One of the key attractions to the BVI's (from a sailing viewpoint) in the winter months is the consistent trade winds which blow pretty much non-stop for 4-5 months. Our visit is in February and I can attest to this first-hand. We have had between 15-25 kts of wind almost every day (except for our crossing from St. Martin two weeks back when we had to motor the entire way). Our routine is to set out after breakfast each day for a fun sail just for the heck of it or to go to a new location. We've been able to sail off the mooring buoy or anchorage and go wherever we want in the islands. Heading out on a nice broad reach in a 20 kt wind yields a nice smooth and flat ride.
Some days we have to beat windward and the big Oyster is heeled over pretty good at 40 degrees off the wind. It's a fairly fast yacht for her size and the fact that she is aimed more at the blue-water sailing crowd than the racers. We are still able to pull off a good 8.5-9.0 knots regularly and with higher wind speed we've gotten to 10 kts or so. The in-mast electric furling main sail and electric furling jib allow us to make easy adjustments to our sail area depending on our point of sail. Andy has been patiently helping me understand what to do and when. His growing confidence in me allows me to take to helm for a while and it's been a really nice to experience handling 26 tons of sailing yacht under full sail!
If you are a sailor, the Caribbean in the winter is the place to come for consistent winds and sailing weather. I know we'll be back next winter to continue enjoying this region of the world. In the meantime, there's more sailing ahead as our vacation is not over yet!
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