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March 27: Day 2

Day 2 – No wind. Usually when someone on a sailboat writes those 2 words, they are not happy. However, this boat is full of swimmers, and while wind is an accepted fact in open water swimming, the complete lack of it can make for a very enjoyable swim. These are the conditions we found when we woke up anchored about a mile off the Island of Anegada, and we took full advantage.

 

There was so little wind, the ocean gained a polished sapphire appearance, and the few tall white clouds in the sky were perfectly reflected. We were surrounded by about 12 square miles of 20 foot deep, 79 degree, perfectly still blue water. It looked yummy, like I could jump in and drink it.

Swimming in the flat seas around Anegada this week.

We set our swim course for a massive island of conch shells, piled up over the centuries by native people and visitors alike. Even a mile away, it looked pretty big. Some of us paired up for a bit, matching stroke for stroke, then dropping off to find another partner or to swim alone. I notice that our guests are gaining confidence as we make our way across; they are interrupting their stroke stopping less to look where they are going, instead taking a quick peek ahead as they continue stroking. We saw stingrays and (unspotted) Black Eagle rays, perhaps a subspecies of the spotted type. More research needed. Upon reaching the conch island, which is perhaps 100 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 20 feet high, we swam around it for a bit, checking out the thousands of juvenile fish that call the place home. Captain Bazza then dropped us off on Anegada for some beach combing, our first step on dry land since coming aboard the Promenade.

Playing at Anegada, above and below.

We spent the afternoon lounging around Promenade; reading books, taking photos, and chatting. I hung out with guest Amy for awhile. She’s a branding consultant from California, and I’ve been really enjoying talking with her about her work;

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coaxing the true essence out of a company, distilling their message to find their core. Amy had no open water experience when she stepped aboard on Sunday, and she thought this whole adventure would be out of her comfort zone. Perhaps it was, but she has met every day with this youthful energy and eager spirit that makes her such a pleasure to have as a guest. I find myself looking forward to showing her the next thing around the corner, be it a school of tarpon or a new way to think about her stroke.

Amy is soaking it all in!

We motored around to the bay near The Settlement on Anegada, eyeing sea stars 25 feet underwater in perfect detail. The ocean was sparkling clear blue, and a very gentle breeze greeted us for a bit, the first time in the last 24 hours.

 

An out-and-back swim along a white sand beach was plotted, guests Carol and Janie chose to combine their swim with lunges on the beach. Guides Heather, Dave, and I swam a few hundred yards in unison, then I broke off and sprinted back to our yacht to put final preparations on our dinner of mixed grill kebabs over dirty sticky rice. Home made ice cream was followed by video stroke analysis. Guide Dave did an amazing job explaining his theories and reviewing our guests strokes, suggesting improvements for each swimmer.

Swimming to and from Conch Shell Mountain.

The night sky thick with stars after a pink moon set.

 

Hopper

 

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