For the past 10 years, we've worked with one boat, the Promenade. She was a big, crewed trimaran with 5 guest rooms, 2 of which could be either king beds or made into 2 twin beds. This flexibility allowed us to sell those rooms to couples, friends, or complete strangers traveling solo. There is no other boat at any price that offered this kind of flexibility, and even similar sized yachts were twice the price. The Promenade was lost to a fire last July, and, we thought, this little business called SwimVacation might be lost with her.
Within hours of the loss of Promenade, friends started researching boats. Our guide Simon immediately came up with some options. Friend and charter broker Kerry Hucul at H2Otrips.com went over the latest bareboat models with us, and we landed on the Lagoon 52, the catamaran from which I write this blog this morning.
This boat has 6 rooms: 5 queens and a bunk room with 2 stacked twins. Each room has its own head and shower. There are 4 communal spaces: the indoor salon, the aft deck, the foredeck, and flybridge all have lots of cushy seating. I was worried that it would feel crowded with 13 people aboard, but in fact there's tons of elbow room and always a place to escape for a private moment. For this trip, we have 4 people sharing 2 of the queens that we normally would have split the beds for on Promenade. Heather and I came down with a tape measure, and we've devised a way to split 2 of the queens when necessary so they can be shared by solo travelers. The mattresses are already split down the middle, so that makes things easier. We plan to add another mattress or a 6" layer of custom-cut foam under 1/2 of the bed. This will make one side higher than the other, creating separation. Next, we'll build a cushioned bumper to slide between the mattresses, making 2 individual twin beds the can be accessed from either side. SwimVacation survives and continues to welcome people traveling on their own!!
Thursday: Our morning swim along Manjak Cay was splendid, our bellies filled with steel-cut oats and apples and strawberries. I heard a dolphin but didn't see it. We put a green guide's cap on Zack for the first time, and he and Heather led Art, Jenny, and Stephanie to a sandbar and back. Heather swam into a worker's hardhat and put it on for photos. Dave caught a wave on the SUP. Paul and I matched strokes for several 15-20 minute increments, falling into an easy glide.
Running low on supplies, we sailed down to Green Turtle Cay, and hit the narrow streets looking for the right shops. The faded colonial architecture here is fabulous, the people friendly, with really interesting accents. In the future I wouldn't hesitate to bring a group of SwimVacationers here for a tour.
Dave's belly flops never disappoint and made for excellent mid day entertainment.
We cruised south down the sea of abaco, almost flat calm conditions. The water is so clear that you can see the bumps on the starfish in 13 feet of water. We pulled into the big bay at Treasure Cay, and Zack and Simeon headed out in the dinghy for a rendezvous with Willy from the charter company. He was delivering a new coffee pot (which also broke) and more propane. We're working on our 3rd coffee pot now.
An afternoon swim in Treasure Cay Bay, a lagoon of sorts within this big lagoon that is the Sea of Abaco, cradled us with soft pastels and gentle, easy rollers. The fine sands here shift with the waves and make the water a little milky, which lends itself to a unique blue and the opportunity to focus on strokes.
Grouper for dinner, and then a night swim! We picked some lights on shore to swim to, strapped waterproof blinking lights to our goggles, and jumped in. The phosphorescence was the most intense I've ever seen. It covered our arms with each stroke, thousands of tiny lights to mirror the sky full of stars. I can't imagine a more perfect spot for this tonight. The gentle rollers continued into the night and made everyone sleepy by 10. Lights out, not a peep till morning. The Abaco Islands and their shallow turquoise pool have been delivering all this crew could ask and more this week. A sleep with sparkle dreams sets us up for one more day. - Hopper & Heather