Anyhoo, it all started on December 1st, very, very early in the morning. Our flight left Toronto at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am, which meant that the car was picking us up at 4:30 AM - yes that means very fucking early! For all of you that know me well - I don't do mornings well at all! Thank heavens for our dear friends Rudi and Wendy who took our beloved Maggie for the entire time we were gone and we got to drop her off at their house the night before we left. This made leaving at the ungodly hour we did much, much easier.
The car arrives and takes us to the airport and it seems that there are many, many people leaving at the same time. Customs was jammed but because I am weird about the airport and arrival times, we had loads of time to get through, have an airport investment breakfast (translation - food that costs the earth) and be at the gate and board with the rest of the plebes in economy. At this moment as we walked through first class back into economy, I wish to holy hell that we could have gotten First Class seating with its large seats and leg room but we were denied. Wilson, God bless his bald head, did give it a good old college try as we are both plane snobs and love first class A LOT.
However it was not to be and as we were flying on points, we had an aisle and middle seat. I took the middle seat as Wilson is much taller than me and needs the leg room. I promptly fell asleep on his shoulder (did I mention that we had to get up at 4:00 am) and pretty much fell asleep for the entire flight. We landed in Charlotte, got a Jamba juice (yummy) and got on our next flight. We landed in lovely St. Maarten, collected our bags, cleared customs and headed out into the sunshine. At this point, we have been in transit for 13 or so hours and are in desperate need of a shower or a swim or both.
We arrive at our hotel - the Royal Sonesta Beach and Casino resort, get our room and head to the pool. Never has a dip in a lovely Caribbean pool felt so good on tired travellers bodies.
After we had a refreshing swim that washed the icky plane feeling away, we went to a lovely French restaurant and had a lovely dinner (with lots of wine and cheese). Then we slept the sleep of tired travellers.
Spent the day at the beach and what a glorious day it was. It was hot and sunny and otherwise fabulous. We had the better part of the day to kill before Kacy and Ed landed and we headed off to our cruise.
We depart from Simpson Bay Harbour in Marigot and head for Anguilla. It is a great sail and we arrive in Anguilla Harbour and head into shore to the only bar - Johnnos. We all decide that we would rather drink and go for a walk along the beach rather than go on an island taxi tour. We all make our way back to the boat and spend the evening in lovely Anguilla Harbour.
We drop anchor and all and sundry decide what they are going to do for the afternoon. Stay on the boat and relax, snorkel - whatever strikes your fancy. I am not a big snorkeler but I decide that there are fish to be seen and I haven't done this in a while so lets give it a whirl. I get my mask and fins, get my self into the boat and head out with the others to go for a snorkel. Once in the water, I remember why I hate snorkeling (yes I know - a wee bit too late). I hate breathing through my mouth, I hate salt water in my mouth, I hate salt water in my eyes (I wear contacts and it really hurts) and most of all I hate it when my mask leaks and I almost drown.
I tried to be a trooper but the burning eyes and leaking mask got the best of me. Kacy and I head back to the boat but by this point my eyes are burning out of my head due to the water in my mask and my lovely contacts being in my eyes. It hurts to have them open with the sunshining in them, it hurts to close them, they are watering up a storm. All in all it was very difficult to swim back to the boat. I manage to get a whistle off and get Scottie's attention and he comes and fetches me. Now let me tell you - there is absolutely NO graceful way to re-enter a dinghy from the water. Scottie has to help haul my almost drowned and blind ass back into the boat. At that moment, he was wishing I was the size of Nicole Richie - but I like food and will never, ever be considered a waif.
I get back to the boat and take my contacts out - yeah for blessed release. However, my eyes will not stop watering and I cannot sit outside as the sun hurts them. I have a beer to console myself. Wilson is appropriately concerned and keeps the beer coming. He is a very good man! Bad eyes will not keep my from drining or going ashore to have a great dinner with wonderful friends.
We go ashore and walk around Grand Case and are presented with so many wonderful restaurants to choose from. Amazing traditional French cuisine, Carribean barbecue, Italian - you name it, it's there. Some with a lovely beach view but all with very yummy sounding menus. We finally decide on a lovely French restaurant for dinner and the food is fantastic. We were VERY full when we got ourselves back to the boat and we relaxed with a after dinner drink under the moon with the ocean breezes keeping us cool.
We go back to the boat and go ashore at Tintamarre - which is an uninhabited island known for its healing mud. We all follow Scottie away from the beach to the mud area and begin to dig up the good mud - apparently there are 3 kinds - and mix it with sea water. Once it is mixed, we all start slathering it on our bodies. We all cover ourselves from head to toe and make our way back to the beach. We have to let the mud dry on our skin for the best effect and when we get to the beach, Wilson decides to use up the last of the mud on both Kacy and I and dumps it on our heads. Yup, we were officially covered from head to toe in mud. Mud was everywhere on us - seriously everywhere.
Day 6 dawns lovely and sunny and we sail from Grand Case to just off Tintamare. For those who were going to scuba (not me) we have a dive master and his boat coming to the boat to get all those who are interested. Wilson, who has always wanted to scuba, signs up for a learning dive and Kacy, Andre and Diane are all avid scuba people and get ready to go. I am not such and avid scuba person and go just to take photos.