Hello LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers - This is Part Five in my British Virgin Islands adventure blogging. I will again apologize that there are currently no pictures attached to the blog - my blogger.com is being persnickety with my iPad, so when I am back home with my Mac Airbook, I will load all the corresponding pictures to these blog posts. (More reason to come back to LilyOnTheLam.com).
Monday night, my sister Squidge and I decided to make sure we both got a full night's sleep and so we took a Benadryl each. And it did the trick - we both slept like the dead. Around 9 a.m., I decided that I should probably get up and shower -- showering on a sailboat is always an interesting feat of coordination. And when you are as uncoordinated as I am, it is even more of a feat. You basically shower in the bathroom slightly larger than an airplane bathroom - using an extendable hose from the sink faucet. If you are coordinated, you can shower in a quick and easy fashion. If you are uncoordinated, you hose down the entire room like a crime scene. This is my third stay on the Yacht Promenade, so I am worlds better at showering in a small space than the very first time I did it - but I still covered the roll of toilet paper with a towel, to make sure I didn't saturate it while trying to rinse shampoo out of my hair.
The Yacht Promenade has a shower at the back of the boat - which is a lot easier to use. If I use that shower, I do it while in a swimming suit. I have been on the Yacht Promenade when others used the shower and did it naked. Since I'm not a voyeur or lesbian, I was like "Whoa! Hey! Didn't need the free show! Please warn us before you put on the naked shower show!" I should say something about how awesome it is for people to be in tune with their bodies in such a manner that they can get naked in front of strangers without a care in the world. But instead I'll say "EWWWWW!" Lucky for me, no one on this current charter has shown any interest in public nudity.
While getting dressed I heard the bell being rung twice - which is how the crew signals meals. I was confused because I thought the Yacht Promenade no longer served a hot breakfast and instead did a more continental breakfast type open offering.
If you're not a regular LilyOnTheLam.com reader, I will clue you in on a simple fact ... I love food. My credit card bill and my waistline both attest to this heartily. So naturally I was curious as to what was going on with the breakfast situation when I heard the two bell ring.
Well the crew outdid themselves - lovely French toast, sausage, a wide variety of sliced fresh fruits, yogurt, toast, etc. Squidge was still asleep in a Benadryl coma, but I knew she would not want to miss the French toast. I jumped downstairs to our cabin and gave her a shake and said "French Toast!!" Squidge came out groggy in her pajamas, but awake enough to top a piece of French Toast with bananas and Nutella. Her breakfast looked so good that she inspired Miss B to go downstairs and create her own Nutella-Banana French Toast. Squidge is a trend setter!
After breakfast, I thought Squidge might go back to sleep - but then I heard a SPLASH! Squidge had changed into her bikini and jumped off the side of the boat. Her first words - "This water is SALTY!" We are spoiled and more used to Hawaii and its less salty-tasting waters! Squidge did some laps around the side of the boat while I chose to lay on the appropriately named "Bimbo Mat" (a cushioned mat on the bow of the boat) and read my book ("The Secret Race" by Tyler Hamilton and Dan Coyle - about blood doping and the Tour De France.)
One of our charter mates (Miss D) nwas doing her first SCUBA dive in the BVI - her deepest dive had been 15 feet and now she was going to work her way to 60 feet. We cheered her on as Captain Chad - a Dive Master - took Miss D out for her dive.
Squidge came back on the boat to convince me that I needed to be swimming too - so we counted 1-2-3 and both jumped off the side of the boat. Squidge was right - this water is SALTY! The current was strong. At first we let it just take us where we wanted, but then I had the "smart" idea of swimming to the front of the boat and swimming inbetween the hulls of the trimaran. This meant we had to swim against the current to get to the front of the boat. I felt like one of those SkyMall ads for a tiny 6 foot pool where you swim against a generated current - never moving forward. But eventually after much paddling, we made it to the front of the boat and swam underneath the boat inbetween the hulls. The white underbelly of the Yacht Promenade cast a glowing baby blue reflection on the crystal clear water below. The lighting made me think of a Hollywood movie - the soft glow of an alien spaceship landing upon Earth. Squidge and I laughed as we swam underneath the full length of the boat in this baby blue glow. Our voices echoed against the bottom of the trimaran. Once we appeared at the other end of the boat, I shouted - "Now let's swim between the hulls on the other side!" And we repeated our alien landing-esque travels.
We bobbed along - naturally buoyant in the salty water and enjoying the warm BVI sun. Unlike the previous day, there was not a gray cloud in sight. Just green rolling hills, schools of baby fishes and incredibly crystal clear waters. This is what relaxation and vacation is all about.
After swimming, it was lunchtime. Crew Member Jessica put out a lovely buffet-- a green salad with a tangy balsamic dressing, fresh baked rolls, deli meats, cheeses, the most amazing melty delicious Brie, salami and a marble pound cake for dessert. Evidently the salt water kickstarted my appetite into high gear because I demolished a huge plate of food.
After lunch, it was more tanning and reading as Captain Chad steered us from Little Harbour to the outside of Peter Island. A large catamaran named the Lolalita called out to us to see if we were leaving, because they wanted to take our prime anchored spot in Little Harbour if we were. Lucky for them, we were leaving and they quickly took our great spot.
