Yes, you read that correctly. Our family of four traveled to St.Thomas, then ferried to Road Town, BVI, and thought we would have a few hours to tour around Road Town before meeting up with the Jones. We walked 100 yards and see Kaylee coming out of a store with her grandparents. It was quite funny.
The next day we sailed from Road Town to Leverick Bay in a wind that had the boat heeling in rough waters, which made me thankful for Dramamine almost immediately. We did stop for a snorkel on Salt Island, which was the first of several “jump in and swim” opportunities that were delightful and amazing. Fish with colors I could only dream of seeing in my lifetime. Coral that National Geographic had covered in pictures. A barracuda under a dilapidated dock, seemingly uninterested in our party of seven. Welcome to your vacation.
Sure, we had issues. A child sick in the back seat of our car due to a nervous stomach. Another child who was sick to her stomach around day 4 due to heat and motion. Moments of nausea and frustration with kiddos. Sleeping on a rocking surface for a week. 3 days without a shower and the smells that ensued.
However, overshadowing all of those issues was the graciousness of our hosts. They fed us, and fed us, and fed us. They warned of waves the night before our first sail and recommended to “pre-game” the Dramamine. Ken jumped in for lost glasses and a lost plate. (Proud moment: I did beat him to jumping in for a hat that was lifted by a wind gust off of my head.) Their flexibility and inclusion of our family in theirs immediately. We invaded their space for a week, and they acted like it was just a normal day on the boat. Kaylee shared everything, and our girls played their hearts out daily.
I also didn’t realize how much of the sailing life had been engrained in my vocabulary until I told my mom on the phone earlier last week that we had to get the cat “out of stowage”. Now rolling up car windows is “closing the hatches”. I also know now that anchoring, docking, and mooring are all very different.
I am so thankful to my hubby (who organized all of the details and made the journey happen), the Jones family on Aqua Vida for their graciousness, and to our girls who took everything in and enjoyed the ride. I could not be more proud of our girls stepping out of their comfort zones to tackle a journey that isn’t your average trip, yet would prove stretching and challenging in lots of great ways. They practiced flexibility, which is what we’ve been talking about for years. I don’t know yet if they quite understand just how unique this trip was, and yet I think we will be telling and retelling stories for a very long time.
As for me, I will eternally be grateful for the Jones’ willingness to have us and will remember the journey for a very long time. Once my sea legs go away, I will remember it even more fondly as the trip that stretched me too.
To Aqua Vida, Pepper, Vagabond, and Abby Singer: May the winds carry you all to your next destination safely, and may you continue to enjoy the adventure. When you arrive back on land, you all have a place to stay and rest with us.
And who knows, we may drop in again in the future…..