much love

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A. Wannabe Travelwriter February 3, 2012 at 3:05 am

Now, Nora, I’m pretty sure I mentioned better living through pharmaceuticals when ocean sailing. I used to get violently seasick before discovering the magic of Scopace. I have never tried the patch, but have taken the pills, twice a day, for up to a month at a time. It does not make me drowsy and allows me to cook or read charts down below, even during the roughest weather. In the U.S., it does require an Rx.

A number of years ago, I did the ohmygodda passage the opposite way on a 51′ boat with two other people. Remind me to someday tell you (or better, write a blog post) about my midnight “encounter” with stealth speed boats sneaking up from the stern.
(Spoiler Alert: it was less than I was worried about. A lot less.)

Please wear your PFD and hook-in when on deck at night.

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Baron's February 3, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Sorry to hear about your discomfort and sea sickness…the bright side of things is probably you didn’t have to work and cook///seriously though…you now have your sea legs…keep the stories coming…love your style…

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theprofessionalhobo February 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

@Kate – LOL! The dress hides a lot…. :-)

@despina – I had the flu for two days this week! It was truly awful….a massive fever…I wanted to die! But I muscled through, and I still love sailing. Next stop: Greece! :-)

@Frank – I didn’t have Scopace on hand, sadly. But I also didn’t mind being sick (if you can believe it)….I knew it would only be temporary, and I hoped I would gain my “sea legs” out of it! So far so good……(said quietly, so as not to upset the ocean-gods)….
And yes, I’ve heard more than one story of (thankfully innocuous) motorboat encounters on that passage. Had one ourselves – which turned out to be nothing – whew!

@Baron’s – Yay for sea legs! :-)

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