By: Cole Timothy Lewis
First day down and there are already stories to be told. I don’t remember much of the flight from Charlotte to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Probably because I fell asleep as soon as I sat down in my double emergency exit row seat (thank you Mom and Dad). The airport in San Juan was quite modest. It looked like any old American airport, except a lot worse. As soon as I got to my gate, I spotted someone wearing a “Sea|mester” shirt. We watched movies together until it was time to board the plane to Tortola, BVI.
Now, I wasn’t expecting a luxurious flight from San Juan to Tortola, but I’ll admit I was caught off guard when I walked out on the tarmac to find an 8 man aircraft with no air conditioning. Luckily it was only about a 45 minute flight, which somehow I also slept through. My first glimpse of the British Virgin Islands was breathtaking. Scattered islands that looked like little mountains, gorgeous coves and marinas, and clear blue water as far as the eye can see. We were greeted happily by the kind folks of Tortola. They got us a taxi and sent us on our way to the West End Marina, which is where our ship, Ocean Star, was located. Our taxi driver informed us that he’s the driver for Richard Branson when he comes to the BVI. That’s pretty cool. When we got to the dock we were warmly greeted with pizza and handshakes.
The vessel is an 88 foot sailboat and everyone sleeps under the deck. I was excited when I was shown my sleeping quarters. They set me up in the bow of the boat with three other guys. It looked like the suite of the ship, but I soon found out, it is the worst spot. The whole vessel is air conditioned while we are docked, except for our little room. There’s ample space everywhere to put your belongings, except our room. There’s even plenty of bed space, except in our room. Our group decided real quick that we needed a different place to sleep. Thank God we found the hammocks. So I’m about to spend my first night in a hammock, on a sailboat, in the freakin' BVI.