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A great Friday we don’t want to end.

Friday

At the start of the week, we do our first swim at 8:00 a.m. or so. By the end of the week, we are jumping in around 9. Everyone is tan and relaxed, and there’s lots of chatter.

Norman Island. We swam over a submerged shelf on the way to our destination, Angelfish reef. The shelf is about 6 feet below the surface, and drops off another 3 feet or so on the deeper side. There’s an overhang in a few spots, creating a long shallow cave. The whole thing is about 50 meters long, and it is filled with all kinds of cool creatures. Swimming over this shelf is the antithesis of the black line in the pool.

Once we reached Angelfish, Heather took the ceremonial group photo, as this is the end of the BVI island chain. Back at the yacht, she grabbed her big underwater housing and took her famous swimmer portraits while Maury guided a longer swim to the other side of the bay. The hawksbill turtle came back, chomping on algae growing on the coral. It paid us no mind at all.

A sail to White Bay on Peter Island for a final swim. We are on a fairly tight schedule today, so we planned a 1-hour out and back swim, with a visit to our favorite little coral garden somewhere in the middle of that. This spot has always been great, but we’ve seen dramatic changes in the past 3 years. The variety, size, and color of the coral has intensified dramatically. I suspect this is due to a slight change in current coming from deep at sea. There’s a noticeable change in temperature at this spot as the cooler, oxygenated water flows in. We linger there for a bit before reluctantly climbing back aboard.

A spinnaker sail! With lots of guests flying out of St. Thomas, we decide to end the trip in Soper’s Hole, on the west end of Tortola. It’s a quaint little bay, ringed with high hills and lined with dutch-colonial architecture all in pinks, blues, and yellows. Happy hour commenced, and Sean kicked it into gear with a case of Guinness to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (Thanks, Sean!). Ribs, mashed potatoes, and vegetables came out, followed by green iced cupcakes made especially for the day by Erica. What a great moment to say how happy and optimistic we are about the future of SwimVacation on Promenade with her new owner and crew. Ken and Erica have once again given us their best – they anticipated our needs, made our jobs easier, kept us safe and comfortable, kept our bellies full and hearts light. In short, they’ve made us feel at home, and made us feel like family.

It’s so important to what we do. When you feel comfortable and cared for, you’re ready to jump into something new, something different, something a little challenging and something that will make you better.

These are the things we value most on SwimVacation.

BVI trip 22 ended with Heather’s slide show from the week and lots of hugs and promises to stay connected. We are so hopeful that our new friends will make the most of their access to our on-line community of fellow SwimVacationers – they can meet up with one another for travel, swimming events and general banter about being in water.

As Heather and I pack up to go, we once again prepare our SwimVacation bag with the items we need on every trip – our Promenade family will hold onto this for our next 2 trips here in December. We love leaving this bag behind. We can’t wait to come back.

Hopper

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