The British Virgin Islands: Third Time's a Charm

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March 13th, 2017 at 3:40:07 PM permalink
Face
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Sorry for the delay; I no sooner realized the post had saved when we lost power again. This time, I lost it for good. Ah well, not like I remember much from this day anyways ;) Without further adieu...

Day 9.

With no late night rager, all were up early and had breakfast put away ASAP. There's nothing at Little Harbor and we had accomplished pretty much every activity on the docket, so our early morning jaunt went quick and simple - right around the point to Foxy's. The winds had finally ceased, leaving it lotion-and-water HOT even at 0830. A few folks were already in the water for a swim when we motored in. I worried a bit, as this was the do-nothing-but-drink day, but there's not much one can do about that. Find shade, every 3rd drink is water, and just try to survive. It's worked every time so far, so that's what I went with.

It was odd once we were on the ball. Foxy's was absolutely quiet. There's always an energy there, usually either that buzzy hum you can feel before a thunderstorm, when you know this party is gonna be a life threatener, or a sort of residual twinkling of a good night gone great. Not today. Today was just quiet. It was as if the beach was still on the inhale, not yet letting blow the savagery the place is known for. I took note, wondering what kind of night we'd have if it remained this dead, before we all headed in.

The ladies of course hit the shops, leaving the men to admire and observe the decor and tributes and to call for a cab. We never even stopped for a drink before banging straight over to White Bay and the Soggy Dollar Bar.



As always, I'm never sure what to do there. It's very pretty and has a good feel to it; it's easy to get a drink and generally has the best scenery. But that's all there is. Booze and babes. Great at 2300, not so much at 1100. Maybe a frisbee next time...

We snagged a close table that would fit us all and began imbibing. Food came shortly after, bar fare at the SD. It's done well, good portions and quality, the type of food you don't even care is gonna kill your buzz and leave to too full for more beer. Burgers, fries, onion rings, conch fritters, we all had heaping plates and all finished just about everything. Many took chairs and drinks into the water, content to drink the day away in the surf. The Fed and I, being anti sun as we are, holed up on a huge table with ample trees and an expansive umbrella.



I did take notice that the SD, like a few other places, is seeming to take strides away from the lazy island vibe and going a bit professional. They have their own radio station now, and while I've no real complaints about the music (basic Top 40-esque island stuff like Marley and Jack Johnson) is just struck me as off. Hearing the sort of stock talking head advising who I'm tuned into just rubbed me wrong, too much like home. For a sample, or just a glimpse of something different than eaglets, they do have a webcam set right at the end of the bar overlooking the bay. A few of the ladies called home to pose to jealous coworkers and children while I switched off the hard-to-get-down beers to some juice based painkillers. Say true, I'd probably drink those sans booze. It's just a good drink.



We left somewhere around 1600 with a pretty good buzz, no one really unhitching the wagon on the drinking quite yet. We returned to Outta Space for some reason or another when Redbull vodka got mentioned and The Fed got that twinkle. It's so funny to me to watch it happen, I guess because I see so much soldier/Sheriff in him. But when it happens, it's full child mode. And I don't mean teen, I mean kid. My kid does it all the time, and that's usually when a "Don't even think about it" comes out of dad's head. Mrs Fed is usually all over this, but for some goddamn reason, she kept shut this time, and once Fed starts moving, the task is as good as done. Seriously, you gotta catch him when the thought hits; once he even begins leaning to take that first step, it's already too late.

Before I know it, I hear "VOODOO!" being exclaimed from below deck. I'm being yelled at, "FACE! How do you make it? You know!" F#$% if I know, that's Mayhem's job, but I do what any reasonable man would do. I lied. "One to one!"



