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Moon Pools and Guest Contributers

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Kendra, Heather, Carter and Simon in the Moon Pool at Mountain Point.

5:00 am. Eyes snap open. The eggs. I forgot about the eggs.

Our amazing chef Rebecca had boiled up some eggs at the request of one of our guests (Hopper let’s always plan for hard boiled eggs! Great little power pellets for our swimming swimmers!). Before Captain Chad headed to his bunk last night, he popped his head into the salon where I was blogging and said the eggs are cooling. Would you put them in the fridge before you head to bed?

Of course! I said in the spirit of helping out wherever we can to keep Promenade running smoothly.

I finished the blog at about midnight, stumbled to bed. I forgot about the eggs. So at 5 I stumbled back out of bed to go see about those eggs. They were in the fridge where they belonged.

_HPP0919A little later I saw Simon and he told me he’d put the eggs away before he’d gone to bed. I was so happy. I know this may sound strange, but I was absolutely delighted to know that one of my guides had picked up the ball (egg) that I had dropped, so as not to leave more work for our Promenade crew. Last night while our guests were learning about stroke technique and I was editing the 700+ photographs I’d shot over the day, Alina snuck out and cleaned the heads and decks. We do what we can to do our part. And we take care of each other at the same time.

We get a lot of great swimmers interested in guiding for us on SwimVacation. The truth is that actual swimming is about 10% of this job. A great SwimVacation guide is a strong swimmer, but more importantly, a charming host, a mother / father / friend, a waiter, a flight attendant, dish washer, a life guard, a social worker, a diplomat, an entertainer, a gopher, a deck hnd, a priest, a bar keep. Scullery maid. Cheerleader. Add to that the various talents we all come to the table with – stroke technician, naturalist, photographer, dance party inciter, historian, adventurer, enthusiast. There’s always something to be done, and we are constantly on the lookout for ways to ensure our guests have the trip of a lifetime. It’s a 24/7 kind of job. I think SwimVacation guides are a special breed, and we are very lucky to have the best of the best here. I love this work, and working with great people makes the job that much more special.

We woke up to the sound of the engine as Chad moved us first thing from our anchorage in the bay at Mountain Point, to the mooring ball out by the cave and Moon Pool. A perfect place to start our morning swim.

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Once again we were treated to gin clear glass flat sea. We had a long and lovely swim over a superb stretch of reef in the bay. Our peletons each swam out for 30 minutes, then turned around to come back. At the end of the swim, we explored the rocky cliff near by our mooring. There’s a beautiful grotto in there called the Moon Pool, accessible only through a tunnel at about 7 or 8 feet deep. It requires a big breath and attention to timing of even the gentlest of surge. It requires a little bit of guts. It requires commitment. A few of us made it in without fins, a few were smarter and went back to Promenade for fins (a much safer bet), and some knew their limits and just enjoyed watching us crazy folk roll the dice on a safe passage in.

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Getting inside is a trip, you feel the push and pull of the surge. It’s important to go hard, be patient, and never panic. When you surface inside, it’s a rush. We hoot and holler and the sounds of success ricochet off the dramatic rock walls. Getting back out takes the same kind of stuff, only the stakes seem just a tad higher.

We only attempt the Moon Pool with favorable swell, and I was so glad that this group got to experience it.

Back aboard Promenade many went for a second breakfast as we moved over to Great Dog. Some went for a dive, some snorkeled, some napped or read. Lunch was a mexican feast of tortillas and great things to stuff them with. Our guests rested their full bellies in preparation for our afternoon swim here at Great Dog, a SwimVacation first.

As you will see below, our guests Nancy and Tom took over blogging duties from here. I will just add that we had a rough but fantastic swim at Great Dog – We’re keeping this one on the roster. It included an easier version of the Moon Pool, that was just as beautiful on the inside but much safer for everyone to access. We dubbed it the moon pool (lower case), a moon pool for everyone.

Chris was kind enough to take the little camera on our afternoon swim. So I was treated today with a guest photographer and guest bloggers. See below. Thanks so much guys!

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Tomorrow will be a big day, I hope. We briefed the group and everyone is game. That’s what I love about swimmers in general and these swimmers in particular. They’re open to whatever the sea will offer.

– Heather

Hello from Nancy and Tom, the guest bloggers for the evening!

_HPP0962Day 3 and the group is unfolding with laughing and bonding around shared experiences, forgetting the upcoming weather and possible complexities of home life.  The SwimVacation experience is upon us…

So speaking about a dive…    Leaning on the experience and abilities of our Captain Chad, a PADI certified Instructor,  5 of us took a scuba tour of the coral walls and reefs of Great Dog.  And all agreed it was a dive site.  Who says SwimVacation is only about swimming.  Like Guide Heather says, “This is your vacation, make it what you want it to be.”

While some were diving, others were resting or reading or enjoying the BVI sunshine.  No matter the activity, all were hungry for a wonderful fiesta of minced beef (ground beef) with warm fluffy tortillas and loads of toppings for each guest to fill their bellies with the goodness of stuffed burritos.  Thanks to our wonderful chef, Rebecca, the master of the Promenade kitchen.

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Following a true fiesta, it was siesta time…more resting, napping or reading or just being.  The only way to prepare for an afternoon swim.

While most of the group embarked on the afternoon swim, Tom talked Nancy into her first snorkeling experience.  That meant getting fitted for a mask, snorkel and fins to take off into the underwater world.  Nancy later reported this was the first time she felt a part of the aquariums she often saw from the outside looking in, floating and moving along with the fish, feeling like one.  Returning to the boat after the swimmers, the two snorkelers learned the advantage of being last at the on-deck shower…no one to hurry for and time to lather and rinse as much as needed…Ahhhh.

Saying goodbye to Great Dog, Promenade took a leisurely cruise to Marina Cay, our harbor for the night.  Upon arrival, happy hour soon began:  coconuty, pineappley goodness of pina coladas accompanied by freshly made hummus and warm stay baked pita bread.  Some made a short trip to shore to check out the local shopping scene. Upon return, all were entertained by Guide Heather and the Case of the Missing Bicycle.

Two bells for dinner and we lined up for a delicious meal of grilled jerk chicken, rice with black beans, and plantains completing a very busy day.  But wait…SwimVacation Guides called a meeting to discuss tomorrows plans:  a most challenging day lies ahead so stay tuned.

– Nancy and Tom

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