Noon today found us pool side at Village Cay Marina Hotel. A lovely long table in the shade. Slowly they gathered - our guests for this week's SwimVacation. Nancy and Tom are SwimVacation alums - Nancy has been to the BVI with us, and both Nancy and Tom joined us in Maine with Nancy's kids. We met each other with a flying hug. We have Sara and Charles from the UK, who, in spite of jet lag, arrived in great cheer. Lizzie and Tom have come from San Francisco. Lizzie is 6 1/2 months pregnant and is glowy and super fit. Natalie is a teacher from Colorado and already had an amazing adventure is a local church by the time we met her. Kendra is young and easy going. She's fast and will keep us on our toes this week. Carter has been with us before and makes me laugh too much for my own good. Chris is such a good friend from home I get momentarily confused about where I am when I see him in the group! So this great pod of swimmers relaxes into easy conversation, gels almost instantly, and I know we're going to have a great week getting to know each other.
Boat living is a special sort of thing. It makes you realize just how little stuff and space you need to actually be comfortable. I love showing new guests to their cabins aboard Promenade. Many come to us having never lived on a boat before. I see their eyes get wide as they duck into the cockpit, look to the bow through a maze of lines, take the few steps down into their cabins. They imagine themselves tucked into these cozy births, quite spacious by boat standards, but much more space efficient than your typical queen size bed. Here's what I know - by mid day Tuesday, they'll all be moving fluidly around this boat, having made it their home. When most charters end, our guests have trouble walking away.
We devoured a great lunch of frittata, quinoa and fresh spinach salad expertly prepared by Rebecca, a chef new to us on SwimVacation. I am amazed that she has put out this amazing spread from her tiny galley amid boxes and boxes of fresh produce. We are a full full boat this week and heavily provisioned. It took extra time to figure out where to even store all the food on board. Eat up SwimVacationers, Rebecca needs some counter space! We'll be sure to work up their appetites.
We crossed the channel to Peter Island, specifically Little Harbour, where we most often make our first swim. We eased into a talk about the week's activities ahead. Covered some safety procedures, then did a quick sighting and navigation clinic. Without much hesitation, our group took the plunge, one at a time. They all seemed perfectly at home on splash down.
We made a great swim west along the cliff face, to the point and back. We all stopped a few times to meet up and check in on one another - this group is solid. Wildlife round up: one turtle, a few tarpon, a huge school of silversides and a few little flamingo tongues. Little Harbour always treats us right.
Back on board to a pitcher of Pain killers and some light appetizers. More easy conversation. I've been throwing information at these kids all day so it was nice to let them socialize and relax. Chad moved the boat to Great Harbour where we'll make our first swim tomorrow morning.
Dinner was fish, potatoes and aubergine (which is much much fancier than eggplant). Kendra just had a birthday and we celebrated with cake. The cake was so good that soon our new friends were claiming birthdays for the rest of the week.
Our 10 guests sat around the table for a while after the meal, chatting and relaxing into this scene. I gave everyone a heads up for 730 am swim time in the morning - no one complained so we'll stick to it. One by one they ambled off to bed and now the ship is still so I'm thinking they're all tucked in and sound asleep.
On her way to bed, Natalie poked her head down into the salon where I am editing in writing.
"Thank you for such a great day! Do I have to leave at the end of the week?"
Sounds like someone is feeling pretty at home already. Hang on Natalie, tomorrow will be even better.
There's a nice breeze here in Great Harbour tonight. We've shut down the generator and will sleep in the quiet. There's a gentle rocking here at our mooring. Perfect conditions for a great night's rest.