It really is a terrible drink. True Voodoo, made with Mt Dew's Amped, is OK. I'd never order it, but I also never pass it up when the bottle makes it way to me. But Redbull taste like molten aluminum and Smarties to me, and I'm neither a friend of vodka. And, possibly the worst, is once you get one down, you almost need another to get the taste out of your mouth. And once that doesn't work, you for some reason try it again. And once that happens, it sort of transforms from "one more and I'll puke" to "one more is exactly what I need to live right now". Crew members have gone from either uncertainty or downright dislike, to now actively and excitedly hunting down the last of the bottle. No more are you forcing it, now you can't make it fast enough. And I don't know how many 24oz thermos fulls we made, but I know I personally handed the bottle back 3 times, say nothing of how many other folks turned it over. And before you know it, all of the vodka and all of the Redbull are gone, and maybe 35min have passed. Cor f#$%ing blimey, it's gonna be one of those nights.

I don't even remember going back to land, but I do remember being seated for dinner. It was still perfectly dead. I think there was one other party of about 6 somewhat close to us, but that's all I remember. Our server, in stark contrast to some of the places, was an absolute blast. I could've scooped her and had her around the whole trip, just loads of fun as all Foxy's personnel seem to be. I got some sort of meat plate that I can't recall, I don't even remember eating it. Because after the all day ease in at the Soggy Dollar and then the Voodoo explosion, somehow the topic of how much we've drank came up and I was charged with being two drinks behind The Fed. And that's all it took.

I remember the extreme look of concern on his face while repeating "No. Just no", and I remember sweeping my hand out in a gesture to show there was no one here to fight, and then I dove into the pile of whiskey set up before me. I chugged my remaining painkiller (2), chugged a few oz of whiskey (1), chugged the remaining few ounces of whiskey (even) and then pounded the full painkiller sitting there waiting for me. All caught up, it was time for a smoke.

I remember a local approaching me in the dark asking me if I had any money. I remember laughing and saying I spent the last I had on this water, and I remember holding up a drink that I thought was water but probably wasn't. He ambled away. I think that's about when the whiskey hit, and boy, but do I get wander-y when whiskey drunk. I think I was still on Earth at that point, because I remember that voice hitting me and can still picture it now. I was by a derelict SUV on the very edge of the remaining light from the nightlife part of town and I remember it hitting me - "Go back". It's very dark "in town", no street lights whatsoever, so no sense in traipsing around this third world cesspool. I went back.

And I got more whiskey.

This time I stormed right on by the dead SUV. I remember chasing a cat down the street / path. I remember stretching in a ditch and doing push ups in the woods. I remember seeing a light, streetlight, must've been, and how weird it looked. Like it didn't radiate light, it just cast it dead down. A perfect circle, bright as could be. Outside it, the dark of deep space. I stood in the circle. I stood out of it. I couldn't see me when out of it, couldn't see anything else when in it. I dunno, I guess I was weirding out. It was the cigarette butts that finally snapped me out of it, their number signalling me that, hey, I'm f#$%ing here with people and I've been gone a damn long time. I headed back.

I ran into Frank on the way, him asking where I went and that The Fed was worrying about me. I told him I had no idea where I'd been and just kept walking, dead back to The Fed to console him and advise his boy was all right. I then left right away again, this time returning with flowers for the ladies' hair. Must've went down to the church for those. And that's just about the end of my memories for the night.

But it did end with a scare. Not a real scare, like a narrowly missed MVA, but like a creepy scare. Most everyone had coupled up upon our return to Outta Space, the Wyomingers hitting the sack while Snack Shack and I sat in back and The Fed and Mrs hit the bow. We had sat there for a bit (I have no idea how long) when Mrs came by and asked if we'd seen The Fed. "Uhh...yeah, he's up front with you." "I was just up there, he's gone."

I get up, check the bow, no Fed. He didn't get by me, he'd have had to literally touch me to get passed me and into the bunks, and f#$%ed to the moon and back that I was, I would've heard a splash if he went over. I check the kitchen. I come back out. Check the bow again. Nothing. "He must've went through the hatch.' "He's not in our room, I just checked!" I check anyway. Dude is f#$%ing gone. I mean, legit missing. Even Snack Shack commented, sometime on the way to Bubbling Baths "Holy s#$%, I didn't really notice it, but... Fed's f#$%ing huge!" It's not like he "snuck off", he's too big to sneak. And when I checked the room and found nothing, I just had a coldness come over me. Like, wtf is going on?

