My Bucket List Trip: Sailing Yachts and Flying Garbage Bags

The last time I’d seen that look on my wife’s face – a blend of horror, discomfort, excitement, confusion, and elation – she was in the throes of childbirth.  This time, however, the culprit was twenty five knot winds, driving rain, and eight foot seas.

“Hmmmm…” I mused, “Based on Jessica’s current state am I better off surviving this squall or immediately casting myself to the bottom of the ocean?”

Lucky for me, just as walking the plank was becoming the more prudent option the storm passed and we returned to crystal blue skies and shimmering tropical waters.

You may recall from a previous blog that this past winter I completed a sailing certification that licenses me to charter a yacht up to forty five feet long.  Last week, my family and I put that training to the test with an eight day sailing adventure in the British Virgin Islands.  Outside the occasional squall here are other reasons we could argue this trip was a disaster:

  • Within two hours of arrival Jessica lost her credit card and I lost my cell phone,
  • During one of the hottest weeks of the year we ended up on a boat with no A/C,
  • One of our daughters suffered heat exhaustion to the point we considered a hospital visit (note: Virgin Pina Coladas serve as excellent medicine),
  • No wifi!
  • The only weather report I could find on the CB radio was in Spanish,
  • I stepped on a thorn that sunk an inch into my foot,
  • At one point my bossy grumpiness triggered Jessica – rightfully so – to hurl a full garbage bag at my head.

For these reasons and more, our sailing excursion was an adventure the Lawrence family will relive, recount, and laugh about for years to come.  Imagine waking to gentle sea breezes, snorkeling through vibrant coral and tropical fish, dining while anchored next to pristine, abandoned beaches, island hopping aboard your own private ship, and watching your kids bond through a week without electronics.

A disastrous vacation?  Certainly not.

This adventure was exactly what our family needed: Fun + Adversity + Education + Unpredictability + Laughs + Natural Beauty + Culture + Lifetime Memories.  Yes, you might pack most of these items into a visit with Mickey Mouse but trust me, a Caribbean sailing adventure brings life and color in ways you’ve never before experienced.

A special Thank You to Offshore Sailing School for preparing me for this trip.  You never know how much you’ve learned until you’re forced to apply it, and even through rough seas and flying garbage bags your training kept me calm and my family safe 🙂