Thoughts, prayers, and bananas.

  Lots of laughter with Susan at the helm.

Lots of laughter with Susan at the helm.

Wednesday

First, to answer the many messages of concern and prayers we’ve received from so many of you all around the world, we have re-upped our supply of Pinot Grigio. There were many tense moments, but several bottles were located in Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda. End of emergency, for now. I want to thank everyone for their concern during this difficult time. We ask for privacy as the guests and crew recover on the yacht.

We woke in Haulover Bay, Cooper Island, with too many bananas. You just never know what people are going to eat, and this week bananas lack popularity. So I made a big pitcher of banana smoothies and forced them on the crew. A dent was made.

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Jason put the sails up and we headed for the Baths at Virgin Gorda. Susan took the helm, doing a great job in the rough seas. In typical fashion, the channel was bumpy and stormy, but as we approached the field of mooring balls, the clouds parted, the sun shined down on us, and the seas flattened. The Baths got its name from when slave ships made their first stop here after a grueling voyage from Africa, and washed the slaves in the shallow blue water.  Flash forward 150 years, and the Baths are now an iconic natural wonder visited by thousands every year. The Virgin Islands board of Tourism often uses a photo of two beautiful islanders frolicking here in Devil’s Bay. It’s a small step in repairing the unimaginable suffering their ancestors endured, but the burden of history looms large here.

We love to swim here. While the tourists clog the narrow walking trail through the massive boulders, we swim around them. It’s the swimmer’s version of mountain biking, and our turnaround point is the most beautiful beach in the world. The sand is so clean and white and the glare so strong that we bring sunglasses in our drybag just for the few minutes we splash around there. I got to swim with Myssie and Rick on the return trip to Rumba, at one point towing Myssie with the tethered drybag/float, which was a lot of silly fun. Like many of our guests over the years, Myssie is recovering from knee and shoulder issues. SwimVacation is a great way to heal, with both fellow guests and saltwater providing support.

Tacos were popular back aboard Rumba, after we cleaned up and as we sailed away from the Baths, and a few dolphins surface to wish us a smooth voyage to Mountain Point, Virgin Gorda. Miriam took her turn at the helm in the swirling winds, and after many tacks, Zack grabbed a mooring ball along the dramatic cliffs here. We quickly planned a swim along them, with a stop at the Moon Pool on the return, where you have to dive underwater about 8 feet, swim through a tunnel, then re-emerge on the other side into a fizzy pool. It’s a leap of faith, but also requires some patience as the surge pushes you back, then sucks you through the tunnel. Our resident 22-year old deckhand Zack climbed 20 feet up a cliff and did a backflip into the deep water.

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Left: This group of swimmers has taken to reading the blog aloud to each other over lunch. Right: Hopper has taken to shocking the rest of us with the most absurd swimsuits he can find, this one, tiny and denim.

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  Zack did back flip, then climbed back up and did a gainer flip, from this high cliff. I didn’t get the shot because I was too busy screaming at him to not do it. He’s fine.

Zack did back flip, then climbed back up and did a gainer flip, from this high cliff. I didn’t get the shot because I was too busy screaming at him to not do it. He’s fine.

We hooted and hollered and finished our swim at the Rumba, where banana daiquiris awaited. Another dent in the banana coffers, but many remain. We’re planning a big swim tomorrow. Maybe that will inspire a few more to be peeled.

  Amy just won’t get out of the water. Flipping and spinning and taking it all in. She just won’t get out.

Amy just won’t get out of the water. Flipping and spinning and taking it all in. She just won’t get out.

Hopper