A CARIBBEAN SAILING ADVENTURE by Viktor Felkers
he smile spread across my face as we turned into the wind and picked up speed. The skies above were clear blue. My grandfather was at the tiller creating the earliest moment in my life I can remember. I was two years old and wasn’t yet able to speak to express the joy and freedom I felt, but that feeling would stay with me and was on my mind when I sailed the Virgin Islands in the summer of 2015. Seven months earlier, on a cold winter day in Denver, I was talking to my friend Gerhard Holzendorf. Gerhard is a bigger than life character, an outdoorsman and adventurer by any measure. He was visiting from Seattle and shared that he had been on an amazing sailing expedition with his college pal Paul Exner. Gerhard knew I was passionate about sailing and also knew it was a precious memory I wanted to resurrect. I had taken a couple of standard sailing courses in the Chesapeake Bay, but I longed for a real adventure. I wanted to challenge myself and meet nature on its terms, to escape the constraints of sailing classrooms and traditional charter boats.
The journey from my home in Denver, Colorado, to Saint Thomas was one filled with anticipation. The plan was to fly from Denver to Miami, and then from Miami to St. Thomas. I had a layover of several hours at Miami International and decided to celebrate my journey with a cocktail at the bar next to my gate. I flirted with a lovely woman at the airport bar in Miami, and she was worried I would miss my plane. And I did! I ended up getting re-routed that evening and boarded a flight to Charlotte that would connect with another plane bound for St. Thomas the following day. Despite this little detour, it was all worth it. Day 1 • Hungry iguanas at Molly Malone’s and our first weather class • Boarding the beautiful Solstice • Sailing to St. John, US Virgin Islands, anchoring for the night, and going ashore for the festival in port
I landed at Cyril E. King Airport on the island of St. Thom-
The Broad Museum in Los Angeles Art Basel Miami Beach Sailing in the Caribbean