Preparing for Takeoff


Friday: Pre Departure DCIM101GOPRO

All things electronic, mechanical, biological, and meteorological know when I’m away or about to go away to work a SwimVacation. Right now, the bathtub drain is completely clogged, the wifi is down, and the living room is torn apart, mid remodeling project. My son’s toe is smashed and bleeding. A few hours after I leave, the car batteries will conspire to die. The washing machine will revolt. Someone will get a rash. There’ll be freezing rain, and the power will go out. Luckily, my wife Cortney is prepared for these things, and is armed with stacks of bandages, backup generators, freeze dried rations, and an army of service professionals waiting for the disasters to begin.

Over at Heather’s house, the new kitten is literally clawing her way into the family, the refrigerator is empty, and her husband Dick’s car is prepared for any weather that doesn’t include any form of precipitation whatsoever. Their roof looks iffy to me.

(Heather here - the roof is fine, Hopper. The new kitten needs her final dose of worming medicine, however, and I’m nervous for Finn’s swim meet tomorrow, and OF COURSE the wifi just started to act up….ARG! Thankfully, the weather looks fine for next week here in Bath, Maine so my husband should be ok with his little car…!)





We’re headed to the British Virgin Islands tomorrow for the 19th running of this trip. We’re  bringing lots of cool gear this time. Heather has rented a new underwater camera housing that we tested yesterday. Drone Sally had a test flight earlier today, she’s recently been improved with an in-flight monitor. Heather wore her special aviation/swim goggles for this. Along with an assortment of GoPros, phones, cords, and laptops, we’re ready to capture a SwimVacation.

After so many trips, and in order to help carry some of this camera gear, I’ve learned to strip down my packing list to the bare minimum. In order of importance: passport, goggles, bathing suit, credit card. Everything else is extra.

Our guides this trip are me, Heather, and Will Thomas. Heather and I will start our 13 hour journey tomorrow at 5am. We’re both a little nervous, like before an open water race. There’s lots of moving parts to these trips, and we don’t take any details for granted. My next blog post will hopefully be from Tortola!


- Hopper