It was at that point I got serious. I remember trying to beat back the booze and get to my critical thinking drawer when I heard "Found him!" coming from above. I come above deck, nothing. I see the Mrs on the bow, I check the biminy, nothing. "Wha...?" "Here. In the boom."

This f#$%ing guy crawled in the boom with the freaking sails. How? Why? I have no f#$%ing idea, but he just about scared the balls offa me. Mrs woke him up and I got him on his feet, being berated that now I went and made him throw up. He'd have been fine if I'd have left him, but now he's gonna hmmmph... and he's got a mouthful. I'm not sure whether to laugh or toss em myself, but I did take notice and a bit of pride how he held it. No hurry, no distress, just held that upchuck in his cheek until he reached the side. He had a few heaves as I encouraged him that the worse it is now the better it would be tomorrow, and half fancied a toss myself. But no sense in wasting alcohol, right? I clamped down and kept mine in, retiring for slumber right behind him.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
March 13th, 2017 at 4:14:29 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 10171
Your friends call you Face? Really?
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
March 13th, 2017 at 5:48:02 PM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 70
Posts: 1484
having found myself vowing to 'never drink like that again' many times, only to do it again [I have to say at this stage of life it is rare I do something to make me make the vow] but one thing that will really make it stick for a while is to be "drunk and scared" - hate that! Your story about the Fed maybe having fallen overboard reminded me of that
Mustard:You like Kipling, Miss Scarlet? Sure, I'll eat anything [from movie]
March 13th, 2017 at 6:30:15 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 79
Posts: 1232
What's in the rafters in the group picture at the Soggy Dollar? I thought it was shells, but are they patches or badges of some sort?
March 14th, 2017 at 12:06:45 PM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3031
Quote: Evenbob
Your friends call you Face? Really?


Not these ones, no. "Face" is a throwback to the baseball days; I was still 10yrs from knowing The Fed at that point. Those friends, though, the baseball ones, yeah. Some still do.

Quote: odiousgambit
having found myself vowing to 'never drink like that again' many times, only to do it again [I have to say at this stage of life it is rare I do something to make me make the vow] but one thing that will really make it stick for a while is to be "drunk and scared" - hate that! Your story about the Fed maybe having fallen overboard reminded me of that


I can't say it's ever happened. I thought of one instance, but as I was delirious from a severe concussion, it's hard to recall "fear". I suppose that was more "concern" as my head wasn't capable of fear at the time.

But I think I can understand what you mean. I wasn't scared, but I would say it was just under the surface. I think mostly it was frustration, as I needed to beat the booze back to think and couldn't. Fortunately we found him somewhat quick, so fear never materialized.

Quote: Ayecarumba
What's in the rafters in the group picture at the Soggy Dollar? I thought it was shells, but are they patches or badges of some sort?


Aye, that's exactly what they are.

Most places have some sort of wall, or in the cases of the older, more established joints, the entire place, that is covered in "stuff from home". A few, like CowWreck (pictured earlier) their thing is license plates. People bring them and add them to the scrum to say "I was there". At the SD, it's all badges and patches from peace officers. Troopers, sheriffs, corrections, those folks. Every inch of every rafter is covered, as you can see. Foxy's, Loblolly,... I think the Bight is the only place I saw bare, but that place is only 2-3yrs old due to a fire.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
March 14th, 2017 at 1:08:31 PM permalink
Face
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Day 10.

As always seems to happen when I get powerful drunk, I sprung out of bed at 0630 fit as a fiddle and feeling great. Snack Shack inquired as to how I was feeling, and that's exactly what I said - "I feel f#$%ing great!", before bounding above deck for my morning smoke. Now, I did feel "odd"; I think it was just the fact of waking up pain free that caused that the most, but I do think, once I was fully woke, that I was just still drunk. I really did feel way too good for who I am.

I cleaned the upper while having my morning milk, sucking down a few cigs before retiring back to bed. I napped a bit, really more of a doze, before I got up for good none the worse for wear. No headache, no grog, just thirsty. Pounded down some water and waited for the nausea, but it never even opened its eyes to come. I got off Scott-freaking-free.

