Week Two - Welcome Aboard






Hopper here. The first half of day one is bossy. We get bossed by the yacht owners, we in turn have to be bossy to our new guests with orations on how to flush the toilets and how to stay safe and healthy during their SwimVacation. Pick up our guests from the dock at Village Cay Marina in our dinghy, I realize that, as they step on the mushy side of the little boat and it rocks as it accepts their weight, most of them are leaving solid ground and into the world of water and boats for the first time in perhaps several years. One of the first things we do is to give a brief seasick avoidance talk. I don't want to give away any secrets, but let's just say it involves ginger beer and not looking into anyone else's eyes when you talk to them for awhile. We zip across the channel. Dolphins are sighted. I point out the islands we will be visiting. We get to Mountain Point on Virgin Gorda, and in what has become a slightly perverse ice-breaking ritual, I don a speedo 2 sizes too small with "who rocks?" on the front and "I rock" on the

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back, and swim the stern line to shore, wrapping it around a large boulder.



Hopper swims the stern line to shore. Rocks it.

Guests Hank and Carol are back for a second trip. Having repeating guests aboard is a real plus; the new guests pick up subtle cues from them or something, I'm not sure exactly how it works, but it's nice. They're from South Carolina, have 3 great kids and like swimming in the ocean together. I met Hank in Utah while whitewater rafting. He noticed my SwimVacation t-shirt, and asked me what I knew about it. Luckily, we got on the same raft and I literally had a captive audience for 2 hours. He could either listen to my suave marketing pitch, or jump in the upper Colorado River, which was 39 degrees.

Hank & Carol, Janie & Hopper, Amy & Yafa all enjoy our motor to Mountain Point.

Splash around swim time. We do this so guests can get acquainted with the salt water - the buoyancy, the clarity. Heather was hoisted up the mast to take some photos. The wind whipped her around a little, and she squealed a couple of times. Captain Bazza laughed. More bossiness as Heather had us swim around the yacht.

Our first real swim brought us along a fabulous shallow reef with lots of elk horn coral, ending a a sheer rock wall that has taken a beating for the past million years

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leaving a cool grotto called the Moon Pool, accessed by an underwater swim through a rock tunnel. Hank was the only guest that partook, the rest wisely saving their breath for tomorrow and the rest of the week. We swam around the next rock outcrop to a huge crack in the cliff wall. Waves surge into the crack, which goes back more than 100 feet, then trap a pocket of air, which rushes back out and creates a thundery, earthquaky boom. It makes you feel insignificant swimming there, the big sea behind you, this massive thundering rock in front of you.

Three - time client Mark does a little butterfly to celebrate his return to the BVI. Hank makes it in to the Moon Pool.

Back to the yacht for dark and stormies, which were a bit strong for our guests I fear. Sadly, some were left untouched so I took one for the team and finished them. I wonder if that had anything to do with me burning all the hair on the back of my right hand as I lit the grill. Anyway, steaks came out pretty good, gulped down by the guests, none of whom showed any signs of seasickness, travel fatigue, or any worries in general.

Yafa dives in.


- Hopper