Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Welcome to Paradise

“Welcome to paradise!” The boat boys greeted us with this same introduction at each new harbor, anxious to help us find a mooring and get their tip. It’s hard to argue with them when you see the crystal clear, turquoise waters and the swaying palm trees beckoning you in...

I just returned from a trip to the southern Caribbean islands- St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadine Islands to be exact. It was amazing! My friends and I had decided that we were tired of sailing in the cold Northern California waters and we wanted to see what real sailing is like. (I’m afraid we’re forever ruined now.) We chose the Grenadines because of their secluded nature- no cruise ships, deserted islands only accessible by boat, and relatively easy sailing. English & French Patois (Creole) are the official languages and the locals pass easily from one to the other. Life moves at a slower pace and that’s ok. In fact, it’s exactly the departure that I needed from a very hectic few months. People have names like “Smiley”, “Sunshine”, and “Beanie” and their friendly nature takes you in immediately. They just want everyone “to be happy, man”… and so we were.

We’d sail to a new island each morning. As soon as we arrived and moored the boat, we’d immediately jump in for a dip. We’d move from there to snorkeling, perhaps wander the island a bit, go to a restaurant to try out the local food or make our own on the boat. Then, watch the sunset. Oh, the sunsets! We probably took more pictures of those than anything else. They were too good to be true- especially when you had a rum punch to compliment it. Then, I’d end each night, lying on the boat deck staring up at the stars. It’s a luxury I don’t have in the city. I wanted to lose myself in that vast expanse. I could literally lay there for hours, thinking about nothing, thinking about everything…

What a way to live!

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