Hey everyone! Scott, one of our main sailing instructors wrote up an article on what he did over the summer along with some great pictures – so I thought I would post it up. Enjoy!
My first season at Barefoot Offshore Sailing School ended with a bang. After spending a week having a great time sailing in the Bequia Easter Regatta it was time to return home to the states. I left St. Vincent at the end of April and flew to Utah to meet up with my sister. It was a drastic change of climate going from hot tropical weather at sea level to spring/winter weather at seven thousand feet of dry desert. I spent a few weeks exploring the desert and then drove up to Idaho for my other sister’s college graduation. After a few more weeks in Idaho, I hopped in a truck and drove out to Seattle, Washington to race J24s in the NOOD Regatta. That’s the National Offshore One Design Regatta, which is put on by Sailing World. It was great to be back sailing in northern waters, but certainly was a whole lot colder. We ended up in fourth place after an epic fail in the last race of the series.
After Seattle it was time to head back to Montana for the summer. Little did I know that Montana had different things in mind for the weather. I arrived at the yacht club a few days before Memorial Day which is the end of May and it was raining hard and about fifty degrees. The next few weeks brought on the same weather and even had a few episodes of snow which came almost all the way down to the lake. I worked for North Flathead Yacht Club which is in northwest Montana about sixty or so miles from the Canadian border.
I am in charge of running of the weeknight and weekend races and also teaching the junior sailing program. There were fourteen kids in the classes this summer which was a record number and even included some high school kids. A highlight from the beginning of the summer was that there was a new powerboat for the race committee, a 23 Seapro, which turned out to be fun to drive around and a way more efficient boat for running races.
Since the yacht club didn’t really get rolling until mid June I had a few weeks to work on boat projects and get my own little boat in sailing shape for the season. It’s a Pacific Seacraft 25 that I bought the year before and left for the winter on the south end of Flathead Lake where I spend the summer. With all the rain and late winter weather that spring, it was hard to get much work done on the boat as it was a marsh all around it and the crane couldn’t get to the boat until almost the end of June. I ended up getting in the lake the last weekend of the month and participated in a race back up the lake. I didn’t finish. So because of the late start, adventures on Looking Glass were minimal, with only a few overnight trips around the lake, most of the summer was spent working on upgrading bits and pieces and trying to get her ready for eventual cruising in a year or two.
Some major highlights of my summer was skiing in Glacier Park on August 1st. The hardest part of being in the Caribbean all winter, other than being away from family of course, was not being able to go skiing. It was great to go up to the park and spend a day playing around in the snow and getting a few summer turns in. I’ve skied up there before during the July 4thweekends but never so late in the summer.
Another highlight was running a very successful Montana Cup, the biggest regatta of the summer, which brought almost thirty boats from three states together for very competitive racing and good parties. We had great wind over the weekend and got nine races in over two days, and even threw in some good parties and an epic game of putt putt at the local bar. The great thing about working at the club is the flexibility of the schedule which allows for me to get away and go sailing for a few days or spent time up in the mountains.
It was another quality summer in Montana. Late night sailing, afternoon golf, morning kayaking. Studies have shown that it is the perfect place to spend the best time of year, an amazing arena to sail in, and full of good people to spend fun time with. Although the boat went to bed too early for my taste, and the junior sailing program was too much fun and ended too early, the times were great and the summer was shut down with a trip back to Idaho for their big regatta of the season, the Spud Cup. Usually people go racing a win a fancy plate or an expensive watch. Here you win a gigantic baked potato trophy and beer glass. It’s a good thing and now it’s time return to island life and another great season in the Grenadines.