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Sophisticated Lady -April 25-May 2 (Long)
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Link to this postPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 2:14 pm    Post subject: Note Sophisticated Lady -April 25-May 2 (Long)

At some point in time, I learned to like the smell of diesel fuel. That sweet, sick smell sends a nervous flutter through my stomach. It is in that brief moment of anticipation, that a flood of thoughts of what is to come, and what may be, go racing through my mind. Im not sure why I feel I should explain about how this started but I guess it because Ive read so many trip reports on TTOL that I should offer one from a different point of view.

Im a mom to at least two and sometimes five kids. When I was younger, I travelled a lot, always by the seat of my pants and usually solo. Having kids (and a mortgage) changed all that. I usually keep my wanderlust in check save for a few times a year. Then, much to their dismay, I drag my kids with me as we explore the best snorkeling, softest sand beaches, and evaluate the various positive attributes of rum punch. (Oh, too pink needs more rum). I dont know what got into me and made me send a PM to Rick about the last minute cabin availability on Sophisticated Lady. While I may see myself as spontaneous, life doesnt usually lend itself to be that way. In less than three days I had booked a cabin, arranged a flight, and put my life on hold for a week while the kids spend time with their dad. By Thursday, I was thinking What the heck have I done? I, who had never sailed (beyond a day trip), was going to get on a 50 foot sail boat with three strangers. What was that all about? Im going to blame it on the pitcher of Sangria I made to celebrate the finishing of a major project.

The day begins with a 4:45 am shuttle pick up. The driver is obviously a lost soul in many ways. I put on my best mom voice and utter soothing sounds when he had pulled over at to dig out pictures of his recently (3 years ago) deceased dog and sob over them for 15 minutes. I squish down the Jersey girl instinct to act tougher than I really am. Not to sound too insensitive, but I am relieved when we pick up another passenger. I cant help but wonder if I caught in a Mitch Albom story and just havent figured it out yet.

We arrive on time in St Thomas its time to meet my fellow travelers. We find each other at baggage claim and head for the ferry landing. The taxi ride was really funny, but maybe not to all involved. Somehow it was came up that we didnt all *know* each other and I guess that was an area of concern for some of the passengers. They strongly offered to take my picture via cell phone camera in case anyone needed it. Im not sure if it was to protect me from everyone else onboard, or to protect everyone else from me. We all got a good laugh at the terminal over that one.

After enduring some good-natured teasing from C & I in West End (the official has just figured out that the three of us are on a boat together) we head to the dingy dock to watch Rick motor in and grab a ball. Once we are all aboard (I think he was secretly worried he was going to have to make a separate trip for our all our shoes) we take quick stock of supplies and alcohol. A trip to the Harbor Market and lunch at Pussers ensues. Once all that is taken care of and the ladies are settled with drinks we set off for Cane Garden Bay.

We arrive at CGB and Myetts as the happy hour party is in full swing. A lot of Wisconsin (or maybe Michigan?) folks having fun. I was laughing as even the cook had a rockin rhythm going during one song. Dinner finds most of us with a long day catching up so we dont stay to go to Quitos. Im kind of a night owl as opposed to an early riser so I head to the bow to end the evening listening to the music from Quitos and searching for Orion.

Day Two finds us heading for White Bay on JVD. We cant set anchor and several of the mooring balls are missing ropes so we head over to Diamond Cay. The water is amazing. Its a sparkling beautiful blue green color and I see several turtles. Afternoon is spent on deck, laughing, teasing Rick, and drinking rum. Evening finds us having an unusual dinner at Foxys Taboo (strawberry chicken) and fawning over the clothes in the little shop next to the restaurant. We head back aboard for more wine and rum. Night turned into day, the wine flowed, the music went on, and we all laughed so hard. I will never, ever, be able to say the word ginger without cracking up. I do believe we told enough jokes that Rick would go fix more drinks when he got too embarrassed. (Sorry Rick, can I say that?) At some point twilight gave way to day and Lucky began her morning repertoire.

Day Three (or a few hours later) We made a quick stop in Sopers Hole for more rum. We have a nice sail to Norman Island. I know I wasnt feeling particularly human so Im having a hard time remembering everything that happened. I do remember spending time at the Bight keeping all the wet sheets etc. from blowing overboard. I also remember swearing I was done drinking but that didnt last long. At Pirates, I try my first Bushwhacker and all resolve to give my liver a break is tossed out the window. Ever the host, Rick made an awesome Chicken Stir-fry while we drank ourselves into silliness again.

Night finds me spending a long time up on deck in the late evening/early morning listening to my ipod, watching the meteor showers, and searching for Orion. I dont see many stars at home as the lights from the city are too bright. I know that my constant search must sound silly but with the clouds coming and going you could rarely actually SEE all of Orion. (And I was probably letting my hair down a little too much when you could). I dont know I guess I just love being out and under the stars. The wind was really blowing that night and a rain shower at 3:00 am chases me inside.

