Windward We Go

The past two days have had us and our buddy boat, s/v Yolo, sailing into 20+ knot headwinds and bashing into very large seas for nine hours a stretch.

July 2, 2013

Windtraveler- to windward

Namaste sailing to windward Brittany Meyers

There was a time when I would have really appreciated – and possibly gotten involved with – a spirited drum circle that carried on until four in the morning. That time, unfortunately, has passed. Regardless, that is what we were treated to here in the beautiful anchorage of Deshaies, Guadeloupe, last night after yet another exhausting full-day slog to windward.

The past two days have had us and our buddy boat, s/v Yolo, sailing into 20+ knot headwinds and bashing into very large seas for nine hours a stretch. First was Nevis to Montserrat. Then it was Montserrat to Guadeloupe. Believe it or not, despite this, we all managed to enjoy ourselves (except for Darcy on the first leg, the theme of which was “friends don’t let friends sail hung over” according to her). We are now at the point where we can appreciate a passage where a) the sun shines, b) conditions are (semi) “moderate” and c) weather is squall-free. I honestly think the day that we eventually “follow the herd” and actually sail downwind we’re going to laugh out loud at how ridiculously easy it is and wonder what anyone could possibly complain about at that point of sail. We’ve been taking a LOT of white water over our bow these last few weeks.

While these two passages were, all things considered, “pleasant” – sailing to windward is exhausting which is why when we found ourselves in this peaceful and perfectly picturesque French-Caribbean anchorage we were all looking forward to a good night’s rest. The town festivities, of course, had other plans in the form of some sort of soulful revival in which one singer chanted in deep, resonating rhythms alongside incredibly enthusiastic bongo drumming. This musical foray was executed with such heart-pumping fervor that I can say without question that souls were saved. Like I said, there was a time in my life where this type of scenario would have been completely up my alley, but – as much as I hate to admit it – that ship has sailed…right alongside the ship that used to sleep in. Sigh.


At 3:30 a.m. I woke up in a total panic thinking someone was on our boat. There was a deep, powerful intonation coming from our cockpit rhythmically chanting “boom yah! boom yah!! ooooo aaaaa oooo aaaaa boom yah!“. My heart started racing. Then, the bongos kicked in with full gusto and I realized that, holy crap, Djimon Hounsou was not, in fact, on our boat but the bongo revival was still going on strong. We were now clocking eight hours of this madness. I cannot think of a single artist that I would want to hear for eight straight hours. I mean, I don’t even think the longest Grateful Dead concert went on that long. Who in the heck was still up and intentionally listening to these people?! I shut all our hatches, turning our cabin into a veritable hotbox and uttered something along the lines of “I cannot (bleeping) believe that these (bleepers) are still playing this (bleeping) crap“. Yeah. It’s official. I’m old.

Anyway, we are thrilled to be here. We’re all looking forward to a slower pace and some land-based exploration over the next couple of days. From here on out it should be “smoother” sailing with shorter hops all the way down to Grenada. Now that the longest sailing beats are out of the way, looks like the only long beats we’ll have to deal with may be from bongo drums. And I’m totally cool with that.

When two people, with the same life long dream of sailing around the world find each other, there’s only one thing to do… make it happen!
Scott and Brittany departed in 2010 with big plans to “see the world” from the deck of their sailboat. After sailing from Chicago to Trinidad via the “thorny path”, they are now back at it with their first baby and second boat. Check out all the juice at .


The beautiful anchorage of Deshaies, Guadeloupe


More How To