All kinds of weather.


Winter. It's not my time of year here in Maine. I'm pasty and squinty and tired and a little blue. I still haven't found my missing mitten. I've nearly worn out my heated car seat. T-48 hrs.

It's just a few days before our 22nd SwimVacation in the British Virgin Islands. Of these, it's my 20th, and in spite of the fact that (through my winter malaise) I still get just as excited to go, I find myself waiting longer and longer to pack. On my first SwimVacation 9 years ago, I think I packed, unpacked, repacked, thought about it, unpacked and packed one last time. It took a week. Now I have a "Go bin" with all my SV t-shirts, a sarong, flip flops and bathing suits. I have my underwater camera equipment all together in one corner of my studio. In a matter of an hour or two, it's all gathered and packed up into 2 dense bags, along with all of the caps and some sunblock for our guests and three whistles for guides (we leave a SwimVacation banner and 10 swim safe floats in the islands now, phew!).

Today was my pack day, and it was as if this ambivalent winter wanted to throw a little tantrum about my impending escape. Within the hour or two that I packed, the sky went from gray to dark, the wind howled, it rained, sleeted, snowed big fat flakes, accumulated, warmed up, melted, and then the sun came out in a clear blue sky. It was not unlike the tantrums I have witnessed in Muskmelon Bay, Guana Island (minus the snow, of course). Hmmm. Maybe it's me?

No matter. The bags are packed and I still have a day to set my family up for a week without me - gas in cars, bills paid, laundry folded, notes for the lunch box, pep-talk for the swim meet this weekend. I'll come home having swum some miles and taken thousands of photos, browner, blonder, fitter. More importantly, I'll have made some new friends. Like our logo says, I'll Come Back Better.

Winter, you think about it while I'm gone. You decide who you are and where you're headed. I think the time apart will do us both good.

More on the flip side.

- Heather