Nu la navigation de plaisance avec Peggy & Paul
29.05.2010 - 05.06.2010 86 °F
It's Wednesday, the high point of our trip. We make our way to Peggy and Paul's boat, the aptly named Coastal Pleasure, at Oyster Pond Marina. We have our snorkel gear and not much else, because little else is needed. David and Pauline and Al and Bonnie are already there. We meet two other couples, Brenda and Steve and Pat and Alan. After introductions and fitting out, we get on board and head out of the marina.
We know from years of sailing experience experience that there are few things better than being sans culottes on a boat in hot weather. Being hosted by Peggy and Paul makes the experience simply exquisite. Peggy is a charming hostess, always in motion, making sure her guests are having as much fun as she obviously is. Paul has a wry sense of understated humor and handles the boat expertly. He is a perfect counterpoint to Peggy's infectious laugh. Within minutes, we are drenched by spray from the bow, rocketing at high speed toward Orient Beach.
Two things are accomplished by this: we get to wave at the folks at Club O and Peggy and Paul get to do a little au naturale marketing. We anchor and snorkel a bit around Green Cay and then round Pinel, heading for Baie de Petite Cays.
It is here that we enjoy the famous "mud baths." I am frankly skeptical about this, but what the hell? Paul mixes up a batch of mud and all of us smear it all over ourselves, and I mean everywhere. In the hot sun the mud dries almost instantly. We are told to lie down in a starburst pattern and Peggy takes photos of the group with our cameras. (Sorry, readers. The Cruise Code of Confidential Fun prohibits sharing.) Caked with mud, we then plunge into the ocean and wash off the mud. As promised, my skin is as soft as a baby's bottom. (I haven't actually touched a baby's bottom for years but I'm pretty sure this is what it felt like.) I now understand why people spend big $$ at spas for mud treatments.
It's then on to more snorkeling at Creole Rock in Anse Marcel, and then to Happy Bay for lunch. We are served delicious ribs and chicken, sandwiches, and chips and quacamole. Having been swimming we are all famished. The food is excellent and we all get back into the water to escape the heat before continuing our circumnavigation.
More stops, more swimming, and finally we return to port in Oyster Pond. I overhear good-natured grumbling about the need to get dressed as we say our goodbyes to Peggy and Paul and our shipmates. Tired, salty and still finding bits of beauty mud in unusual places, we head for the inn. We pick up sandwiches at Tap 5 and after showers, read ourselves to sleep. The Hellfrog's spell has been broken.
It's difficult to describe Peggy and Paul's trip in anything but superlatives. They work very hard to create an unforgettable experience. The cost of the cruise is far less than we'd be willing to pay for such an adventure. We saw parts of the island we'd only heard about, met new friends, and generally indulged ourselves.
Sans souci, sans culottes.
Nothing is better.