Monday, March 31, 2014

What I Would Have Written if I Could Have

Last week I spent an unexpected 8 days sailing the Caribbean on a catamaran. With barely time enough to get flights and pack, my husband and I left our kids and the winter that would not end for a week in the sun with friends. It was crazy, spontaneous, glorious... and a world away.

With no phone, no internet, no connection to anything on land, I discovered that the constant buzzing in my head began to still, and for the first time in a very, very long time, I found quiet.

Still - 8 days without social media left a few things unsaid, so here they are - the statuses I would have put on facebook had I had facebook on the boat... my vacation in a nutshell.


Thursday 3:30am: Momentarily I wonder, as my alarm goes off, if anywhere is worth going at this time of morning.

Thursday 7:30am: In Miami. I'm down to short sleeves. I decide getting up in the middle of the night was totally worth it.

Thursday Noon:  We literally walk out of the Charlotte Amalie airport, across the street, onto a beach, and into a boat. Best commute ever.

No Internet. Don't send help.

Dolphins off the bow! I'm told this is a good omen. As if the 84 degree weather, turquoise water, Asian shrimp, fresh mangoes, and rum punch waiting upon arrival weren't enough.

First Sunset. Not too shabby.

Daily routine established: Wake up. Snorkel. Breakfast. Snorkel. Sail. Snorkel. Lunch. Sail. Anchor. Sunset cocktails. Dinner.

It's been three days since I've had a pair of shoes on my feet or seen a clock. I'm strangely okay with this.

First time setting foot on land. Off to see the petraglyphs, which, as it turns out, are writings on stone. Who coulda guessed? Also, this stone wall reminds me of Robert Frost... good fences make good neighbors. Wondering who, two hundred years ago, needed a wall between them and a neighbor.

As seen on a school near the dock. Obviously schools in the Caribbean keep their standards reasonable.

Holy Mother of Honey!! That is a bee's nest!!

My favorite fish so far is a Sergeant Major, but I can never remember the name so I just call him Captain Morgan.

Hunting for shells in the Conch Graveyard.

Not a surprising discovery: I am as ungraceful on water as I am on land.

Serenity Now!!

Whales!!! We've gone all Ahab on them and are on the chase!

Drinking mojitos, watching the sunset, dancing around the deck to "Happy."

Dock Rock: Looking drunk without the alcohol.

Dingy Damp... this is a thing.

I've decided I could live in an aquarium. Not the building. The actual aquarium.

Bay-to-bay in a dingy in the black of night - never have there been so many stars!

Pelicans off the starboard side! If you want to live, jump in my mouth...

Turns out I can't read my Nook with sunglasses, and I can't see without sunglasses. Good thing the boat is FULL of hardback books!! I've been buried for two days in The Climb... a book about Everest. Because nothing says enjoying the Caribbean like people dying of frostbite.

I never ever ever get tired of this.

 Or this:

Our last day.. .we've anchored for the night.  I've finished The Climb and traded it for Lost at Sea by Patrick Dillon. It's a book about two boats that went missing in the 80s when they sunk. I've been told now is a safe time to read it.

Sitting in the bay with the chatter of the radio like white noise and suddenly we hear an SOS. A literal SOS. And a Coast Guard report that a sailboat is sinking not far from us, and help is needed. Must be time to head home.

Heading home. Goodbye beautiful water.


  1. What fun! Love the pictures. How wonderful you were able to get away.

    1. Thanks, Kathryn! The amount of times my husband and I have been away alone since the kids were born can be counted on less than one hand, so this was truly a treat!

  2. Oh my, I'd love to go days without shoes on my feet. What a great way to spend your anniversary. It was your anniversary, right? I'm so jealous of the dolphins and whales, the snorkeling I'm not so sure. I have this thing about putting my face in the water, which is something I need to get over if I expect to go on any tropical vacations. Glad you had a great time.

    1. Patti - I'm scared of water. I nearly drowned once, and I am very fearful and often panicky in water. The snorkel I have has a stopper on it, so if it goes under the water, it plugs up (so you don't breathe in the water), and every time I lifted my head to look for Todd or clear my mask, the snorkel went back and underwater, and I couldn't breathe. The only way to breathe again was to put my head back in the water - which was VERY counter-intuitive! But I learned! By the end of the trip, I was absolutely loving being under water as much as possible. So... you can do it, too! :)

  3. ohhhhhhhh.... this was so beautiful (and the comments so charming) I can't even feel jealous. Thank you for sharing!!!

    (You were in a much warmer place than I was last week, haha!)

    1. Your trip was pretty fabulous in its own right, and your pictures were so fun! I had a tremendous amount of guilt when we decided to go... it is the kind of luxury we just never indulge in, and in a place so beautiful, I felt weird about telling people. But the fact is, we all have our own "things" that are drool-worthy. Once, I got to swim with a sting ray. And you've gotten to hang with rockers. But the thing we both have that's the most envious are husbands we love and are proud of. :)