The sunrise was lovely. But a little late for Jamie and Hopper who had planned on a 6 am swim. No worries – they waited just a short while and splashed in along with Maury. Hop came back a little early as he had to begin his multi-vehicular journey back to Maine. Jamie and Maury continued on and put in about 2.5 miles before breakfast.
This is a good place to say thank you to Hopper (and to his family for making it possible!) for coming down and putting this unprecedented trip back together with me and our SwimVacation family in the islands. He wasn’t originally planning to come down until next week, but I can’t imagine having launched this one without him here. Thanks, pal! Hurry back! And don’t forget the clothes pins! These cheapies are blowing apart in the wind….
We met on the stern of Nod (boat 976) for our first thorough swim briefing. We covered safety stuff and wildlife stuff and a solid plan for 30 mins out and 30 mins back. It was a lovely meandering swim. Over the course of maybe 2 miles, we saw teeming silversides, fleets of blue tang, armadas of jacks. Two barracuda checked us out, and the fast kids saw a record sized sting ray. Jamie (did another 3…that’s 5.5 before 10 am…sheesh), Simon, David and Paul lead the charge, followed by a solid pack of me, Yafa, Mark, John, Frances and Ellen. These guys are so nice and evenly paced. It was such a pleasure to swim with them. Maury did a short swim session with new swimmer Karen. She faced her fear and was very brave. She has a whole week to grow in her comfort in the water.
We lunched on fantastic salad with home made croutons and these yummy toasty buttery creations of our good chef Mo. After that everyone hit the decks for a sunny ride to the harbour next door, Little Harbour.
Chad picked a great spot in the harbour, dropped anchor and Simon swam the stern line to shore, while Laila’s boat hovered near by. In what I can only describe as an incredibly cool maneuver, Laila BACKED our boat up perfectly so that we could raft with Prom (974). I swear she moved this tub with such precision. Im sure I couldn’t have done it in my little subaru. Nice work Cap’n.
On a windy, choppy day, Little Harbour is an oasis today. Nice and flat tucked in deep, but offering sporty conditions for our fast crew who were looking for something more ….. more.
I jumped in to record everyone’s stroke for later analysis by Simon, and after each had their turn they headed off on a swim. We discussed being in an hour, but these kids were so happy they stayed in for a half hour more.
Jamie, Maury, David and Paul made an epic crossing of the mouth of the harbour, out where the wind was blowing and the swell was real. I could barely catch them on the SUP, even kneeling for a lower profile in the wind. These guys were on the move. Jamie is ridiculously fast, and David, in an unprecedented swim for him, wasn’t far behind. Just behind him were Maury and Paul. I finally caught them when they stopped to celebrate in the shallows. Hoots and hollers and Wows at the tough swim that energized all four of them.
In the mean time, Simon and the fantastic 5 were limboing under stern lines around the harbour, fish watching and clocking another 1.5 miles at least. And Karen had a great snorkel with Captain Laila, meeting up with a friendly spotted eagle ray. She was delighted to find out the speedy husband David had seen it too.
Something for everyone today. I can’t remember a first full day that had such distance and such enjoyment by our guests. And heck, it only took a day total of 3 swims and about 8.5 miles to thrill Jamie.
This is one of the many things I love about SwimVacation – we can have an elite swimmer like Jamie on the same trip as a newbie like Karen, along with everything in between, and everyone comes out of the water satisfied and happy. And everyone is happy and appreciative of the accomplishments of everyone else. There is no question this group is already gelled. It’s so gratifying that not even two different boats (Prom and Nod) can stop the forces driving them together.
This evening we had guests laughing and relaxing on deck in the incredibly soft light, as David, Karen and Ellen grabbed flashlights went spelunking and exploring the ruins of old dwellings on Peter Island – a SwimVacation first!
Chad made a great batch of pain killers and Mo is whipping up something that smells good in the kitchen of Prom. Included on the menu tonight is a special dessert for a birthday! Captain Laila is spending her special day with us, and we are so grateful to celebrate with her.
Such a solid first day of a trip that has come so far in the making. As Hopper flies home tonight, I hope he can feel that his guests are as happy as we set out to make them. And just like on Promenade, they’ve already made these boats home.
Living on the sea will do that to a bunch of water bugs.