There are eight sails on Arabella, and when she is fully outfitted to move in the wind, she is majestic. When you see her from shore, you ponder what it would be like to feel the movement on her decks. When you are on board, you sit in awe. She is elegant and poised as she adapts under full sail. While Arabella acts like a sailboat, she advances across the ocean like Audrey Hepburn would move across a crowded room in her little black dress.
Arabella moves with grace, sailing like the ocean is hers. When you watch from the bow, all you can see is the sails leaning away from the wind. You can almost see Bernoulli’s math being worked out and you can hear the wind being utilized to bring forth the experience.
Sailing on Arabella is still sailing, but it should not be confused with a dinghy on the lake or your first ride on a Catalina 27.
As an ASA member, you get to experience Arabella firsthand. If you are up to it, you can even take the helm or raise a sail.
By the time the scent of sunscreen had permeated the deck of Arabella, the sails were up, and the exquisite ship was slicing through the waters off Newport Rhode Island. A week would go by, and the lucky ASA members aboard would visit Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cuttyhunk. A few members took the helm, others basked in the sun, and quite a few made lifelong friends.
We are in the middle of the 2019 Arabella Grand Tour as ASA members are currently sailing the waters of New England aboard the 157 mega sailing yacht, Arabella. The Arabella Grand Tour is a once in a lifetime experience and is more than just sailing as passengers are touring iconic destinations off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
The “Arabella” just completed a voyage around the BVIs loaded with ASA members from all over the country. We were lucky enough to have Chris Tucker onboard and he shared some of his amazing photos with us… If you missed out on this once in a lifetime trip, not to worry, we’re doing it all over again in March – but hurry, there are only a few cabins left!!
Members of the American Sailing Association are currently onboard the “Arabella” experiencing the history of sailing and maritime culture in the United States. On Sunday they set sail from Newport, RI, the sailing capital of our country. Their journey will take them to the fascinating islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket as well as the beautiful port of Cuttyhunk.
The ASA member’s event aboard the spectacular Arabella in the British Virgin Island got off to a great start. 34 sailors from all over the country boarded the beautiful 165′ Arabella at village Cay in Roadtown Tortola. In the expert hands of Captain John Eginton and first mate Brad sailed to White bay in Jost Van Dyke. It is the home of mesmerizing turquoise waters, white sand beaches and the famous Soggy Dollar bar (credited with inventing the pain killer rum drink). After dinner aboard many went ashore in Great Harbor to experience the famous Foxy’s bar. More adventures to come as the week unfolds. See our gallery of pictures…
Our schedule includes New England trips in the Fall of 2015, and the BVIs in the Winter/Spring of 2016
On board the beautiful Arabella once again! For this Arabella passenger, it’s my 4th sail aboard this spectacular schooner, and again she does not disappoint. There’s nothing like pure sailing, the wind in your hair and the sun on your face and a great crew to bring it all together. The second day aboard began with a delightful selection of fresh-baked quiches, breads and fruit. Then we took advantage of some very nice winds for a 3-hour exhilerating sail to Guana Island and lunch on board. Then over to Marina Cay for snorkeling, beaching and exploring, or just relaxing. Snorkelers encountered a colorful variety of sea life, as well as s couple of barracudas, and were thrilled when a giant manta ray flew out of the water in front of them. Some of us ended the day watching the sun set over the crystal clear waters while dining al fresco at Scrub Island Resort, while others partied on into the night.
Julie Walker, San Diego
Nautical nonsense by the sparkling sea—it doesn’t get much better than this. Team Arabella made a good showing at Michael Beans’ Happy Arr last night. Bob and our group of jolly wenches (Kia, Amanda, Joleen, and Loise ) made a valiant effort at the conch blowing contest, though without the benefit of ship-board practice they were only able to muster a few squeaks and a bit of a hum. We sang along to “Harry Buffet” tunes ( a mix of Jimmie Buffet and Harry Belafonte) and waved our hands in the air, Parrotheads trying to resurrect a carefree past. And who knows? Maybe we succeeded, if only for a couple of hours. Amid lame jokes, fake tattoos (mine was a red-headed pirate, of course!), and fruity rum drinks, we managed to shuck off the cares of a weary world and raise money for a good cause (The Good Samaritan Foundation in Haiti). If you look closely at the grinning faces in the photo, you can see that each of us became, for an evening, a Jolly Mon.