Day Four Trellis Bay Area. I had never been over here before. I remember being a little unnerved at first by the weather on the sail over. Yacht shots took some pictures while we were out. Coming into pick up a ball, I see a huge sea turtle he quickly drops below before I can get my camera ready. Stopped in to see Aragons studio and lunch at Cyber-caf. Great places! Had a couple of drinks including a fireball punch and that elusive quality, Grace, well she disappeared when it came time for me to get in and out of that dingy. Never could find her. Michael Beans show was a lot of fun and I quit caring what the rum tasted like or that I have two left feet. We made a stop at the Last Resort for food (It was really good!), wine, and music. I wish I could remember the guys name but wow he sure could play.

Day Five- Saba Rock/ BEYC Nice easy sail this morning. We make a stop for snorkeling at ???. The water is a kind of stirred up from the weather lately. I see a nice assortment of the usual reef fish and a small green moray. I kept getting stung by little particles in the water and decided Id had enough. We get to Saba rock, another new place for me and its beautiful here. The sunlight truly is dancing across the water and the sun is warm on my skin. A quick call to check in with the kids and the world feels alright. The afternoon is spent listening to music, drinking rum, and laughing so hard that you think you wont ever stop. We meet some guys doing a pub crawl against the ladies of their crew we decide that the first team to bring a bucket of still frozen bushwhackers to the crew of Sophisticated Lady would get 10 points. We finish the afternoon watching kite boarders fly and hobie cats flip, feeling absolutely no pain from Ricks rum concoctions.

Day Six Anegada Cow Wreck. Beautiful sail to Anegada. Watching for the tops of the trees and how the clouds take on the green of the water is spectacular. Lack of sleep and too much rum is catching up with me. Met up with Mitch who took us over to Cow Wreck. Made a brief stop to see the cottages and how much further the sea has claimed them. Went for a swim as soon as we arrived (even before hitting the bar!). The water is just amazing. It feels so good to just float on my back and watch the clouds. Later, I take a long walk down the beach towards the big bamboo area. At the bar, I spot Belle. We exchange hugs and Im amazed she still remembers my daughter and me from almost 2 years ago. Mitch arrives back all too soon and its time to go. Sunset is spectacular tonight. Really one of those moments which takes your breath away.

Day Seven Leverick Bay BBQ & Jumbies I spend a morning on the bow with a cup of coffee watching all the turtles. Im contemplating a morning swim but decide Im feeling too lazy to go change. It was really quite beautiful to watch the day begin. A little while later, on our way out of the mooring field, I am glad I skipped the swim. A red sailboat, still hooked to a ball, has a naked guy hanging off the back, taking a dump. We do a double take as its hard to imagine the lack of civility. For the sake of all involved somebody give that guy a bucket! Anyway its a slow trip back to Virgin Gorda. We lose the wind along the way and have to motor some just to make it back before the BBQ.
Anywhere on VG was new to me (except the Baths) so it was fun to see Leverick Bay marina. Hot water was a welcome addition! Cool meeting Nick & Monica, Javier & the rest of the crowd. Nice people! Great BBQ and fun to watch the Jumbies dance.

Morning comes soon enough and its time to head home. I spend time at the airport reflecting on the trip. I promised myself to embrace having an adventurous spirit and get my groove back as opposed to keeping it so guarded. Once I let my hair down, I danced and sang and drank and told bawdy jokes. I laughed so hard, I thought Id die. I laughed at myself- at my inability to ever make a graceful exit to the dingy dock. I cried some too. I cried with understanding and acceptance that some relationships will never go back to the way they once were. And so, certain songs will take me back to the boat, and the view from my kitchen isnt nearly as good, but if I close my eyes, Im almost there, searching for Orion.

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Link to this postPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 4:10 pm    Post subject: Note Re: Sophisticated Lady -April 25-May 2 (Long)

Adventurewench wrote:
At some point in time, I learned to like the smell of diesel fuel. That sweet, sick smell sends a nervous flutter through my stomach.


Sounds like you had a good time.

Reminds me of ............... " You smell that? Do you smell that?... Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory."
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Link to this postPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 11:29 am    

I do not know about napalm however your story did smell of Palm trees, and sand, salt air and, Jeremy's sandwiches, Caribe beer, puke on the deck of the Willy T, barnacles on the rocks and whatever the smell is at the top of virgin Gorda at the mine shaft on the deck. for me any way that is how I smell the BVI's. and maybe a little diesel fuel now and again in Spanish town.

(possible 2x post lost the other one)
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