on the second day of this new year, i left st thomas on a ferry bound for a british virgin island i'd never been to before. from there, a group of friends and i all boarded a boat that would be our floating home for the next ten days.
as soon as my friend chelsea learned i was returning to the virgin islands for a bit, she urged me to make sure i was available for the first couple weeks of january for this sailing trip around the BVI. before i even got to the island, before i got a job, before i found a secure place to live, i promised to THIS. i stayed open. and everything molded itself accordingly.
thanks to my island connections, i was able to fill in on boats around st thomas whenever i wanted to, without the restriction of a weekly schedule. it was more of a day-to-day would you like to work tomorrow? and i could always say yes or no. that freedom allowed me to save some money AND kept me available to take part in this trip around islands i'd been longing to see since last year!
chelsea and her dad (a well-seasoned world sailor and ER doctor) were gracious enough to invite me and three others along for the adventure.
we all hail from the same small town in central florida, but i knew none of them growing up. i only just connected with chelsea a little less than a year ago, and then hung out with her for the first time last summer, on my birthday in amsterdam. i've absolutely adored her ever since, so i was really excited to join her and her friends aboard the aptly named Friend Ship.
we started the trip in Tortola, with a night docked in the harbor. we laid out on the forward nets, drinking, singing, practicing yoga poses, and sharing stories. we woke up our first morning on the boat just a little hung over, which made for some very fun sailing.
we went northeast to Virgin Gorda, which was overrun with partiers from "yacht week"---a week long spring break style shit show for mid-twenty-somethings. we observed the row of tied up catamarans from afar (^^behind me in the jumping photo), comfortably sipping at our rum drinks. we spied on the floating frat party with the boat's binoculars and were hugely entertained by some wasted souls.
i'll take a quiet catamaran with an intimate-sized group of friends over complete debauchery any damn day. actually, i'd take a catamaran with friends over a lot of things ;)
plus! this was only the beginning of our journey! we had to take it slow and steady if we were to survive 10 days at sea.