Monday, March 19, 2012

Sailing in the British Virgin Islands Day 1 - Norman Island

We've often talked about repeating vacations that we've really loved, but until now we never have. There are so many places we want to go and so many things we want to do that it has never seemed practical to do something twice when uncharted territory beckons.

But after saying all that, here we are in the BVI, the British Virgin Islands. Fifteen years ago we came here with Phil, Gail, Stephanie and Becca. Sarah and Becca were 14, Stephanie was 12, and Daniel was eleven.

We came here for two weeks. We had never ocean-sailed before, so the first week (at my insistence) we had a captain, and the second week we did by ourselves. We learned a lot, had a wonderful time, and made memories that will last a lifetime.

But it's really funny what I remember and what has entirely slipped my mind. On our first day out we are moored at The Bight on Norman Island. The BVI consists of a string of small islands and pretty much lives to service vacationers, both in sailboats and on resorts. I don't really remember this island very well, but today when we went snorkeling at the caves I suddenly remembered snorkeling right here. In my memory the snorkeling in the BVI was just incredible, with vivid colorful coral everywhere we went. Unfortunately the coral in the BVI has died off a lot in fifteen years, just like about everywhere else in the world. It's pretty sad, although there still are bits of color here and there, and as always, the tropical fish are beautiful.

We have a newer, nicer boat this time, with 3 staterooms, two bathrooms, and "real" showers. We are sailing with our friends Sally and Doug, and their high school and college-age children, Sadie and Douglas. So far we are getting along well and are having a great time.

Everyone else went off to hike around on the island, but I stayed behind to take a shower and write a little in this blog. That blue, blue Carribean water is all around me, a sea of boats happily bobbing on their moorings, facing into the wind.

When we were here before it was late June, and hot. Our boat didn't have aircon and things could get pretty stuffy. I think I remember some children actually sleeping outside on some nights.

This time it is early March, and sometimes the breeze is chilly, and the water was kind of cold when we were snorkeling. I don't think we're going to need the aircon on this boat!

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