Where to begin…

Over the coming days, I’ll share some highlights and photos from sailing the B.V.I.’s. I’ve been thinking about how to describe this trip, this experience. One thing is for sure, photos and words don’t do it justice. In order to truly understand it, you need to feel the hot Caribbean sun beating down on your back, the thick salt air sticking to your skin, the smell of the flora, and the taste of salt water on your lips. You need to stop putting it off, and just go on that dream vacation you’re thinking about right this moment in your head.

No cell phone. No email. No TV. No political coverage. No March Madness. No communication. Nothing. It was great. Just the islands, the water, the boat, the friends, the food, the drinks, the laughs, and the stories…does it get any better?

There are several moments that will be highlights for years to come. One of my favorite days was our sail from Guana island to Jost Van Dyke. We started the day with a great hike on Guana, “Monkey Point”, then we set sail to Jost. While under sail, I spent some time relaxing in one of the 2 pulpits located at the front of each hull, sipping a Red Stripe and watching the water pass by. It’s one of those moments that you have to remind yourself this isn’t a dream and to take in every single second. We grabbed a mooring ball at White Bay (Jost Van Dyke), hopped in the dinghy, headed to the beach, and hung out at Ivan’s Stress Free Bar. This is the type of beach bar that you’d expect. It’s even an honor system, where you go behind the bar, grab a cold one or mix up your own concoction, and pay before you leave. And Ivan is the type of local you’d hope to meet. We had a chance to have a drink and a chat with him. His presence alone is relaxing and stress free.

As with this trip, Ivan’s can’t really be explained in words or photos…just go there!

Positioned in a corner of the bar, is a framed story that I wanted to share:

A boat docked in a tiny village.

A tourist who was on board complimented a fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the fisherman.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the tourist.

The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The tourist asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs…I have a full life.”

The tourist interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to a big city where you can direct your Huge enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the fisherman.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the tourist.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? That’s when it gets really interesting, “answered the tourist, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?”

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends!”

And the moral is: Know where you’re going in life…you may already be there.

Though I already miss the islands, I can honestly say that I don’t mind being home. On past trips, including the last Virgin Islands trip in ’05, I dreaded coming home. Jerry Jeff Walker has a great line in his song, Cowboy Boots & Bathing Suits, “I don’t know if I’m ready for the world waiting for me back there”. It feels good to be ready. I love what I’m doing. Snoloha has given me a different perspective on life and how to spend it.

I’m already looking forward to the next vacation. But it’s not because I’ll need a break from work, rather I’ll be ready for another adventure.

Remember, “know where you’re going in life…you may already be there”.

~Setting sail from Guana Island to Jost Van Dyke.
~ Ivan’s Stress Free Bar. White Bay, Jost Van Dyke
~ Ivan.



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