Whew. i have been steeping my thoughts about this vacation just past and have been trying to absorb, or more, digest all that I have experienced. i have decided that here and now, i will not bore you with my log or itinerary of all the places we visited. We sailed daily, land was always in sight and there was always something incredible to see.
Instead, here are some memories and reflections i gathered from being in the British Virgin Islands:
- There is no need for an alarm clock or a watch for that matter. No matter how many times you look at the barometer and despite how familiar and round its shape, it will never tell you what time it is.
- Your days are set by a slow, natural rhythm that begins with the daily 7 am rain shower pelting you gently in the face as you dream. This will start you awake and begin the fire drill of closing cabin hatches. Then, you cook breakfast. Apply sunscreen. Secure items. Set sail. Snack all the way there. Moor, anchor or catch a slip in a large harbor. Prepare Lunch. Apply more sunscreen. Take a dinghy out to snorkel, shop, or take photos on the nearby island. Come back to the boat. Shower. Apply more sunscreen just in case. Prepare Dinner or have it on the nearby island. Commence drinking. Listen to music, tell stories and laugh late into the nite. Peel off your swimwear, and linen. Sleep. Wait for the punctuating 7 am rain. Repeat this for 8 glorious days, and increase the level of consumption and imbibement as the days continue.
- Brain Coral are beautiful and remind us very much of ourselves and our potential. Squirrelfish are cute and red and shiny with big eyes. A school of squid will ink when startled under water which will subsequently make you giggle into your snorkel and elbow your neighboring swimmer. Female Parrotfish are just as lovely and shiny as their male counterparts. Turtles can swim faster than you, but they are still a joy to follow after.
- Scraping french fries, coleslaw and a half eaten cheeseburger off the dock of a floating restaurant will conjure a heavy flock of Laughing Gulls and a feeding frenzy of fish. Big Fish. And fish eat chips. Oh . . . and Barracuda eat cheeseburgers. Whole.
- When dining out, cats and dogs will dine with you tableside or in your lap. Just like at home. Go to these wonderful and wise places where for a short spell, you can stop missing your pets.
- All fans installed on a boat in the cabins are soft and plastic so that you may not be struck in the head when lurching about or on the hand when reaching blindly in the dark. Once the proper amount of grog (with Pusser’s Rum) has been drunk (that is to say, * ambicubus is drunk) one is brave enough to stop the blades with one’s tongue. We have video of this magnificent feat.
- Expect to lose one or more items to Davy Jones’ Locker. Zoey watched helplessly as a pair of her blue jeans plinked off the railing and sailed off into the sunset, clothespins and all. i personally deep-sixed my favorite sunglasses.
- i have never jumped off a small boat and swam ashore to a beach. i have never done it while toting a dry box camera case by pushing it in front of me. i may never do it again, without the aid of swim fins.
- There is no such thing as too much mango. in the BVIs, i landed in my imagined culinary paradise. Mango chutney, chicken wrapped with mango, conch fritters and spicy mango dipping sauce, mango and guava juice drink, mango ice cream, mango daiquiris. Mango. Large, lovely, unadulterated, skinned and ready to eat. Mmmmmm. Mango.
- As with any “foreign” place, cab rides are exciting to the point of terrifying. You will laugh about it later, as you always do, after having narrowly escaped harm.
- There are small travesties even in the best possible circumstances – PMS and alcohol is a dangerous cocktail. In close quarters, regrettable things can and will be said, beautiful surroundings notwithstanding. User beware and by all means, behave. Apologize in the morning with a stack of happy, fluffy cloud-like pancakes.
- You will learn much about yourself, your friends, and what it is to work, play, eat and sleep as a group. Compromise is essential. Laughter and honesty are perfect salves.
- Never underestimate the power and the importance of a daily afternoon nap in a cool, dark place.
- Take these things NOT for granted: the health of your skin; taking a meal with people you care about; the abundance of water; the taste of wine in a place you never thought possible; the many beautiful things there are to behold in one day; a hot shower in an open space.
- No. Those are not sharks in the water. Nite life includes white Rays who float gently alongside the boat like ghostly visitors.
- You think you have seen all the stars. You haven’t. Not until now. Not until this nite.
- The tides of “time away” and “time well spent” and “time to return” wear gently away at your shoreline of reality until you are bare skinned and acutely aware . . . and when sea sickness subsides, home sickness floods in gently to take its place.
Her name was CARINA, and she sailed for us finely.
i have pictures to prove all of this . . .