The day began early for some, as they left their beds for a sunrise walk up to the top of Peter Island. I stayed in bed a bit longer, but I hear it was well worth the trip. Joanne and Kelli have been doing a nice job with our breakfast spread, lots of fruit, hard boiled eggs, breads, spreads. Bananas don’t last long around here. We jumped in for our morning swim at White Bay, choosing a deepwater route. At the end we did a buoy turn clinic. I’ve learned my technique from the dozens of awesome guides and swimmers we’ve had on SwimVacation: roll toward the buoy onto your back, a stroke, roll toward the buoy onto your front, repeat if necessary. It’s fast and can boost you a couple of places in an open water race.
During our swim, I was thinking about our next destination, and it dawned on me that we were headed past Dead Chest Island. Aha! An opportunity for a special swim! Sometime in the early 1700s, legend has it that Blackbeard the Pirate dumped 15 of his mutinous crew on waterless, desolate Dead Chest with only a bottle of rum and a pistol with one bullet. They chose to attempt to swim to Peter Island, and all but one of them drowned, washing up in what is now known as Dead Man’s Bay. The Pirate who survived the crossing was named Peter.
We had a much easier time of it, though when we jumped in the number of jellyfish was somewhat alarming. They all stayed a few feet below us, though, and once you got used to seeing them, they were beautiful company. The obligatory kaleidoscope of butterflies followed us, as well. Very much alive, we crawled out of the swell and back onto Promenade for a light lunch. A huge green turtle watched us, I imagining he was also eating lunch: jellyfish. They love them.
Leaving Peter Island for the first time this trip, we headed to Salt Island Bay. Before refrigeration, this place was very important for trade ships about to cross the Atlantic, as all of their meat had to be salted. The salt ponds are still here, as are the graves of the 147 souls lost on The RMS Rhone, whose wreck we were about to swim to.
In 1867, a hurricane slammed into the BVIs, and The Rhone wound up slamming into Salt Island, exploding, and sinking in fairly shallow water. It makes a fascinating thing to swim over, much better than the black line most of us follow in our pools back home. On the way there, the sun was in our eyes and the current was against us, so our return was the opposite and sublime. Our 3rd swim of the day ended with octopus sightings, hundred year old sea glass collecting, and a frozen mango cocktail. Not too shabby. Dinner and dancing commenced, SwimVacation is in full swing!!!!