Surprise, Swell.




I detest the predictable, the routine. Maybe that’s why I love the ocean. No matter how many marine forecasts you look at, mother ocean does what she wants.

We woke up in Salt Bay, off of Salt Island. For centuries, mariners used salt from the ponds here to cure their food for long voyages. We have a refrigerator, so we skipped the salt part.  We moved on to Virgin Gorda, named by Christopher Columbus for the fact that the island looks like a, ummmmm full figured woman lying on her side. His voyages were long, so let’s forgive him this little slip.  We made our way to a spot just off shore from a famous area called The Baths. We’ve developed a swim here that’s similar to mountain biking. It has boulders, terrain, tight spaces. There was a decent size swell building, but our guests charged into it with no fear. I overheard guest Jean saying “i want to swim between the rocks more!!” as she and guide Will swam into the froth. I couldn’t have been more proud.


After our swim through the massive granite boulders, we hiked through them on shore. I’ve done this hike/scramble on six occasions at least, but I love it more every time. Back on the Promenade, Chef Mo put out an amazing lunch of blackened grouper, potatoes, and salad. We spent the next 3 hours trying to find a place to hide from the surprise swell, motoring up to mountain point, then to Guana Island, where we found refuge at Monkey Point.  Will, Heather, and I took the dinghy out to scout a swim course. Real guide stuff.

Our evening swim was an out-and back, followed by a photo session with Heather. She got some great shots, really unique stuff. Happy hour arrived, then shrimp stir fry, then some games. The Promenade is rocking and rolling as I write this. More adventures planned for tomorrow.

- Hopper


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