This past week was a gift. John and I had the privilege of joining family and friends for a week- long catamaran trip through the British Virgin Islands. We experienced fabulous food, new places to explore, natural beauty, the excitement of wind in our sails and a community of 13 compatible people from age 20 to 77 (guess who!)
Vibrant colors were a part of each day: Caribbean aqua and deep blue, white and grey clouds against a light blue sky, bright yellow, orange and pink homes nestled in green hills
The food our crew chef prepared for us was also a rainbow of colors, starting in the morning with large platters of bananas, papaya, oranges, grapes, guava, kiwi, and pineapple, and charcuterie boards of white feta, golden Gouda and salamis. Lunchtime would always include a colorful salad of one sort or another, from spinach with yellow, green and orange pepper slices to Asian slaw.
Each meal was a fun surprise and always tasty…how about breakfast plantain/banana pancakes with chocolate chips (!); appetizer skewers of tortellini, mozzarella, tomato and rosemary; hamburgers with grilled pineapple and guacamole; beer bread; and a dessert called Margarita Bites. And then there were all those creatively named Island cocktails…Blue Lagoon, Painkiller and Stoned Iguana.
Of the islands we visited, Anegada—long and flat, its highest point being 28 feet—was one of our favorites. Some of us drove from beach to bar to beach in an open pick-up truck-bus, dodging a cow here, a goat there. Another favorite was Peter Island where we anchored in a calm cove for snorkeling, paddle boarding, tubing, noodling and watching a large iguana slowly walk on the rocky shore. On Virgin Gorda we joined other boaters at a show of a pirate-garbed entertainer. Aargh.
The crew, two young men from South Africa and a young woman from the U.S., was superb, taking good care of us and our boat-home. There were many opportunities for stimulating conversations and laughter, as well as quiet alone time for simply enjoying the soothing motion of the boat or watching the hoisting and positioning of the sails.
I didn’t buy any souvenirs on this trip, but there were many takeaways: a deep sense of gratitude for being with 12 vibrant people in beautiful island territory, motivation to stretch out of my comfort zone while knowing my limits, and a desire to explore more of this incredible planet.