Cruising Chute & Mizzen Stay Sail

In our short sailing life we’ve had the pleasure of taking non-sailors with us on day trips and weekend anchorages. It’s always great seeing the expressions on their faces as the gib is unfurled and the boat heals over! Our visa run to Rhodes was a little different, however, as we took on board some experienced sailors and a sailing virgin. It was different because we successfully flew two sails we’d never got out before – the cruising chute and the mizzen stay sail. Hoorah! After months of researching how one is supposed to fly these sails we finally achieved our aim: to sail downwind in light airs without having to turn the engine on. Always worth a mention. Our thanks go to Paul and Graham who accompanied us on this trip and encouraged us to get these sails out.

So the sailing virgin, Suzanne, was coming with us to return to her home in Rhodes for a day or two. Suzanne has been working in boat yards for years but her true passion is art. Here’s Suzanne in her own words:

Esper's cruising chute

Esper's cruising chute

Hello there Jamie and Liz, I wanted to say thank you for taking me for the first ever sail in my life! I was forty in February and had worked for around eight years in the boatyard in Rhodes, everyday on a boat but on the hard. Yeah, ok, been on a ferry, been on the wee cruise boats to Lindos, and even a wee rowing boat on Loch Lomand, wow! Just let me tell you both how dog gone cool it was. I honestly had never really thought about how it could be. To sail to Rhodes and back from Marmaris was a true experience for me, even if I did sleep for most of the return journey! A bit of a hangover was being suffered, but still loved the motion of the ocean! I also learnt a few things and feel more positive that I can be a real seafarer. I have always loved the sea and now my respect for it is real. You are a truly great couple, and thank the lord you have patience with ametuers! The company was just fine, and Liz, you make a perfect egg butty. The other thing I must add is music is another of my loves. The louder the better. What a sound system onboard! Please can I do it again?
Thanks again you pair, Suzanne x

Suzanne's acrylic on wood - Esper under sail

Suzanne's acrylic on wood - Esper under sail

Yep, Esper’s sound system was put to the test as we blasted out AC DC for Suzanne, house for me and a Flock of Seagulls for Paul. Don’t ask.

The best bit, however, was Suzanne’s birthday present she gave me a week later. She’d borrowed a couple of pics I’d taken of the light-wind sails and painted two beautiful acrylic pictures on wood. Fantastic! Check ’em out, above and below.


We were lucky with the winds as we had northerlies on the way down and southerlies on the way back, so the wind was behind us all the way. With Paul and Graham on board we were able to discuss a number of jobs that need doing for Esper too, so all in all a successful little trip.

Oh, and we picked up some tasty bacon and cheese too. And some wigs.

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