I was born and raised in Stonington, Connecticut, a quaint oceanfront town bordering Rhode Island. The town is known for its Seaport, a late 80’s Julia Roberts movie (Mystic is part of Stonington) and its outsized reputation in sailing spheres. One particularly well known sailor, and co-owner of Dog Watch Cafe, a prominent dockside bar, is Clay Burkhalter (pictured blow). When we heard he was skippering the annual trip to bring Tethys, a gorgeous 61 ft Swan yacht, down to the British Virgin Islands, we offered him a load of Zest Tea to take along for the voyage. He gladly accepted the offer and added the tea as an alternative to the normally stocked coffee.
As is common on these trips, there are sailors on shift 24 hrs a day. The most grueling shifts are the night watches in the late hours of the night and early hours of the morning. The sailors holding the night watch are often exhausted, but must remain alert to keep the ship and her crew safe (all while in pitch darkness and hundreds of miles away from land). In recognition of the shift we made the Tethys crew a special batch of our energizing Earl Grey, packaged in a durable, watertight container, and called it Night Watch.
Coffee has been the long time go-to fuel on these 1,500 nautical mile (about 1,700 mile) and 7 - 10 day trips, so we weren’t sure if our tea would be a welcomed alternative. Upon the crew’s return, we were delighted to hear that Zest had stood up to the hefty task and had actually become the preferred choice among the exhausted sailors. Clay told us that:
“my crew and I really enjoyed Zest, because it tastes great; really keeps you awake and alert” and, given the strenuous task at hand, was even “better than coffee”
Clay and his crew have made this trip many times before, but this delivery was especially strenuous. Most of the trip was done in 30 mph + winds and while cruising a few hundreds of miles off the coast of South Carolina, two small fires knocked out their autopilot and engine alarms. They were forced to go off course and stop in Bermuda for repairs. It’s hard to complain about stopping in Bermuda, but a detour to the small British island can add days onto an already arduous trip. After fixing the issues, the crew started south again. A few days later, Clay, as he always does, delivered the ship to Virgin Gorda in prime condition.
P.S. If you’re planning an exceptional endeavor and want to try out Zest Tea, contact me at James@getzesttea.com. We want to know if Zest holds its own under extreme conditions.
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