Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I'm back... Tillerwoman and I have just returned from a wonderful 10 day vacation at the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.
Bitter End Yacht Club is not a yacht club. It is an all-inclusive water sports resort. But it does have some of the style and atmosphere associated with the better class of yacht clubs.
There is a lot to do at BEYC. There is sailing on dinghies and catamarans and keelboats. There is windsurfing and kiteboarding. There is kayaking. There is diving and snorkeling. There are blue-water excursions. There is an amazing variety of food. There is steel band music. There are painkillers. There is rum.
Virgin Gorda, as I am sure you know, means "fat virgin". It is not a fat virgin. It is an island. It was named Virgin Gorda by Columbus on his second voyage because he thought the shape of the island as seen from the sea looked like a fat virgin. It really doesn't. But I guess when you've been two months at sea with only hairy smelly male sailors for company then you start having fantasies about fat virgins and pretty much anything looks like a fat virgin, even a green hilly island.
It was our fourth visit to BEYC. We went a couple of times in the mid-90s with our then teenage sons. We all had a blast. Then Tillerwoman and I went by ourselves in 2001. I really can't recall why we haven't been back sooner. Maybe after the rum has totally worn off I will remember.
I am probably going to bore you over the next few days with some posts about our vacation at Bitter End. Other people's vacations are boring, I know. So come back after Christmas if you don't want to read any boring posts about my vacation. But some of the posts may surprise you. Some may be funny. Some may be rude. (I've discovered that rude posts tend to generate the most comments.) Some of the posts may even be about sailing. Some will probably be about rum.
So the story starts on Friday evening a couple of weeks ago as I sit on the deck of our rustic cottage at the north end of BEYC, sipping rum (of course) and looking across Eustatia Reef at Necker Island, the whole frigging island owned by some other Brit about my age called Richard Branson. Sir Richard is apparently busy this week somewhere in the world launching his new venture to sell rides in space to rich idiots. I am sitting on a veranda sipping rum and enjoying the view of Sir Richard's island and wondering what the next day, our first full day at Bitter End, will bring? Will there be mimosas for breakfast? Will there be sailing? Will there be rum?