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Day 6: Leaving it all out there

Woke up at Marina Cay and headed out to Guana first thing. Guana Island is one of my favorites (I think I have a lot of favorites here) because it is so unspoiled. I don’t think I ever remember mooring with another boat in Muskmellon Bay.

We anchored in the adjacent bay to start. Hopper plotted out a challenging course – around half the perimeter of our starting bay, around the point of land, and into and around Muskmellon Bay. All together, about 2.5 miles. And not an easy 2.5. Throughout the swim we had wind and surge, sometimes at our backs, sometimes not. 

EVERYONE made this swim. And everyone went the whole distance. It was a long haul, and I know there were some doubts out there. But every single one of our SwimVacationers pushed themselves hard – harder than they might have thought possible. When it was done, I think they all felt an immense satisfaction.

As I approached the boat with Emma, I could smell it – breakfast. Pancakes the size of a 24 oz sirloin, with bacon. There might have been something else out there too, but I couldn’t even imagine putting anything else on my plate.

After breakfast, free time. Some napped, some chatted, some simply enjoyed the sunshine. By one or so, we were ready to break out the water toys. A number of us waterskied, and a few courageous souls braved the Predator. I ache just thinking about it, but our guests thoroughly enjoyed being dragged behind the dinghy with evil Rich at the wheel. While people took turns on the predator, I did a photo shoot in the water with each of our guests – all superstars in the sea.

Lunch (seriously, i cannot eat again) was burgers (thank you Hopper!) on Lisa’s ridiculous home made buns. The bread this woman makes on this boat defies reason.

While some of the guests were napping or chilling out, Hopper and I went out for a little free diving. Neither of us broke any records today, but we both felt great at the bottom of the bay, unencumbered by equipment. It seemed easy. It felt just right.

An afternoon swim around the other side of Muskmellon, out and back. We capped off the swimming with a quick and fun medly relay race. Hopper, Jeff, Laird and me against Fitzy, Tom, Leighann and Rob. Our backstroke and breaststrokers were neck and neck, and Laird gave me an impressive lead going into the freestyle leg. I kicked like hell and swam so fast, but I could hear great big Rob storming up behind me. In a last ditch effort I grabbed his ankle. All it did was cause him to drag me across the finish line with him. Great fun. Our last swim. We had cocktails as we motored back to Harbour View Marina and had dinner – something else crazy good (who can keep all this fabulous food straight?).

After dinner a slide show of images from the week. Looking at the 300 + pictures flying past, it really hit home what an amazing week we’ve had. It seems impossible that we could have done so much, but we did.

Some stats:

We ate 12 dozen eggs and 8 pounds of butter.

We drank something like 30 bottles of wine.

We didn’t use very much water.

We made 3 never-done-before swims.

We swam about 13 miles. 

Tonight I was talking with a few of our guests about their experience. They commented about how so many in our group are in a transition in their lives. They are looking for a place to land, and found themselves leaping into the Caribbean sea for a little while. But what so many of them did here this week transcends the miles they covered. Some of them came unsure about their metal. Unsure if they could go the distance. Unsure. But tonight, having swum hard, swum long, through wind and swell and current, and against the doubts lurking in their own minds, each one of them knows that they are capable of reaching the destination. We’ve over-come hurdles this week, many of them in our own heads. And the new confidence that comes with such hard work and faith in the process and our abilities will spill over into everything we do.

We came to the boat as strangers and will leave tomorrow, united by these efforts and the celebration of what’s possible. I for one hate to say goodbye. To my new friends, to the person i am here, and to this fantastic place and all it gave to us this week. As I let the waves rock me to sleep one more time, I promise to remind myself that open water will always be here waiting.

– Heather.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Cindi McDill says:

    I have been wanting to go on a SwimVacation for several years now. I’m thinking that possibly this could be the year that I go. I have swam my whole life and continue to do so (while teaching swim lessons and coaching swim teams in Chicago, IL). Swimming is definitely my passion but sometimes I feel burned out. I participate in the 5K, 10K, and half marathon’s here in Chicago and it always gets me revved up to continue running until the next race. However, swimming isn’t as popular especially with the weather. I would LOVE to rekindle my love for swimming and be able to make a vacation out of it. Which is why Swim Vacation seems like one of the best vacations ever! I really enjoyed reading your blog, it helped me get a better idea of what the days entail. Do most of the people that go on these trips go with someone else? Or do most of the people randomly meet up for the first time? Also, what is the age range, typically of these swim vacations?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Cindi,
      Thanks for reading the blog! We have both solo travelers and couples join us on every SwimVacation. We have two state rooms on board which can be arranged to accommodate 2 solo travelers each. I would say that most of our solo travelers are women. Typically, our guests have never met before our day of departure. By the end of the week, everyone is pretty tight and we have seen some lovely friendships grow from our trips.

      We get a wide range of ages on our trips and have had guests from late 20’s to nearly 70! The general age range of our guests is usually about 35 – 55. We also get swimmers of varying degrees of speed and abilities. We really are a vacation for people who love to be in the water.

      We’re starting our next trip this Sunday (Dec 11) and you can follow our blog here. I’ll be posting every night.

      Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions! We hope to swim with you soon!

      – Heather

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