But I wasn't feeling it regardless. It was the last day. No more stops, empty agenda, and I couldn't stop that urge of just wanting to be back home. You could sort of feel it on the others, too, an internal struggle between wanting home now and never wanting to leave ever. With no agenda, we decided to pop into Soper's Hole before one last dive attempt to use up the last of the tanks sitting on the bow.

Fed and I stayed back as the rest of the party went in to check out Soper's. Ain't nothing but drinking and shopping there, and we were up for neither. It was a pretty nice day regardless, some epic ship bobbing just behind us, gleaming as a crew of about 8 cleaned and waxed its black, shimmering surfaces from stem to stern. I was alternating watching them and a school of jumping fish when I saw the dorsal fins. A small pod had come in on the chase, weaving in and out of the boats at a leisurely pace. It was cool to see and most gave them room; I prepared my camera for the first time all trip as they were heading right our way. Of course, some asshat in a dinghy spotted them at the last minute and cut, running right over them. I don't mean to say he struck them, but when viewing something like that, you don't try to get 2 feet from the damned things. That set me off. Fed made a comment about them and I suggested he hail them over so I could kick the fat one dead between his idiot eyes. And that's about when I realized I still had the whiskey on me. I usually keep those s#$% thoughts to myself =p

We killed what little of the day we had where we started, back at The Indians at the mouth of the Bight. The Fed and Laurie set off to burn the last of the tanks while most others popped in for the final snorkel. I stayed back, not fancying a swim, as did Snack Shack. I offered to her to get a last fish in, which she set about doing immediately. Mostly, I just sat and tried to absorb as much as I could to last me the final few weeks of NY cold. And that's about when the Hellboat showed up.

We reckon it must've been a day charter, one that just takes folks out for the daylight. It was the same size and config as ours, but had at least 12 people on it, at least five of those being children under 8. I enjoyed it for a bit, much as I often enjoy the presence of the very young when I'm without my kid. They were loud and yell-y, of course, but I didn't much care. Kids playing is a good thing. It was pretty raucous the whole time we were there, so it took a second for the yelling to sink in. When it finally did, I turned to see a woman on her bow yelling towards us. I yelled back "HUH?!" and she repeated, but I still couldn't hear her. I finally went to the swim deck with cupped ear for the final try when I heard "THERE'S NO FISHING HERE, IT'S A MARINE PRESERVE!!!1!" Hell, I didn't know, but I tossed her an affirmative wave and told Snack Shack to shut 'er down. Cody questioned it, as did some of our other crew, and before long they had all the maps out. Preserve here, and there, but that's it. No Indians, no any of the places we fished. The crew got a little challenging, but I dropped it. No need to worry about it, it's not like we missed some big thing.

The yelling continued. A few made comments about hating to be on a ship like that, which escalated into hating folks who allowed their children to act like that. And I'll admit, while kid ructions don't often bother me, these ones were starting to. It's one thing to scream in play, another entirely to scream just to scream, non f#$%ing stop, for 20min+. I finally look over, and three little girls ranging from maybe 3 - 7 were all on the bow screaming their faces red, and were doing so at us. I just stared at them. The screaming continued. I glared at them. Now Fed was beside me. "WTF is their problem?" I just said I didn't know but I was starting to flip the switch. It's at this point Fed finally yells at them "WE'RE NOT EVEN FISHING!" I listen harder and sure enough, that what these little s#$%s were hollering. "There's no fishing here!" "Stop fishing" "SQUEAL SQUEAL FISHING!" one after the other. I'm talking a half hour easy of non-stop, no intervention screaming. Well, f#$% that. I will punch a f#$%ing child.

