Monday Funday

First, a list of mysterious sounding events. I'll describe in detail later.

  • Spiny Lobster SUP Hood Ornament
  • Anchor lost to Peoria, Illinois
  • Monster Cookies
  • Zombie Pirate Swim
  • Guidetizers
  • Night Swim Phosphorescence

We woke up anchored in Great Harbour, Peter Island. Our first swim was along this great reef that rings the harbour. I use the "u" in Harbour because we are in the BRITISH virgin Islands, and because it sounds fancy. This reef has been recovering from a bleaching event (coral damage caused by high water temp over an extended period of time) that occurred in the late 90s. The fish are back and the swimming is fine. It was my turn to pull the SUP (Stand up paddleboard) behind me today. We've recently begun using it

as a safety device on the recommendation of guide Dave. I quickly spied a molted shell from a huge spiny lobster and stuck it on the SUP as a hood ornament.

Preswim briefing. Spiny lobster hood ornament. Hopper searches (in vain) for the old anchor.

Before the swim, I told everyone that our turnaround point would be a big rusty anchor at the end of the harbour that we use for this purpose every year. It's probably been sitting there for 150 years. When we got to the spot, it was gone. My guess is that it's sitting in some guy's backyard in Peoria, Illinois. If you are this person, and you are reading this, please bring the anchor back to the islands. Thanks.

Back aboard the Promenade, we opened up the Monster Cookies and cranberry scones. These were made, packaged, and brought all the way here from Texas by guest Linda. Her friend Shawn brought drink cozies hand knitted from reclaimed wool sweaters. Texas women are resourceful.

Linda goes above and beyond with her brought from Texas treats. Guide Dave is stylish on his head and in the galley.

Greg snorkels around Dead Man's Bay. Admiral Kerry always busy in the water with camera.

The winds were still very calm after our swim, so we set a course for Dead Man's Bay, on the other side of Peter Island. It's called Dead Man's Bay because sometime in the 1760s, the notorious pirate Edward Teach, AKA Blackbeard, left 15 of his mutinous crew on a small island just 1/2 mile from Peter Island, called Dead Chest Island. He left them with only a keg of rum and a pistol with one bullet. With no food or water, they decided to swim across a deep channel with lots of currents and rough water for Peter Island. But Pirates never learned to swim (their excuse was not wanting to be left treading water for days if their ship went down). So all 15 of them drowned, many washing up in what is now known as Dead Man's bay. We decided to honor the memory of these scalawags by swimming back to Dead Chest from Peter Island, calling it the Zombie Pirate Swim. Our crew performed brilliantly swimming across this deep channel. Guests Greg and Patty kept a fast pace, and most of us were greeted by a Hawksbill Turtle when we reached the island.

Greg before our epic Zombie Pirate Swim, Patty, Shawn and Linda are very happy post swim Zombies.

After a steak dinner, guide Dave broke out the swimmer strobe lights. We attached them to our goggles and jumped into the inky black water for a1/2 mile or so swim to our little Dinghy, where deckhand Felix was waiting. The phosphorescence was amazing. It started to rain, hard. This was SwimVacation's first night swim. It will not be the last.

- Hopper

PS. Hopper left out the explanation for Guidetizers: After our Zombie Pirate Swim we moved to a secluded cove around the back of Salt Island. Kerry highly recommended the beach for combing. Some guests swam there and some went by Dinghy. Guides stayed aboard Promenade to do a myriad of Guide-y things….As part of that Hopper whipped up an amazing spread of appetizers and brought them above decks, unawares that there were no guests to eat them. The three of us sat in front of these delectibles for maybe 2 minutes before digging in ourselves…..Ha ha Guidetizers! Then full bellied and feeling guilty we pushed stuff around on plates to obfuscate our transgression before the guests return and promptly polished them off. Tee hee!

Our days and nights are full aboard this boat and in this sea. Guides and guests alike are rising to the offerings of SwimVacation. Bring it, Tuesday!