We get back to the braid shack and there are the newbies sitting in chairs getting aloe rubs. We laughed hysterical and hollered, “Look at ya, we were gone 5 minutes and your getting a rub down.” The aloe ladies had to follow us home to get the J’s they were owed for the aloe.
Somebody had the idea of chartering a catamaran. The skinny lady with the big hat who walks the beach everyday, every year set it up. It was $40 per person for lunch and all your drinks. They promised a cabin on the boat with a bathroom and they said they’d refund our money if we could drink them out of booze – we thought we would take the challenge. They picked us up around 10am in the glass bottom boat then transferred us to the catamaran. A cabin and a bathroom? If that’s what you want to call it! It was more like a cardboard box with a hole in it.
That’s okay because we’re easy going. After we’re all in the catamaran and found our space on the boat, they pull up near Mariposa and start floating in the Red Stripe. All the WARM red stripe we can drink – ‘woohoo’! Looks like we may lose the challenge, but we won’t go down without a fight! I wasn’t into the whole boat thing at first so I put the nix on going to the reef and had them point us in the direction of the west end.
We were cruising slowly right into the face of the hot sun when I happened to notice there wasn’t a life jacket on board (so I thought) and I got a little nervous. I asked them to kick it in gear and get us to a swimming hole ASAP. They did just that! We anchored right outside of Pirates cave and Joseph’s Cave (my favorite, we just love that Miss May and her husband). There were life jackets down below, in the hole, enough for the women and an extra raft.
We all jumped in to swim for the cave. The water is about 30 feet deep. Awesome. After some snorkeling, we wanted to see the Ivan damage to Rick’s so we climbed back in and went for another little cruise. Time for lunch. We settle back in our hole, the most beautiful swimming hole on earth, and we’re wondering, “Where the heck is lunch?” If it’s cooking in the cabin, I’m not eating! So one of the boat guys jumps off the boat and swims into the cave. We don’t think much of it as we’re enjoying the water and the luke warm Stripes. Lo and Behold, Here comes lunch! Amazing – Again, Everyting, Everytime, No Problem Mon… The ride back to the Bird was nice and relaxing, but we were glad to be back on land!
The night after Thanksgiving we had a full moon. I was dying to see it set in the sea as the sun does every evening. We stayed up as late as we could to watch. We woke up every hour thereafter to check the moon’s location. Finally the sun started coming up, so we headed to the beach for a few pictures and coffee with Joseph. Soon, 7 days were up and 6 of us had to leave. It felt like Survivor and half of our tribe was banished from the island. I cried when I saw Errol pull up to take my kids home. This had a dominoe affect and all the girls soon followed. It was a blessing to have them there with us and like reliving my first trip all over again. To see their faces in the morning and hear the tales of their evening, I knew I would miss them badly. Shaun said it was a lonely quiet ride to MoBay. When we walked back thru the gates of the Bird and went to our respective cottages I thought, “What are we going to do for the next 7 days?!” No problem mon, we will think of something! Next thing you know, 10 days are up and the Chicago friends are departing.