I'm gone now, into the red. Just glaring at these little monsters, figuring adult attention would get them to stop. That's what kids do, right? Get into ructions until an adult shows up. Make eye contact. Ructions cease. Nope, not these hell spawn. It was as if my presence was an escalation. They're looking dead in my eyes screaming right in my face. I sort of put my hands out in a "What?" fashion, they scream again. I gesture to the rods and exclaim, loudly yet politely "THEY'RE IN, WE'RE NOT FISHING" which causes them to scream even more "STOP FISHING!" And I lost it. I mimicked their high pitched f#$% fest to taunt them (Yes, my 36yr old ass just taunted 3 <7 girls) and when they inhaled for their next retort I blasted "F#$%ing SHUT YOUR MOUTHS!"

Like a switch. The whole GD place went silent as a church mouse.

The girls ran away, obviously telling mommy based on her stance and demeanor for the rest of our stay. And usually I'd feel some semblance of guilt. I usually do, even if I feel whatever I did was deserved. Not this time. Again, I'm fine almost 100% of the time with kids cutting up, that's what they do. But screaming at an adult, in his face? MY face? Lol, I'm an 84yr old man under this formerly shiny exterior, and I don't f#$%ing play that. Raise your kids or I'll do it for you. And remind them to stay the hell off my lawn =p

And that was pretty much that. We hailed a hovering vessel advising them we'd be away, and then we went. We ripped up the sails for a "one last time" and made slooooow progress across the calm channel. We sent the dinghy out, on the fly, to take pics of each couple on the seat. Once done, everyone sort of holed up. A couple on the bow, a couple on the seat, all just sort of staring into space, lamenting the end. 2 knots we made on the way back, trying to stretch as much as we could. But end it did, back where we started at Conch Charters in Tortola.

I suppose the last thing of note, before I end with the B-roll of pics and comments, is we had our last dinner at The Pub that last night, and it was just plain awful. That same weird vibe was present, like we were some smallpox carriers or something. We were literally retrieving drinks out of the boat cooler as the service was non existent. Orders messed up, missing items, and zero motivation by the crew to make it right. I dunno what to make of it, as if you remember, every visit previous I've had nothing but great things to say, and I am possibly the easiest man to please when out. But this, this was simply disappointing.

But that was that. The night ended and we were out quick the next morning for our early ferry, leaving all the Wyomingers behind. Snack Shack and I spent a bit walking around St Thomas killing time before our flight, getting S'barro while I cursed all of the USMail trucks I saw everyf#$%ingwhere. And if something happened worth note between there and home, it was lost in the travel RAM I purged from me brain.

10 days and we motored but 3 times for a total of 7 of the 105 miles we traveled. Absolute A+ sailing. Made some new friends who we hope to be able to afford to see this summer, and if not, hope to see on the water next winter. Hell, I hope to see myself on the water, as with a boat promise to the boy and a racing dream I can't quite shed, my financial state doesn't look to improve all that much. But hell, with fishing like we had, reckon I'd take another loan for that =)

I'll be back with more pics and comments as I think of them. Until then, thanks a bunch for coming along! Hope you enjoyed it =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
March 14th, 2017 at 1:33:39 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 10171
"but I do think, once I was fully woke, that I was just still drunk."

Yup.

As for screaming girls, I always have
noise suppression gear with me. Ear
plugs, or the jack hammer ear muffs.
Put them on and let the brats scream
themselves hoarse. Pretend to fish
to make them wear out even faster.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
March 14th, 2017 at 1:38:46 PM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 70
Posts: 1484
I have a picture of the mom raising the kids to be Vegan - and knowingly lying about it being a 'marine preserve' to trick you into not fishing

and wanting those kids to not just be Vegan, but be as obnoxiously Vegan as possible, screamers. Normally Vegan not cutting it.

not saying I nailed it, just saying it fits the picture for me
Mustard:You like Kipling, Miss Scarlet? Sure, I'll eat anything [from movie]
March 14th, 2017 at 2:35:05 PM permalink
DRich
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 18
Posts: 621
Fantastic trip report. Thank you for posting it.

I do miss the Pusser's Pain Killers.
March 14th, 2017 at 3:05:15 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 47
Posts: 3968
If I recall correctly some country in Central America went one hundred percent marine reserve in its waters just to foster the boating industry or something. There is a group sailing boat out of Florida that is Vegan but it makes the owners viewpoints clear in advance.
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