Beginning in Blue


We have a meet-up time with our guests of noon in Road Harbor, Tortola, British Virgin Islands. So we have to move the boat from St Thomas. There’s a 5-mile stretch of this trip that is fairly exposed, and we had a bumpy ride. I turned green for a bit, then back to pink, then white, then green, then pink again. It’s this very reason that we don’t bring our guests on this route. Captain Ken, Fist mate Ben, and Admiral Erica are our crew this week, along with Erica’s son Treyvon, an 11-yr old boy with a wide smile.   

I found the guests in the spot we had planned, the outdoor restaurant at the VIllage Cay Marina. We have 4 SwimVacation alums: Mark, Yafa, Janine, and Kendra, and 4 new guests: Rick, Mike, Sean, and Laura. We dinghy them to The Promenade, get them aboard and sail across the harbor.

We almost always start the trip in Little Harbor. The water here is so blue and calm, and the shoreline is beautifully forested. Turtles surrounded the boat as soon as we anchored, southern rays glided beneath. The water is clear to 30 feet. We jump in for a quick splash. Delicious. We have a lot of talks on the first day, seasick avoidance talk, boat safety talk, general living on a boat talk, swim safety talk. Then, lunch. Heather and I noticed an easy calm on the boat already, everyone was chill. This rarely happens on the first day. This is a good sign. Enough of this already, let’s swim!

We planned a 20-minute swim to the other side of the harbor, then back. The guides gave a brief clinic on open water sighting and navigation, an important skill here. The guests jumped in and swam over the coral, through schools of silversides, under the pelicans. We spread out a little, but with 2 guides in the water and 1 on an SUP (stand-up paddleboard), it’s no big deal. We swam for about an hour, stretching out the swim to both side of the cove. We spied a blue-green upside-down jellyfish, a first for me in my hundreds of miles of swimming here.

We were met with cocktails back on the Promenade. Erica had mixed Strawberry puree, St. Germaine, and Gin, served on the rocks. They were delicious. Dinner crept up, lasagna 3-ways (saucy, not so saucy, and no-carb). We sat around and got to know each other, but it felt like we already did. A full moon rose over the hillside behind us. The flat calm water reflected it up under the bimini. I’d say we were rocked to sleep, but it’s so calm I couldn’t even  tell we are on water.  - Hopper