Tag Archives: Recreation

Write while away, you’ll thank yourself later!

29 Jun

Writing has always been my way of recording and remembering my traveling experiences so that I could share them later with friends, family and sometimes even strangers.

My journal has been my friend when I didn’t have one, my proof when I needed some, and my memories forever!

I would recommend everyone to travel with a journal.  When you are in the midst of experiencing your trip of a lifetime sometimes it can be burdensome to remember to pick up your pen and jot down what happened.  All I can tell you is that you will thank yourself later when you can’t recall the name of the town in the south of France you wizzed through on your tandem bicycle, or what the food was that you ate with the potato thingy in India, or who the guy was on the train in Amsterdam with the concept for a working hovercraft; he was probably on drugs.

The point is that once we return from our travels it is so easy for us to forget the little details.  Without a journal, the tidbits simply slip through the cracks of your stories told over and over to your friends.

I have revisited my journal entries countless times and I am amazed at what I had no memory of until reading my handwriting on the pages.  It truly is like reliving that experience all over again because the you that wrote those words is the you that was there!


PS:  The best journals are the unlined, spiral bound ones!!  Sometimes you have to look harder for these, but trust me, it’s worth it!


The Passenger Manifest of The Wet Spot

4 Feb

It’s time you met the passengers and crew of the SS Wet Spot!

Our boat was so new that she was still nameless.  We took it upon ourselves to grant her the name, The Wet Spot, appropriately.  She was nice and clean, smelled great,  she was fast and beautiful, but she could have used some cup holders.  This was a very important element for a crew such as ours, I can’t tell you how many beers she dumped over while she was getting wild at sea.  However, there were always plenty more.  Maybe that was her way of sneaking a sip!

1. Captain G – Avid outdoors-man, owns an engineering company by day and is a killer photographer by night (or anytime).  He was the captain of our ship, licensed and all.  Hailing from the east coast, he was raised on the water and grew up sailing.  Thank God too because he maneuvered many tight situations where I found myself holding my breath.  He did an amazing job.  Reserved at times but always on point, we were in good hands with the Captain!

2. Chuck McFlannery – Works in the esteemed industry of oil and gas in Denver.  Chuck is a very crafty guy and was voted MVP on our trip.  Anything that needed to be done or any detail that went overlooked by someone else, Chuck was on it.  We would wake up to him scrubbing the deck or find him chasing dinghies.  He was also our resident DJ with a music library out of this world.

3.  Gold Member – Owns a home automation company in Colorado with his wife DD.  He is a former professional skier.  With an amazing sense of humor, and fashion sense, he kept us entertained.  GM would also relieve the Captain from the helm and helped moor and anchor with Chuck, very important skills.

4.  The Emmy – A 29-year-old entrepreneur in transition.  It’s a gray area these days, but having started my own business in 2008 and taken a buyout from my partner in 2010, and having done other things as well, I have found my passion is travel, writing and translating.  Clearly, I have begun the traveling and writing part, and with a BA in Spanish I am launching into translating soon.  I was a late addition to this roster, but made it by the skin of my teeth…first class of course!

5.  Dakota Richwood – My travel partner and a sweetheart!  She is the owner of a successful website development and SEO company based in Colorado.  Dedicated to her business, Dakota did work while on the trip but it didn’t slow her down from being part of the action.  She and her dog, Lucky, spend split time between Denver and Vail where she puts in her ski days.  Dakota was our resident bartender, quite the necessity!  Pina Coladas were her specialty…as were rum and diets…and vodka sodas….and beers!

6.  Dark & Stormy – She is a highly educated, very technical, strong, bad ass, east coast chick.  D. Stormy had attended a sailing school at Annapolis a few years ago and was very keen on learning all she could while on this trip.  She already knew a ton, but it was great to watch her soak up more knowledge.  Currently she does sales and promotions for Captain G’s photography.   She has placed his prints on display at a well-known hotel in Aspen, CO and had connections for him in the BVIs.  Being the sailor that she is, she also relieved the Captain from the helm at times, and she did it well.

7.  DD – With a laugh to die for she was as charming as could be!  It didn’t matter what she was laughing at, as soon as we heard it it made us laugh too.  DD is Gold Member’s wife and also works with him on the home automation company in Colorado.  She made delicious meals for everyone while on board.  Sometimes she would disappear for a minute and pop up with gourmet sandwiches, an amazing salad or simply fresh-cut fruit.  Delicious!