Shari Lane, Oregon
First, the disclaimer: I’m a dinghy sailor and I’m used to steering with a tiller. That said, helming the Arabella in 25 knot winds was an entirely new experience. Arabella’s wheel was much different from the other wheels I’d used on smaller “big” boats. It took eight turns of the wheel to make what seemed like small adjustments. Instead of looking at telltales and sail trim, I was looking at an instrument panel that would rival that on a small plane. I alternated between checking the compass heading, trying to keep the boat on a beam reach as indicated by the apparent wind indicator, keeping the rudder angle steady (while Brad kept saying, “Turn it faster, head up more, fall off more!”), and glancing at the wind speed indicator (30 knot gust!) and the boat speed (over 8 knots consistently!) Meanwhile, my forearms began to bulge like Popeye’s with the strain of holding and turning the wheel. It was an exhausting but exhilarating experience! Only after several of us had taken our turn and the captain was back at the helm did we learn that he usually steered with the joystick, which was essentially a small tiller! Steering a 165 foot schooner under full canvas in 20-25 plus winds was exciting, with the wind tearing at my hair. With beautiful blue skies and turquoise seas in 80 degrees, what could be better?
There are still a few cabins available from January 18th to 24th, 2015 aboard the luxurious megayacht Arabella! Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the British Virgin Islands, the best cruising grounds in the world. Arabella is a 157-foot yacht with top-notch features such as teak decks, a jacuzzi, a cushioned sun deck, and a covered aft veranda. There’s no better way to navigate the turquoise seas and consistent winds of the Caribbean. See you there!
Lots of people sail the British Virgin Islands every year, but not many get to do it in quite the same style as the 2014 ASA Member’s Event, which took place March 1-8. For a week, our members were treated to an island cruise aboard the luxury yacht Arabella–a 156 foot sailing schooner, complete with 3 masts, 8 sails, a jacuzzi, and 20 guest cabins. Formerly owned by Top Gun star Kelly McGillis, Arabella is a seafaring masterpiece.
As the flagship of ASA affiliate Manhattan Sailing School, Arabella combines the beauty of hands-on sailing with the luxury of a mega-yacht. Through the course of the week, we not only got to enjoy the islands, but were also treated to workshops and master classes led by ASA instructors and Arabella crewmembers. Read on to hear the highlights, and stay tuned to ASA social media, as there may be more opportunities to sail on Arabella in the future!
Departure and First Stops
Leaving Road Town, Tortola, Arabella sailed up to the Baths for the first Caribbean snorkel and swim of the trip. After a dip and some lunch, she sailed downwind to Marina Cay where we went ashore and took a hike up to the top of the island, which affords stunning views over the Sir Francis Drake Channel.
After breakfast on Monday, the crew weighed anchor and sailed for North Sound, home of the famous Bitter End Yacht Club. There they spent a “play day,” with all of Arabella’s considerable complement of water toys available for use. Between kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling, swimming, relaxing under a palm tree with a book, and lounging at the Bitter End, there was no shortage of fun to be had. The time at Bitter End was capped off on Tuesday night with the obligatory Pirate Party!
Cooper Island and Jost Van Dyke
Sailing out of North Sound in the morning, Arabella made for Cooper Island, passing the Dog Islands on the way. After lunch and a stop ashore at the Cooper Island Beach Club, we sailed on for Soper’s Hole, where we spent the night. (The Caribbean is home to some of the best place-names in the world, by the way.) Onboard, we were able to experiment with Arabella’s state-of-the-art joystick helm, take advantage of the jacuzzi, and fine-tune our conch-blowing skills.
The next day took Arabella to the famous island of Jost Van Dyke, where we engaged in the Caribbean tradition of having the tender drop everyone off away from the beach and swim to shore. This is how you get your “soggy dollars” for the notorious Soggy Dollar Bar, inventor of the Painkiller cocktail. After an afternoon at the Soggy Dollar, the nighttime belonged to Foxy’s, perhaps the most famous of Caribbean bars.
Norman Island and Home Again
Due to the previous day’s “festivities,” Friday got off to a leisurely start. Eventually Arabella made her way to the Bight in Norman Island, which has world-class snorkeling, and is also excellent for kayaking and small boat sailing. Dinner that evening was served on board Arabella, in her glorious salon that can seat 48 people. Then it was onshore for one more infamous Caribbean bar, Willie T’s. This floating “food & grog” establishment is known for all kinds of shenanigans, but you know what they say – what happens in the Bight stays in the Bight.
Unfortunately, all things must come to an end, and so on Saturday it was back to Road Town and time to say goodbye. After a spectacular week on board a spectacular boat and in a spectacular setting, the only thing left to do was start plotting how we could do it all again!