This was my chance for redemption! The normally northeast trades were working in a clockwise rotation, always flowing with our destination and keeping on our aft quarter. It was perfect. We sailed with little effort at 10 knots, in 20 knots of true wind for the entire week.
One of the quickest methods I’ve discovered to plunge guests into vacation mode is to head over to White Bay on Jost Van Dyke. It’s an easy hour or so from Soper’s Hole, and even after many years the scene is still breathtaking. The water is brilliant, and the crisp, white sand beach welcomes the weary traveler. Funky watering holes are tucked behind the line of palms dotting the beach. And oh, yeah, it’s also home to the Soggy Dollar Bar, where the dangerous Painkiller originated. Yum.
After Sienna frolicked in the waves, we fired up the transom grill and cooked a simple but tasty dinner. I don’t know what it is about cooking on board, but you could make fried Spam and it would be acceptable. (This is obviously not a slight to our cook!) Freedom Chaser’s cockpit was tough to beat with a large L-shaped settee surrounding a fiberglass table. It flowed seamlessly into the salon and well-equipped galley, and all benefited from the 27-foot beam.
A good night’s rest was assured thanks to the cozy four-stateroom layout. I’m adamant about being cool while sleeping and will come unglued if I’m hot or stuck in an airless void. This wasn’t the case on Freedom Chaser. On most nights, there was no need to run the air-conditioner, thanks to the large hatch and opening ports. I dozed off while looking at the stars. Pure bliss.
In short order, the five of us settled into a pleasant daily routine of a morning swim or snorkel, followed by breakfast, followed by another swim and then a sail to our next destination with lunch in between. This is the beauty of the nonplan plan. Instead of getting up, rushing to have breakfast and then getting under way — just like we do at home — we eased into each day, treating it as a clean slate.