Well we last left our crew stories in a random order between New York and the Bahamas and it must be time for some more revelations and updates to keep our avid followers well informed so the news will follow on from our arrival in St Thomas as we prep for our first charter which will include Maurice Kurg (Mo) moving from race crew to semi-permanent crew as captain of ‘Demasiado’.
After much time hearing about the Sugar Mill where Mo lives the P2 crew finally got to see it a few days after arrival in St Thomas and all enjoyed sunset cocktails atop the mill with Angel near by rolling around for attention and stories of life when young Jonathan lived at the mill and speedo clad gay men performed fire twirling shows.
A great location and an amazing place to experience, to add interest a few of the crew read the novel ‘Muscavado’ which tells the tail of slave life on the same mill and on the islands of St Thomas and St John, well worth a read if you have time.
For some of us this was our first visit to the Virgin Islands and it is a pretty place. The first free weekend meant a tour around the island by car with a list of suggestions from Jonathan and Mo of places to visit. Beaches were beautiful and the milkshakes from the dairy farm were great and especially relaxing as most contained Rum or a similar additive. First stop was ‘Mountain Top’ reputed by Mo to be a great open air bar/restaurant and the signs suggested it would be however the planets did not align for us as we found on our arrival that it to had burnt down 6 months prior, a good laugh and confused wondering as to why we were directed here so back in the car now wondering what ancient relics await us on the suggested tour??
Important locations were found such as the ferry wharf for day trips to St John and the contented crew headed back to our floating P2 home in the Yacht Haven Grande Marina which it is worth saying was a most welcoming and efficient marina with ever helpful and professional staff who made us feel most comfortable.
Relaxation over and all behaving well as we prepared for the upcoming charter Santa visited and took up residence on P2’s aft deck attracting attention from passers by and visits from children looking to inform the good man of their desired Christmas presents a little hard of hearing Santa also seemed to have poor memory retention so we hope those children faired well when diving under the tree Christmas morning.
Off to the British Virgin Islands and first stop Virgin Gorda. Just in time for Christmas and a visit to the hairdressers proved more successful for the girls than the boys but carry on we did and enjoyed morning swims to shore with callisthenics to keep us all tip top.
Charter guests arrived and ‘Demasiado’ proved extremely valuable as a launch pad for kite surfing and held up well when fully laden with luggage. This of course with Mo at the helm and his wealth of local knowledge was able to help the guests find all the right locations and experience the best of the islands.
Early January rolled round and our charter guests departed leaving P2 calmly at anchor in the entrance to Pirates Bight Harbour of Jost Van Dyke. A closer anchorage to shore was sought the night before but unfortunately Mo’s judgement of distance in the dark was not as good as his local knowledge and we had to abort our suggested anchorage which would have seen us stern to at the infamous Willy T’s bar surrounded by Cigarette boats, Zodiacs and lunatics, maybe it was the difference between the metric and island metre that caused the confusion. A beautiful anchorage to wake up in allowed time for a walk to the top of the hill and some diving in the beautiful clear waters.
Off to St Thomas again and a short visit where we were welcomed to Peter and Denise’ house on the hill for a fantastic dinner (thanks) before departing for Antigua and the anticipation of the super yacht cup with the rumoured 14 competitors?? So on arrival the rumours of 14 are diminished to 8 and then 6 and then realistically 5 as although Mirabella 5 is an entry she does not really feature except for blocking the sunset.
3 days of racing and we did not finish so well, some shattered pieces inside our boom and an opportunity to learn what to do in heavy wind and sea conditions was well worth the outing and testing P2 to new limits proved a hunger making experience with a deck head falling to keep lunch securely locked away out of reach in the fwd cabin. Eventually we ate, the lucky crew of ‘Demasiado’ ate early and were happy to be on the chase boat and not wondering if they were to go hungry and as always ice cream was available via a steady pitch to the safe hands of Peter McNaughton whilst Tom Ferland helmed the sexiest chase boat of the regatta.
All had a good time in Antigua for the cup and P2 crew sported well in the evening activities with swords, jackets, and custom t-shirts from the design brilliance of the young Doyle family setting us apart from all other crews however the Ranger race crew were determined to make the press with their evening rendition of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ not so pleasing for those members of the crowd standing too close and not quick enough to avert their eyes.
The boom now making unique noises meant a serious time for permanent crew and the appearance of the mythical Marty Ford to weave some carbon fibre magic over long days was only possible with the our much loved Randy Reynolds supplying all the answers and machinery to get the job done. All back together and Marty left with a full belly post steak night off to his next repair and P2 departs for St Maarten and the prep for the wonderful St Barths Bucket. Please note Marty may be joining us during the season if Tony Hawker is unavailable so cover your precious little ears if things go sour or a small alignment is necessary and volume is required.
Post regatta Sam McCarthy departs P2 for wider pastures and new crew member Roy Wadeson sets his sights on the Captains role aboard whilst Jonathan imparts the years of knowledge of the P2 build, racing and the family on Roy’s broad shoulders. After the build and captaincy Jonathan is moving to the role of race/regatta organiser and Roy will be taking over as captain of P2.
On the dock in St Maarten and race crew arrive prepped and excited to ship us off to St Barth. A good well sailed regatta on a busy field where decisions were made quickly and as necessary; like going wide for safety around ‘Andromedea’ trawling her spinnaker for minnows and tactically ‘I DON’T WANT TO TACK!!’ c/o our fantastic tactician Andrea keeping it real on the aft deck with the result being 2nd place (unfortunately to Ranger) in our class but enough to put a smile on all associated faces and the taste of what’s to come in Europe with 3 scheduled regattas and the prospect of getting one back on Ranger at the Maxi Worlds in September.
Post regatta and P2 departs St Maarten for Fort Lauderdale to meet the Dockwise yacht transport ship and enjoy a simple and uneventful trip from the States to Europe. Well somewhat uneventful if you don’t count wind to 64knots and seas coming over the bridge of the Dockwise ship onto P2’s aft deck, at least the riders Randy, Peter and Roy were able to keep clean in the new upgraded Jacuzzi.
Some more changes are afoot as lead main sail hoist technician and resident chef Eliza decides to seek life and other stuff away from yachting which includes P2, Eliza has found employment ashore and the joy of open top driving with the purchase of a convertible.
Karen Murphy who has temped for Eliza in the past moves into permanent chef and more new crew join as Roy moves up with girlfriend Connie stepping into chief stew and Toni Corlett becoming the new deck/stew and Chris Holt joins as mate. A good bunch are getting together here and will be looking forward to all P2 has for us.
Although by the time you read this we are 2 regattas ahead and P2 is comfortably in Europe please be patient as my pen is out of ink but I have found a pencil and am sharpening it now.