The quality of any group of SwimVacationers is best measured not by how they respond to a day with blue skies and calm water when everything goes right, but on a day when everything seems to go wrong.
Things started out fairly smoothly with a short motor to just south of ManJack Bay, where we led two groups on a swim around a tiny barren cay with lots of fish and coral surrounding it, and then to a sweet sandy beach where the southern stingrays were swimming around our feet. The sun peeked out, and our towels quickly dried from their rainy overnight on the lifelines.
Our plan was to swim one more bay to the north and have our yacht meet us there. Then the wind picked up. A lot. We also had a brief visit by a pelagic animal never before seen on any SwimVacation, nor by guide Heather, who has over 1,000 SCUBA dives and hundreds of miles of open water swimming under her belt. A rare and exhilarating, yet slightly unnerving sighting. We would have hung around, but the unruly winds sent us packing, sailing into the Sea of Abaco, with our plans for the next 2 days on the editing table as so often happens in life at sea.
Our Skipper had this yacht smoothly cutting through the waves, heading south with all sails full. Bottlenose Dolphins appeared off our port side. Guides and crew gathered at the wheel to discuss our options, which were pretty narrow with the strength and direction of the winds. We picked a spot next to Green Turtle Cay, where there’s a rise in the island. You couldn’t call it a hill (as those are pretty uncommon here in the Abaco Islands), but it was high enough to give us some protection.
Slightly off kilter from our jumbled morning, the guests jumped in for a swim, anyway. Our groups each made a plan, stuck together, swam smooth and saw some cool stuff. Success. 8 of us re-grouped and began to cross the short 100 yards from the island to the yacht. ZZZZZOOOOOOOMMMMM a speedboat crossed our path going waaaay too fast. Simon and Richie had given us a few seconds warning, which helped a lot. We assume the driver saw our bright orange buoys as he did veer ever so slightly (though never slowed down), and we continued to our yacht and mixed some very stiff margaritas.
Encounters like this are exactly why we prefer the more remote, wild places in any of our locations. And in spite of what we may think about the ocean and its occasionally unnerving inhabitants, the biggest danger by far is always human.
Shrimp Molinet for dinner, followed by DJ Simon and his Happy Playlist. We sang and talked about where we were in our lives when these songs were new.
As I write this, it’s Friday morning, and Heather is locked in the bathroom, the door handle came off in her hand. We are handing her some coffee, and have plans to hoist her out of the hatch at some point. Home stretch. Wish us luck!