6 May 2011, Jost Van Dyke to Norman Island, BVI

Marine Forecast: pretty good!
Actual: wind 5-10, 12-15 in the Drake Channel

We were up early anticipating a breakfast ashore at a place that offered fried fish and johnny cakes. At 8:10 we were parked at the dinghy dock, and at 8:15 our hopes were crushed. TV and radio on, but nothing doing on the food. Maybe not enough people around to make it worthwhile. Maybe we were too early.

From the main street, the harbor full of boats looked like an invading army about to overrun the kids on their way to school in this peaceful town. I was creeped out; it felt like bad karma. So, back to the boat and after a consolation breakfast of tea and banana, we were away to Norman Island (10-12) with the idea of a snorkel at The Indians first.

On our last trip, The Indians was our nemesis (boat hook lost, retrieved and broken in 10 minutes), and The Skipper was determined to win this time. Arrived: busy. Made a few turns: still busy. Picked up a ball at the edge of Norman, ate lunch, saw an opening and zinged back. Busy. So we circled, and circled, and circled. For 2 hours. While fat people who didn’t snorkel AT ALL lolled on their catamarans and played cards.  Still, The Skipper was determined. Ginger was pissed off and had to read the paper below until there was an opening. At which point another circling, Canadian, boat tried to make a play for the ball. Denied.

Mindful that others might soon be waiting, we suited up quickly, and The Skipper, first in the water, says, “careful, there’s a current.” At which point Ginger jumps in, thinks of all the rivers in the South (where she grew up) that have currents that suck people under, completely freaks out, and sets a record swimming from boat to dinghy mooring line. After some deep breathing, The Skipper convinces Ginger to let go of the line and put her face in the water. All is well until Ginger sees a wall of small fish floating in the swell off the reef and thinks, “Lots of small fish are tasty snack for big fish. Where are the predator fish?” At this point, Ginger has had it and swims backwards to the boat so as not to see how dark and deep the water gets. The Skipper enjoys a leisurely snorkel.

Thankful to be on the boat, Ginger is only somewhat concerned at the small clear blisters covering her face and neck and the small dots covering her stomach and legs. The Skipper is very concerned. Away to Norman where we have our pick of spots. Drinks, snacks, showers, and a trip to Pirate’s Bight for a final round of painkillers with the sunset. And some web searching for info on Ginger’s rash: nothing conclusive, but hints at avoiding heat, sunlight, saltwater….

Ginger lurks in the shadows as we watch a brilliant sunset, then back to the boat for a dinner of huevos rancheros, finishing off the rum under the stars.

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