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The gifts of Peter.

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Michael, Heather and Alison swim over millions of silver sides and one lone tarpon in Little Harbour.

Quiet sunrise. Little Harbour was still this morning. The first sound or ripple was made by our swimmers jumping in at 0800. We headed east around the harbor, swimming an underwater limbo beneath the stern lines of neighboring yachts. I have to say, Little Harbour was in spectacular form this morning. Gin clear and flat and calm, warm and welcoming, wildlife better than I’ve seen in many trips. We had planned a hard swim to the point and out and around toward Great Harbour, and we did all that, but it ended up being more leisurely due to some heavy duty sight seeing. Tops on the list were millions and millions of schooling silver sides, in huge undulating schools and small blotchy packs, giant tarpon, many turtles, a transitioning Gray angelfish, a moray eel (way to go spotting that one, Heath!), and a magnificent spotted eagle ray. Thanks Peter for all the goods. As we rounded the point out of the protection of the harbor…..hold the phone! One of our guests would like to guest blog this evening…Allow me to introduce my good friend Heather Rogers!

Sooooo glad and happy to welcome one of my oldest friends on this SwimVacation, and even happier to let her take over the blogging duties for tonight! Thanks, Heath! I may add a comment here or there….just because I can’t help myself!

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This morning we awoke to glistening sunshine and calm waters in Little Harbor on Peter Island. We set out for a two-hour swim that followed the shoreline of the harbor and then the northern coastline of the island. In the harbor, we took our time to enjoy the abundant wildlife — turtles galore, a spotted eagle ray, a moray eel, and more. Heather pointed out some other cool sponges and soft corals along the way.

HP: Great job spotting that moray eel Heath! We almost never see them on our swims!

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Little Harbour Wildlife today: Green moray eel, adolescent Gray Angelfish, Spotted Eagle Ray

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A huge feather duster worm, Green sea turtle, and Yikes! Guide Eric.

I didn’t think it could get any better, but the best part of the swim for me was synchro swimming with Heather for a few minutes. We were being pushed along by the waves from behind, side by side, matching our strokes, taking breaths at the same time and just smiling, loving it. Joined in the moment, clicking on our stroke, swimming in the Caribbean nearly, eh-hem, 40 years after we met! Wow.

HP: Heath – synchro swimming with you today, almost 40 years after we first became friends, was a real SwimVacation highlight for me. So glad we both found swimming in our lives, and that we have this week together in the sea!

Everyone made their way back to the boat, some of us meandering more than others to soak in the wildlife and calm waters and bright sunshine. Then Heather took video of each of us swimming for analysis later. I’m excited to find some new things to focus on to improve.

We made our way to Deadman’s Bay on Peter Island where Gina treated us to another delicious meal for lunch, and we all kicked back for a bit. Some of us swam ashore and enjoyed the beach, some paddle boarded, some read and relaxed on the boat. Then Bazza ferried us across a channel to Dead Chest Island for the beginning of a 0.6 mile channel crossing back to Deadman’s Bay — a swim rich with history of pirates and treachery. Robin and I sat the swim out to rest sore shoulders, and enjoyed watching the rest of the group’s conquest of a tough swim. There were 5-6 foot swells and a good current but they all impressed us with their perseverance and strong swimming.

HP: Background – Blackbeard the Pirate used to dump his mutinous men on Dead Chest, an impressive rock island void of water or other useful resources. He’d dump them there with a bottle of rum and a pistol with one bullet. The men would try to survive there as long

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as they could, eventually fighting for rights to the single misery ending bullet. Some of the men tried to escape by swimming across the channel to Peter Island. Pirates typically couldn’t swim, and their bodies would wash up in Deadman’s Bay. This is the 4th or 5th time our SwimVacationers have done what Blackbeard’s men could not – survive the crossing. Kudos to David from NYC who had a slow but strong crossing. He logged over an hour in the swell and current today, but got back on the boat victorious. Not sure how much he enjoyed it though, as he announced “Next time, I take the bullet!”

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Jumping in at Dead Chest. These pics by Heather, me and Guide Dave (nice work, Dave!)

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Starting the crossing. This pic also by Dave (you’re on a roll!)

 

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Janine, Carrie and Ken crossed with me. Martin crossed with Dave (another good pic, Dave!).

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First and second peletons finish the swim and rejoice (nice happy shot, Heath)! Dave and Dave stay strong and complete the crossing from Dead Chest.

This evening we’ve played some games, listened to music, and enjoyed another great meal from Gina. The night is not over yet, though! I’m grateful for an amazing day with everyone on the boat, and especially to share this time with my lifelong friend Heath!

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Sunset as seen from Salt Bay.

HP: Hooray Heath! And it’s great to have you share your take on this full day. Thanks again for swimming with me today and for writing tonight Heath! Tonight we’re at anchor in Salt Bay, Salt Island. We’ve got a great day planned for tomorrow. Everyone sleep well!

– Heather and Heather

PS. Can’t have a post without the Boat Cat Pic of the Day (BCPD):

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