Judy wakes up to Bob talking in his sleep: “You have to anchor!”. I guess Will made an impact with his stroke technique session last night. As I type, our swimmers are huddled around Will’s computer, looking at the videos we shot of them and listening to Will’s technique talk. Everyone is pretty excited to get in and do some drills in the morning.
But first, let’s deal with today. I must say this is starting to get a little ridiculous…it was another really special day.
Woke up at the Baths (who doesn’t love to wake up at the Baths?) Will and I guided our guests through a the nature strewn boulders. Minds blown. Through crevasses and little gaps we cruised, diving down occasionally to check out the sea life below. It’s hard to do this place justice with a camera. It’s hard to believe it’s even real. We ended at my favorite beach on earth. Fine white sands, rolling waves of aqua blue, a few more big boulders, half buried in the sand as if they have been dropped there like smooth marbles from the heavens. We played in the waves and just sat and took it all in. This is a place I just never get tired of. We swam back to the boat for a total of 1.75 miles.
We arrived with wide eyes and hungry bellies. Ready for breaky!
After breakfast we headed back to shore to walk through the smooth boulder field. Oohs and ahhs and wows and more from our guests. Lovely spots to make pictures of this moment’s memory for them.
After lunch we said goodbye to the Baths and motored to Guana Island for what is one of my favorite swims. We jump in off the boat at Monkey Pt., swim all the way around one tip of the island and into Muskmellon Bay – a huge bay surrounded by severe rocky cliffs and loaded with wildlife. It’s much wilder up here – and no other boats in sight. The Promenade and dinghy both followed us along, and Promenade anchored in Muskmellon for the night, while we finished the swim.
The course we plotted was a full three miles, and much of it is exposed to open sea. It’s a serious swim, and can be quite advanced depending on the conditions. Half of our guests decided to sit this one out – listening to their bodies, or wanting more in water drill work before committing to a long swim. Three of our darlings plunged into beautiful White Bay, Guana Island for the long haul before us. Will accompanied speed demons Jamie and Alison, while I swam with Paul.
We jumped in and I realized almost immediately that we were swimming against a significant current. No matter – we dug deep and pressed on. What else can you do?
It was one of those swims. One of those swims you just never forget. Breathing to the right, I was treated to the spectacular view of Guana’s wild cliffs. Breathing to the left, I got the comforting image of Lisa accompanying us in the the dinghy. Both were appreciated, as we fought and slogged through a very rough course. Current, swells; you name it, Guana threw it at us. Paul and I are so evenly matched – we both held a strong pace and stayed fairly in sync. The waves tossed us on top of one another again and again – no matter, we had a job to get done. When we finally got into Muskmellon Bay I fully expected the conditions to calm. Not so. We continued to push through the discomfort and remembered that we are strong enough to do this.
By the time we got to the outermost tip of Muskmellon Bay, we both felt a waning in our resolve. Just then, a gloriously large spotted eagle ray showed up, and nearly ran in to Paul. The thing was huge, majestic and spectacular with its chocolate brown color and bright white spots and rings on its back. Trailing beneath the ray were two large remora – attempting to pick up a ride and maybe and extra crumb from lunch or two. At one point, the ray (harmless, save for its heart breaking beauty) looked directly up at us and swam right toward us, coming nearly feet from our hands. We got a full on view of its powerful snout, as well as the clinging remora on its belly. The ray swam directly beneath us until we hit the corner, finishing our circumnavigation of the bay.
Just when we needed the lift.
We watched for a few more seconds, turned around and sized up our home stretch back to the boat. Jazzed from our ray encounter, we were ready to bring it home hard. And that’s just what we did. The whole swim took Paul and I an hour and a half on the nose, which is pretty good considering the conditions. We arrived at the boat to the applause and cheering of the other three who had made the swim (MUCH faster than us!) as well as our other guests. They had watched intently the entire way as Bazza followed along in the big boat. Paul and I were thrilled to learn that Will, Jamie and Alison had also seen the same spotted eagle ray. What a lift. We hugged and hooted and hollered for ourselves. It was a great, big deal.
I think the thing I loved best about this swim today is that somehow, it actually belonged to everyone. Only 5 of us made the swim, but everyone watched and waited and supported and cheered. Everyone on this boat took ownership in this achievement today. And it feels damn good.
Lisa whipped up a spot hitting pitcher of banana daiquiris and we chilled and relaxed in this wild bay that we conquered. So spectacular.
Dinner was incredible cheesy garlic bread and shrimp fettucini pasta (no worries, we burned that off long before it came!) followed by a plate of delectable chocolates for dessert. We looked into the water off the stern after dark and saw thousands of little blue glowing lights – phosphorescence. Literally, a sea full of stars.
Let’s see, what could top a smash bang day like this? Oh I don’t know. Maybe, say, A METEOR SHOWER?? Oh come ON. I mean, really. Really? How good is this thing going to get? We spent much of the evening lying on the trampolines, faces to the cloudless sky, milky way in plain site, twinkly waves lapping beneath us, watching a meteor shower. Cue music, this day’s a wrap.
The world is an amazing place, eh? Especially tonight in Muskmellon Bay.