Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This Cold Weather Can Go to Hell. Me? I'm Going to the BVIs!

I am so hungover this morning and let me tell you, I HAVE HAD IT UP TO HERE with this cold, snow, and impending Blizzard of the Century that we are supposed to get on Thursday. I just froze my ass off over at Rants', Braja's and Pearl's, so I'm flippin' the bird to this meteorilogical mess in the Midwest and I'm going to take you all on a little ride down to the British Virgin Islands today.

Have you ever heard of "bare-boating"?... Get your mind out of the gutter, people. It has nothing to do with bare skin and everything to do with renting yourself a big ol' boat in an exotic locale so you can cruise around and do whatever you like for a week. It is fabulous and fun and just the kind of vacation to make you want to run off to Margaritaville forever.

So back in 2007, my husband and I and three other couples rented one of these bareboats in the BVIs. Here we are in St. Thomas:
Contrary to my husband's predilection for all-boats-all-the-time, I'm not much of a boater. I mean I like to ride around on one for a lovely sunset cruise or a little family-time, but the thought of being on that boat for a solid week was pretty daunting. And I don't know a thing about sailing, either, AND I burn easily so I don't like being out in the sun too much.... Oh, don't I sound like such an awfulizer?! It's the hangover talking, let it slide.... Happily, all my worries about the boat were for naught! A 42' catamaran sailboat is kind of like the RV of the open sea. A little cheesey, perhaps, but four good-sized staterooms, two nice bathrooms, and a ginormous dining room and kitchen go a loooooong way for making happy sailors and passengers.

You know what else makes for happy sailors? Booze!! And the BVIs are basically just a bunch of islands that vacationers go to elaborate lengths to bar-hop between. Oh, brother, and did we bar hop!!! Our first night was pretty tame, as we were still getting the lay of the land and figuring out everything with the boat (you do need at least a couple experienced sailors on board to get one of these boats, we had three aboard), like getting it anchored on the mooring field, taking the dingy to shore, getting groceries squared away, etc. After a day of delightful sailing; a couple hours to this spot for lunch, an hour more to another spot for snorkeling and then another 40 minutes more and we were at our final destination of the day. That second night found us sailing into "The Bight" at Norman Island, home to the infamous Willy-T's floating bar. The William Thornton is an old cargo vessel that has been permanantly moored and operates as a restaurant and bar. It is the home of untold amounts of drunken shenanigans. We got there early and there was a very small group of people finishing dinner and getting drinks, pretty low-key compared to the stories we'd heard. My husband, perplexed, queried the bartender as to when the party started.... the man, as he cheerfully poured us our third round of the Willy-T Special Recipe Rum Punch, said he'd give him a call to let him know when it got there. What the bartender knew, and we would find out shortly, is that those Rum Punches were pretty much 100% alcohol, even though they tasted about as strong as kool-aid, and that about 50 boats full of thirsty sailors were busily mooring and finishing up dinners around the harbor before descending on the Willy-Ts on their dingies.

After we finished our 7th round of rum punches we suddenly realized that we were having to shout to hear each other, we were all dancing, and that we were somehow being herded by the growing crowd to the edge of the dance floor. Those sly, sly drinks just snuck up on you!! :)
Yeeeeeeeeee-Haaaaaaawwwwwww! This picture was taken about the time that the bartender asked my husband if he "got the call," you know, the call to let him know that the party was there. Yeah, man, we got the call. We totally got it. (And, NO, I did not participate in the Willy-T "tradition" of jumping off the top deck topless to "earn" a free t-shirt. ;^) Thanks for asking.)

I'll leave you with one more photo of beautiful sunshiney sea and warmth. Maybe it will take away the bite of that miserable hinterland waiting outside our doors and remind us that somewhere, somebody is basking in that sun and we could be, too. It's just a plane ride away....


  1. I promise no more cold weather reports from sunny India...really. And my post tomorrow (or about 5 hrs later today for you) will make you TOASTY :)

  2. You just totally sold me... a sufferer of the "sea sick" on a vacation like this. How awesome.

  3. I L-ingOL at that great drunko pic of you, but look at the stunning couple below! HELLO hot people! Oh, and I'm still waiting for my call about the party starting.

  4. Oh, you tease!!!

    My parents lived in the Caribbean for three years and I once spent two weeks with them. Hmmmm. Two weeks with people who, for reasons still inexplicable to me, thought George W. was the greatest president of all time. YOu know, they're great people, but I will never understand how they thought that or how I lived through those two weeks...

    BVI. It IS just a plane ride away...


  5. Braja: Being first on my blog is NOT that big of an accomplishment. But I gotta say that it makes me feel so loooooved that anyone cares. :)

    Pacing the Panic: It was hard to differentiate between drunken hangover nausea and seasick nausea, but I do know that one of our party was very seasick-prone and she took something the whole trip that worked like a charm! Dramamine, maybe?

    Rants: I knew you'd like the drunk picture. If you click on it, you can actually see the stains from all the Rum Punch I had spilled on myself. Heeee-larious.

    Pearl: Thankfully no Republicans on our trip, but there was one extremely vocal, extremely left person in our party that we accidentally started a political discussion with one night. THE MISTAKE WAS NOT REPEATED.

  6. I just had to tell you how happy I am that you used the word "predilection" in your post. You have no idea how many people tell me they have no idea what that means, and ask if I made it up.

  7. You must live by me because we are expecting some type of snow storm Thursday too, but I'm in denial. I have never been sailing but my husband has and insists we will not only go but will own a sailboat to travel on it. I'm thinking I'm not sure about this, and I may need lots of rum to do it. Though you look like you are having fun:) So, maybe...

  8. thanks for the trip... i needed that as we are having one of those stupid storms now...

  9. I no likey the cold either.

    I do not like it, Sam I am.

  10. Oh, looks so fun. I think our husbands would get along nicely. Mine is starting to come up with more affordable (viable) boats that we could buy and sail our way out of Italy.

  11. ps... you linked to the wrong pilgrim on the "your blog rocks" award... I'm the Strange Pilgram.

  12. Ha ha ha ha ha! First time I've heard someone tellin' the weather to go to hell!

  13. Ok, Now I really want to go back. My wife and I honeymooned on St. John and got to know the island like the back of our hands. We rent small dingys to allow us to get the little know spots rarely traveled by the regular visitor. We have been back now 8 times. Renting huge villas and taking our close friends with us to let them explore and enjoy the magic of the Virgin Islands & BVI. I was so happy to read that you got to experience the Willy T. Zuse and my wife are quite good friends.Well and she is close to the Zuse juice as well. That place is a blast. Did you do the Shotski? Did you get over to Jost Vandyke for the full moon party? Thanks for the post. I just relived so many great memories. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas.

  14. Tony: We are heading back for another BVI adventure in February. I definitely see the shotski in our future! We went to Foxy's over on Jost Van Dyke and got a picture with the actual Foxy of legend. But is was a slow night as we were still recovering from Willy T's!!

    I can't wait to get back to The Baths.... that was definitely a highlight of the trip, too.


Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.