The winds felt different this morning, more sustained. It could be the beginning of the Christmas winds that come to the Islands this time each year, though this would be a little early. As is typical toward the end of a trip, our guests linger a little longer in bed or over coffee. We set up a one-way swim, wind and sun behind us. The plan was to have Promenade pick us up in Truck Bay, about a mile and a half distant, just past Cinnamon bay. Things got bumpy at Cinnamon Cay, and a couple of motorboats were looming, so we hailed our Yacht Promenade, who had been trailing us, and climbed aboard.
We steamed past Whistling Cay, with views to yesterday's swim there, then Anchored at Thatch Island for lunch. With winds chasing us around, we found a sheltered spot in Brandywine bay on Tortola. Guide Heather performed swimmer portraits, a technique she developed for capturing a swimmer's image mid-stroke, with view both under and above the water. I filmed the whole thing on our GoPro, which we had attached to our SUP, for a short self promotional movie Heather is creating for her work with National Geographic.
Back in Road Harbour for chicken stir fry, slide shows from both Admiral Kerry and Guide Heather, then some dancing on the bow and general merriment. Everyone signed Dave's SUP, perhaps a new tradition? Deckhand Felix brought me over to the docks to coordinate saturday morning pickups with the taxi guys, and I had a crazy 15 minutes of Caribbean happy hour at the marina, where Island music was pumping out.
Guides Dave, Hopper and Heather.
This was a tight, motivated group, and I was humbled by their perseverance. They also knew how to relax between swims, a requirement here in the BVIs. Half of the swims we did were new to all of us, a rarity after having done a dozen trips here. I'm blown away by the fact that we had 3 and 4 time repeat clients on this trip (thanks Linda and Mark).
We went through guest comments on the way home. Here are a few:
- "Thanks for making me realize what swimming can really mean." - SF
- "Thank you for being by my side while I confronted my open water fears. Amazing week of my life...loved every minute of the trip." - PB
- " 'I've never done that' became 'I DID THAT!' " - P & G A
Peggy said she hadn't seen her comfort zone since Monday and could not believe her accomplishments in the water. I am always amazed and honored to be a part of the process when people push themselves beyond what they once thought was possible.
Thanks all, for swimming hard and taking it all in with us. See you in March!
- Hopper & Heather
Almost back to Tortola. That's a wrap on another cool SwimVacation..