_HPP1392Lots of new experiences already this week - it starts with our departure point being in St. Thomas, in the USVI. We mostly did this because of Promenade's schedule, but it gives us a new and interesting jump off point for the trip. We also got on the boat a little later than usual - right around happy hour.

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We got everyone on board and we headed out to Maho Bay, St. John. We wanted a swim before cocktails of course, so we decided to go for it - flashing colored lights affixed to our goggle straps, our first swim of the trip began at dusk and ended well past dark. Swim number one, a night swim. A first for every one of our guests and Guide Eric too.

Before we'd gotten in, I wanted to be sure all of our swimmers knew they had the option to just ease into things, NOT do a full on swim, at dusk no less, in their first few hours on this boat. I asked if anyone wanted to just jump in and splash around…..nope, this bunch came to swim. One by one, the leapt, all looking like seasoned pros already.

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As we swam around this little bay in the waning light, it looked like some water-light show - our little flashing lights moving smoothly across the surface. Some did about half a mile, some did a little over a mile. We climbed out to Pain Killer cocktails and the welcome talk I usually give BEFORE we go swimming….

No one seemed the slightest bit flustered or confused about what they came to do. We said let's go swimming and they jumped in and did it. I think they're going to put us through our swimming paces this week.

Dinner was an amazing array of smoked things - chicken and ribs and baked beans and salad. Dessert was delicious chocolate cake, over which I told our swimmers what to expect from their week. But really, they seemed like they already knew, and were happily at home here on the yacht.

I think we're going to have a great week of swimming.

Stella Cat on stand up paddle board, as lovingly photographed by Kerry.


And at long last, I meet the Stella, the famous (sometimes swimming) boat cat. I think she'll keep us on our toes this week too.

Almost 11 and everyone to bed. We'll start early in the morning with a big swim around a small island just outside the bay. Why not? This group clearly doesn't require a break in period. They're ready to go.

- Heather