Thursday March 27
Life in a crew cabin: Bare feet in Caribbean morning air. Great way to wake up. My fellow guides Simon and Alina are the greatest.
The first thing I heard this morning through my open hatch was wind.
We’ve been so lucky this week – barely a breath from the clear blue skies. As a matter of fact, we tried to sail from Guana yesterday and couldn’t fill the sails. I knew from Hopper (who’s been monitoring our weather this week from cold icy Maine – Thanks Hop) that strong ENE winds would be building over night, and sure enough, they did.
But of course, here we are in White Bay, a great place to hide from all sorts of weather. We use this bay on every trip, for shelter, but also it’s awesome underwater sites.
Splash down in White Bay
We had a spectacular 2+ mile swim this morning here. Yes a little wind here and there, but also the biggest spotted eagle ray I have ever seen, and even a baby reef shark, way out by the point. It’s very very rare that we see sharks on SwimVacation. As a matter of fact, this might be the second or third time in the 14 trips we’ve done to the BVI. It was small, and calm. Cruising around the reef. Almost all of our swimmers saw it, and everyone was awed rather than fearful, for which I was pleased.
A great 2+ mile swim in White Bay, followed by play time on the reef.
We climbed aboard, our swimmers weary and beginning to feel the miles we’ve put in so far this week. We headed out for Norman Island, and found shelter from wind and swell in Benure’s Bay. This is a great spot with shallow turquoise waters and amazing reef life that we discovered on our last SwimVacation. After an amazing lunch of great pizza (dough and sauce all from scratch) a few die hards went for another long swim of about an hour. The rest of us honored sore shoulders and made a quick trip to the point and rounded the corner to the shallows where I started our swimmer portrait session. This involves about 5 minutes with each swimmer – I boss them around and make them do the same thing over and over again, but it’s all in the interest of really capturing them as they are when they are swimming in the sea. With so many swimmers on board this week, our photo shoot took well over an hour and a half, with more frames than I have ever shot in one of these sessions. But well worth the time and gigabytes.
I got back on the boat a bit waterlogged and we weighed anchor and set for the caves on the western side of Norman Island. It’s a popular spot with snorkelers, but for us, the caves are a treat at the end of our very long swim to Angel Fish Reef and back – we’ll start tomorrow with that.
Cocktails were my favorite – bushwhackers. Made with 5 different liquors that i can never remember. But it’s cold frosty choco yumminess.
Leave room for catch of the day – Chad and his boys put out an amazing spread of caribbean lobster. Gone in minutes. Desert was some sort of delicious cake covered in other delicious things. Well done, boys.
Music. Cool breezes, gentle rocking and a million stars. Relaxed swimmers, well worn from the miles, but fully liberated from the stresses of real life – these are the perfect ingredients for a late night Dance Party. It helped that Felix was back aboard – I always say you haven’t experienced the Caribbean if you haven’t danced with Felix. We danced and danced – where we found the energy after the miles and miles of swimming this week, I really don’t know. But it was a great time. Then, splash. And woopsie daisy, Alina and I found ourselves (gasp) skinny dipping! Not the first time on this trip mind you, but just about everyone joined in. Even Felix, who paddled up and said “How is everbody doin” in that lyrical way he always does.
Remember, we are swimmers. We swim. So of course we set up a spontaneous medley relay race, starkers. I really don’t remember who won, and I know it didn’t matter, because we all laughed and had a phenomenal time.
We got back on board and wrapped up in towels, which led to about 10 minutes of towel dancing. Finally spent, everyone wandered off to bed. I stayed up for a bit and edited thousands of pics, but just couldn’t get to the blog, so I’m writing it a day late. And let me tell you – with the things we cram into a day here, it’s pretty difficult to remember yesterday at the end of today.
It was a great day. Lots of good hard swimming and blowing off steam. It’s hard to see the end in sight, especially when we are all feeling the bonds of our daily adventures.
I’ll fill you in on our last day later tonight. In the mean time, know that we are celebrating our week with great food, painkillers, and a slideshow recap of our week and all we packed into it.