Friday: Full


GOPR5545We woke up anchored in Privateer Bay, the hearty crew members that hit Willy T’s bar last night were up and ready to work, attesting to their youth perhaps more than their wisdom. A swimming course to Angelfish Reef was soon plotted, and our swimmers glided smoothly through the clear water. GOPR5536








There were lots of creature sightings, so this would be a good time to list many of the animals we saw this week:


DSC_6816Spotted Eagle Ray, Southern Stingray, Barracuda, Hawksbill Turtle, Green Turtle, Grouper, Tarpon, Scrawled Filefish, Octopus, Squid, Tuna, Bar Jack, Queen Triggerfish, Angelfish, Atlantic Spadefish, Parrotfish, Yellow and Blue Tang, Pufferfish, and hundreds more of the usual suspects on the reef and in the deep.




This is the time of week where I can see improved strokes on tanned bodies and confidence in chop, current, wind, and swell. We can all feel the end of the trip is near, so we linger in the water after the swim. Heather jumps in to take swimmer portraits, something she’s been doing here for the past 17 trips. A very cute, tiny fish joined us for the whole 2 hour photo session.





























I can’t overstate how important photography is to SwimVacation. From marketing and advertising to web design to the photo books published for each guest, Heather’s photographic skills have always brought SwimVacation to the next level. This trip has been especially photo-centric, as one of our swimming guests is Susan Welchman, a recently retired photo editor from National Geographic. Many of the best pieces you’ve seen in The Magazine were edited by Susan. Heather is represented by National Geographic Creative and an eel photo of hers was recently published in The Magazine. So with Heather taking the photos and Susan editing them, we had that department covered quite nicely.


G0018319G0018348We yanked the anchor as lunch was put out, and motored around the corner to Soldier Bay, still off Norman Island. This is another new location for us, and it’s a great one. Great water color, beautiful reef, close to other swimming spots, and private. There’s lots of fan coral here. We circled the bay and spied a hawksbill turtle. Back at the Promenade, more lingering in the water. Some spotted eagle rays joined us for a minute. We reluctantly climb aboard, motor back to Tortola, banana daiquiris, shrimp and salmon dinner. Will had prepared a great slide show, and we all cheered as our favorite images from the week appeared while inspirational and swimming themed music played. Our last night aboard was ended quietly, guests, guides, and crew drifting off to sleep.




Here’s some links to gear we use on SwimVacation:


Swim Buoys:


Men’s crazy pattern swim suits: look for them under Square Leg Suits at or


Heather’s camera housing:


Waterproof lights we attache to goggles for night swims:


Computer and communications equipment: Apple


Swim Bags/Luggage: Speedo


Custom Swim Caps: Kiefer


Sunglasses: Hopper: The cheap ones from Reny’s Department Store, Bath, Maine. Will: Warby Parker


Beer: Red Stripe


Sunscreen: SafeSwim


Local Hotel: Village Cay Marina and Hotel


Quick goggle review:

I tried the TYR Special Ops Transition Goggles this week. The transitioning was a neat trick, but they fogged up quickly. I ditched them for my old standby, TYR Racetech.


See you in March!


  • Hopper