In the Caribbean, sailing and swimming with turtles, walking the beach and napping. Reading and eating.  More swimming and napping. Yoga by the pool with monkeys in the tree behind. The occasional rum punch. The snow and ice of Canada seem far away, not only in space but in time as well.

Getting the first national issue of OptiMYz to the printer was an adventure with many twists and turns. Thank you to everyone who helped so much.

The reward: Donna and I are visiting our friends Barry and Dar in Christchurch, Barbados in a beautiful big house from the 1850s, complete with pool and a family of green monkeys who drop by on their own schedule. Our friends Janet and Terry are with us.

A driver picks us up at Mike’s Mini Mart, picks up more folks at hotels and heads out to Bridgetown to join Tiami Catamaran Sailing Cruises. We board Tiami II with Captain Chad, Mike, Cappie and Victor as crew: a 70 foot catamaran with 80 foot mast doing 12-13 knots. In 1997 she won the Round Barbados race.

Chad is a brilliant guy with hilarious patter. He has had this boat doing 30 knots, he tells me. No tourists on board that day.

He and the crew are having as much fun as anyone. “We have to entertain ourselves,” he says. “If you enjoy your job you never have to work a day in your life.” Yesterday was Valentine’s Day.  “There was a lot of smooching.  I told the people not to get out of control—this is a group thing.”

He lets Janet take the helm of the powerful craft. She used to sail a lot growing up in Nova Scotia. She is in heaven.

We snorkel over two wrecks. The crew in the water ‘chum’ with bits of fish. The tropical fish are everywhere—large flat silver fish and schools of Bajan blue and gold striped smaller fish. The water is so clear. It’s magic. 

The wind picks up as we head to another bay in search of turtles. The cat flies through the water but hardly rolls with the twin hulls. We are lying on the latticework over the water in the bow. A huge frigatebird appears like a pterodactyl just above the mast.

Then back in the water. The crew gets the children feeding the turtles. Watching through the clear silent water, I am witnessing a form of pure communication between two species, one in their own habitat. The beautiful animals dip and dive and come back for air. Despite their large shells they are graceful aquabats.

Donna’s new hat blows overboard. I jump in to get it and then swim ashore. Terry and I walk the beach, get caught in a cold, torrential afternoon shower. The sun reappears as we swim back aboard. 

After a wonderful hot meal the crew entertains the passengers with party tricks and jokes. The young people on board are captivated.

Thank you to Captain Chad and his excellent crew. For our little group of four it was one of our best days ever. I think this is true for most of the other passengers—maybe all.

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