“Bitten by the Sperry Shark”
Day Five began with breakfast at Deloose Mongoose, some additional grocery shopping, and then back to the boat and on to the mooring wars around Virgin Gorda. The feeling onboard was one of anticipation and exhilaration. Background music was The Zac Brown Band’s “Free”, which could not have been more appropriate. The crew arrived early enough to battle the crowds that had already formed along the paths that meandered through the gauntlet of boulders and man made bridges in the search for the idyllic snorkeling destination: a shallow pool of warm Caribbean water framed by nature. The challenge was that once you arrived, you had to return along the exact same route, meaning that you had to wait in lines while others approached as you were impatient to exit. It reminded me of the same scenario several years ago when I went to see the Blue Grotto from Capri, in Italy. The colors within the grottoes mimicked one another with glistening azure and sea foam green. The single difference was that in The Baths, you had to arrive and exit on foot, where in Italy, you could only visit if the tides allowed, and you had to exit via boat, packed on top of each other like sardines, while the small boat circled the grotto.
The next destination was Norman Island, where four of us snorkeled within the caves along the water’s edge, a short distance from the boat. Accompanying us beneath the clear water was a plethora of blue striped grunts, yellow tail snappers, brain and mountainous star coral, and assorted parrotfish in blazing hues. Following a Carib break, we headed on to the famed beach bar, Willie T’s, which is actually a refurbished boat within the bay named for William Thornton, an island historical figure. Once there, you could easily see that this would be a definitely different experience if it had been awhile since you’d been a welcomed guest at a college frat party. When even the bartenders were over served, you had an idea that this would turn into the type of evening that might result in some interesting stories once you got back home. The return in the dinghy to the boat was followed once more with hours of continued laughter, singing, and drumming until the last of the crew wandered down to the cabins for another night of blissful sleep.