Monday Morning Sick at Sea, Sandwich for 1 Please, and “Deliverance”

3 Feb

On Monday morning before sunrise we left the hospitable Bight of Norman and headed out to meet Peter.  The morning started out well, the usual mild hangover symptoms, but nothing I haven’t felt before, right?  Nope.  It was dark when Captain G awoke and started to motor us across the sea.  I was eager to see the sunrise so I was up shortly after he.  The whole crew managed to make it to the cockpit for the sunrise on the trip to Peter Island.  It was a beautiful sunrise and we got to see it twice.  It rose over Round Rock Island and as we passed the island the sun disappeared and then rose again, ha, two sunrises in one day!

At this point on the ride over to Peter Island I was still doing OK, but shortly after sunrise I started to feel a little funny.  I couldn’t tell if I was hungry, if I needed to visit the head, or puke.  This is a very strange feeling, not being able to tell what my body is about to do.  I quickly swallowed 2 Dramamine tablets that Dakota Richwood had in her belongings.  It didn’t seem to help enough though.  When we got to the Peter Island anchorage I was almost green.  D. Stormy promptly yelled, “We got our first puker!” as I was sitting and dangling my legs off the stern while the guys dropped anchor.  They told me that if I got in the water I would feel better because it would be just my body floating in the water and not the motion of the boat too.  As I was, ever so slowly, working on getting my flippers on and fighting back the urges to vomit, Gold Member came dashing out from behind me and jumped in the dinghy saying, “I gotta get to land!”  Without missing a beat my flippers were off and I was in that dinghy.  I was so thankful that I wasn’t the only one that wasn’t feeling so hot!

It was a beautiful beach and completely empty of any tourists.  There were a few beach chairs and a mini table.  Attendees of the dinghy were GM, Captain G, and me.  Dakota had to do some work on her computer so she stayed in the boat while D. Stormy, Chuck, and DD snorkeled to shore.  As soon as I reached land I laid on one of the beach chairs and just tried to close my eyes and breathe, it was that bad.  But at this point the Dramamine was fully in my system and I began to see the Dramamine faces!  I didn’t think much of it at the time, but since being back and talking to a few other people apparently this is a common side effect, kinda creepy.  If I opened my eyes it was fine.  I started feeling a lot better.

We spent a while on the beach, in the water, the Captain took some photos and then happened to glance at the boat…it seemed like it was drifting…out to sea…with Dakota unknowingly sitting below in the cabin.

“Gold Member, how many feet of line did you lower?”  “I dunno, 75 feet like you said.”

We continued to take some silly photos, swim and have conversations about how stupid the ending of the Lost Series was.  Then Captain looked again at the boat and at this point it was clear that it was moving farther out to sea.  The guys took the dinghy out to rescue the boat and Dakota who was still none the wiser about her movement.  After pulling the anchor up to reposition the boat, they could see that there was only about 30 feet of line that had been lowered!  An honest mistake, but one worth a few jokes.

The guys came back to shore and Dakota snorkeled over.  We all went to Peter Island Beach Club (visit this link, you’ll thank me later) for lunch and a beer, but GM decided to stay back on the beach.  As we are sitting there enjoying our turkey club sandwiches (Dakota’s favorite) and a refreshing ice-cold Carib Lager, DD looks out to the water and notices a dinghy astray.  We look back at the beach and notice that GM is not there anymore, then we look at the back of our boat and it’s missing a dinghy.  We all start laughing, but “Save-the-day-Clay” (e-hem, I mean Chuck McFlannery) was already advancing toward the water to swim out and get it.  It wasn’t close by the way.  He became a spectacle to all the guests at the Beach Club and to the locals working there, they thought he was crazy.

About half way there Chuck got picked up by the trash boat, “Deliverance.”  Bet you thought there was gonna be some kind of twisted story for that reference huh?  Deliverance escorted him to the dinghy which he then drove to the boat just as Gold Member was coming up from the kitchen after making himself a sandwich!  He was very confused as to how Chuck got in the dinghy.  It became the joke on shore that this was the second boat GM lost that day!

After all that excitement we all went back to the boat and set sail to Cooper Island for a relaxing dinner at the Cooper Island Beach Club restaurant overlooking the bay.  We all had a delicious dinner while watching the sun set on the water.  It was a nice calm end to a pretty exciting day.