There are vacations and then there are experiences. This was definitely an EXPERIENCE, and one I will not forget anytime soon! What makes it so memorable is being able to spend this precious time with my husband, kids and their loves, all together on a sailboat, in the British Virgin Islands. No distractions beyond enjoying the beauty of the blue water, the feel of the ocean breeze, and the mere joy of just being together!
We set sail on a catamaran (Endless Summer) - my husband Rich as Captain, me as Chef (of course!), my oldest son as First Mate, my daughter's boyfriend as Dinghy Captain, my youngest son as the "all around" right hand man, and the rest of the woman were back up "support" crew for everything else! What a team!!
A tremendous effort was put into planning this trip, thanks to my husband Rich, but we did it! With the help of the charter company, Voyage Charters, we were able to arrange with a local market to provision the boat with necessary supplies and food. I made sure to choose from as many healthy options as possible to keep my crew well fed for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Dinner would always be at whatever port we sailed to later in the day, giving us some time to explore and get a taste of the local foods.
It was so exciting going port to port, exploring new islands and dining spots. Last minute, we decided to have breakfast at Harri's Place in Little Harbor, Jost Van Dyke. Cynthia, the owner, had such an energetic personality, and didn't hesitate to welcome me into the kitchen! She has earned the title of “Bushwacker Queen” of the BVI. She is also leading the rebuilding effort that became necessary after near total devastation by category 5 hurricane Irma, which touched down during the daylight hours of September 6, 2017.
We also had the pleasure to stop at the famous Soggy Dollar, where the full-flavored rum cocktail, the Painkiller, originated. What a yummy blend, of premium dark rum, cream of coconut, pineapple and orange juice (proportions are secret), and topped with fresh grated Grenadian nutmeg. The setting was beautiful, as we watched the sunset sipping our Painkillers!
And not to be missed - lots of dancing and laughter at Foxy's, located in Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke. People gathered from all over the world to welcome 2020! Sorry ... my camera was tucked away for most of the evening festivities, so not too many pictures to share!
Welcoming in the the New Year at the famous Foxy's for New Year's Eve!
Exploring the Baths, Virgin Gordon is truly a highlight when visiting the British Virgin Islands. These giant boulders or batholiths were brought to the surface by volcanic eruptions and are scattered about forming a beautiful grotto and some tranquil pools.
The breathtaking beauty of the sunrises and sunsets along the way!
So, if given the opportunity to be adventurous and do something out of the ordinary with your family, just make it happen! It doesn't have to be on a sailboat, or at this level of planning and expense. Find a way to explore and experience the natural beauty of this planet, near or far. You will certainly walk away with incredible memories and a better respect to preserve the land, water and all living things that inhabit this earth!
chef cindy xo