As we approached the outer edge of Peter Island, I looked up at the beautiful blue roofs of the Peter Island Resort. I have been to the resort's lobby bar and also their gift shop. It is a lovely resort and if I ever win the lottery, I would like to stay there! Our divers got their SCUBA gear ready, while Crew Member Felix inflated "The Power Lounger." Miss B, Squidge and I would be spending the afternoon "power-lounging." Crew Member and Dive Master Jessica took Miss M and Miss D out for a dive. Captains Bazza, Kerry and Chad took Miss E in the small boat ("The Buoy Boy") out to another dive site. Crew Member Felix stayed onboard the Yacht Promenade to make sure the 3 Power Loungers didn't get into any trouble.
The "Power Lounger" is a large inflated ring with several chairs and cupholders. There is netting in the middle that makes like a small mini tub. Felix tied the lounger to a long rope line attached to the Yacht Promenade. Miss B, Squidge and I entered the Power Lounger with an MP3 player and a cooler of drinks and we set about "lounging." The winds were on the stronger side, so we were moved back and forth by the current while the warm afternoon sun shone down upon us. I bought a hot pink rash zippered rash guard from Land's End to keep me from frying in the sun. Squidge covered herself in SPF 50 and alternated bundling up in a beach towel with getting full sun. Our methods worked - neither of us burned. We enjoyed sitting on the Power Lounger talking with Miss B, drinking Ginger Beer and listening to a variety of tunes Captain Chad had put together for us on the MP3 Player. Did I happen to mention that you get very spoiled on the Yacht Promenade? The crew makes sure you are well taken care of ... it is a delight!
We lounged powerfully until 5 p.m. - when the need for the bathroom facilities took over. We called out to Felix and he grabbed the rope line and towed us back over to the boat. (Did I say we were spoiled? Yep, Felix even helped us out of the Power Lounger!) Jessica had put out garlic hummus with a selection of dippers. Ahhhh cocktail hour!
We changed clothes and then took our books back to the trampoline to read and watch the sunset. The clouds turned pinkish-yellow with the sunset -- and words cannot describe the sheer beauty. Squidge and I stopped reading to watch the sun make its final descent and we took time to appreciate how lucky we were to be here in the British Virgin Islands.
The wind started to pick up and a slight chill came into the air. We went inside to get short-sleeved cardigans when the dinner bell rang. Tonight's meal - fat buttery shrimp, a creamy pasta with chicken and mushrooms and "Carrots Charlie" - a recipe from Miss B (carrots with butter and parsley). We all sat down to enjoy the great meal when all of a sudden we heard this ZINGING noise. We all whipped around to look to see what was going on -- Captain Bazza had placed a fishing rod in the water before dinner and we got a bite! And by the sound of the fishing line being spun out, we had a BIG ONE on the line. Captain Bazza sprung into action and began the delicate dance that is reeling in big game. We suspected it was a shark given the fight that was being put up. We all watched in anticipation as Captain Bazza deftly maneuvered the rod and reel. Squidge helped position a large flashlight on the water - and there was the shiny white image of a shark.
Felix climbed down on to the platform and helped bring the shark up. I stood about 8 feet away - close enough to take pictures, not close enough to lose a foot! Felix lassoed the shark around its tail and they lifted it up. I was waiting for the shark to snap up and take a bite out of one us. I grabbed Squidge and practically lifted her over several feet - all I could think was how badly my Mother would kill me if my sister was hurt in any way by this shark. Pretty much my Mother would cut me up and feed ME to sharks if anything happened to Squidge - her baby.
Captain Chad videoed the shark. Captain Bazza invited guests to come up and feel the shark's skin. Squidge, much braver than I, went up and touched the shark's belly. The closest I would get is four feet!
After touching the shark, Squidge sat down about five feet from the shark to watch the rest of the action. I was taking pictures and called out to her to turn to face me so I could get a picture of her with the shark in the background. Squidge barked that she would NOT turn around because she was not going to turn her back on a shark! Evidently Squidge felt safer if she was staring down the beady black-eyed male shark.
Captain Bazza and Felix worked to remove the hook from the shark and then released him back to the ocean unharmed. This was some dinner theater entertainment for the Yacht Promenade!! We went back to our dinner, with hearts racing and adrenaline pumping! Jessica brought out delicious turtle pie - the perfect ending to our Shark Night dinner!
After dinner, Felix baited the fishing lines and Squidge took her place at the back of the boat determined to catch a fish. Felix caught two fish and Squidge was not happy. She was very tired and this no bites on her line deal was excruciating. But she stuck it out and soon there was tension on her line. She began reeling in the fish - and then with Felix's help - she pulled out the biggest fish (except for the shark, which isn't a fish anyway!) that was caught that night! Squidge was happy to have her picture taken with the fish, but I suspect she was also happy because now she could go to bed!
The cooler air and strong winds meant that we did not need to run the air conditioning on the boat. We opened the ceiling hatch in our cabin and let the sea-washed air sweep into our cabin and the rush of the water lull us to sleep. Another great day on the Yacht Promenade in the British Virgin Islands!