A Mate's Tale Part 4: A Mate's Day Off

Yeah so THIS is why we move here, when we have a day off we get to play!  Typically someone will have a boat going out, and we can hop on and go island hopping with whoever is off that day.  It was hard to plan, and usually you didn't get to choose who you hung out with that day because of our random schedules.  We had a group on social media and someone would post about a boat trip and how many spots there were, and how much it would cost.  We usually knew the captain as well, so we could do anything we wanted and go anywhere.  These ended up being LONG days usually, since we start drinking rum right off the bat.  Breakfast was rum and OJ, usually leaving around seven in the morning, yikes I know.  Each trip was different, but we had a few "hot" spots that we always had to go to.

This was usually our first stop, pretty much every boat trip went here right away.  It was a remote and uninhabited island that wasn't too far away, had a very nice beach all the way around, and it was peaceful.  We would setup beach games, throw a frisbee or football, blast some music, and have some more drinks.  We spend a couple of hours here, it's our very own private beach party, not easy to leave.

This was our boat that day, they are all about the same for these day trips hopping around the islands.  They are fast, spacious enough for up to ten of us, good stereo on board, and you don't need a dock so you can just beach it nice and close (you have to make sure the cooler is close by you know).  We have absolutely ZERO timeframe, we just go with the flow.  If you have a boat full of close friends (as we were this time) it makes things so much smoother, but people are so laid back on de islands that it doesn't matter. Once everyone seems to be done and ready to move on we slowly make our way back to the boat and head out!

 

Ummm hey girls it's time to go!!  It's okay, you can walk around the entire island in less than ten minutes, we will be loaded up and ready to go by the time they come back around.  With our morning fun in the rear view mirror, it's time to find us a cool place to get some snacks, and maybe a drink or two.  Can you recommend a place?  That's okay, I think we will find something, gotta be a bar around here somewhere no?

We found one! You have to stop at a bar before noon, it's a Pirate's code or something. Even though we have rum and beer on board, it's more about socializing than just drinking, I mean it's both.  Luckily this place has an actual dock!  We usually take a vote on board for where to go but most of us don't care and let the Captain take us wherever he/she wants.

 

Sure Captain that looks fine, what do you think?  This place ended up being really cool, they actually had horses out back and a couple of hiking trails.  Cool little bar spot with an unbelievable view, cool breezes, and excellent food.  Ever had Conch Fritters?  If you haven't, please do, I don't even like seafood all that much and they are delectable.

 

Sometimes there is a house pet as well that you can play with or pet, there was a house cat here that was sitting in the only available bar stool.  Oh well, guess we will stand!  We get a few beers or rum drinks, some appetizers, and walk around taking pictures. It's never easy to leave any of these places, but you know the next place is going to be really cool as well!  Now that we are full and have sobered ourselves a tad, it's time to hop back on board and have some drinks!

Do you like music?  Strange question I know, I don't think I've ever met a person that said no to that seriously.  Our playlists are always all over the place, reggae, classic rock, r & b, little bit of everything on these trips.  We would just trade off hooking up our phones, unless the Captain had his hooked up then we would just let him/her pick the music. Let's go I'm thirsty!

 

Aaaahhhh much better.  Yeah the boat has cup holders absolutely EVERYWHERE.  Only problem is there ends up being two drinks in every holder all over the place and it gets hard to keep track of which drinks are which.  We are always moving around the boat, mingling with different friends, bothering the captain, and changing the music.  But as long as you make sure everyone on board doesn't have cooties you will live.  Time to stop again!

So, even though we have a bunch of drinks, we do like to be active throughout the day. So we decided to make a snorkel stop at this incredible place.  No land to stand on, no beach, just amazing corals and sea life under all those rocks poking up right there.  There is also a swim through where you can dive down and swim through a little opening in the coral.  Be careful though, it is lined with fire coral and you can get stung pretty bad. The currents can be challenging as well, so not everyone wanted to jump in, but I did! Once we were all done snorkeling, guess what it's time for?  No not another drink, come on now, plenty of time for that, plus I still haven't finished the one from before I dove in.  It's time for another stop!

Man, this day is flying by.  We usually stop off somewhere that has hammocks and is quiet and peaceful, our "nap spot."

 

Some take a nap in a hammock, some of us walk the beach taking pictures, some read, others make sure our rum consumption is kept up correctly.  We usually only spend about an hour here, before our last stop of the day.  *Yawn* I'm getting tired just thinking about how relaxing this is.  Okay okay, wake up it's time to go!!

Our final stop, every trip always ends up here.  If you read my previous post I called this "Bar Island."  A beautiful beach just lined with bars amongst the palm trees, my favorite place on Earth.  A certain Country Music star frequented this place and even wrote a song about it.  Pulling up we had to look out for floaters, snorkelers, passing boats, drunk people, floating coolers, etc.  Once we get beached, it's time to find a good bar.  There is one that is famous, and always over-crowded, not really our style.

 

Want to nail your shirt to the wall ladies?  Not a problem, this ceiling is lined with shirts, towels, all sorts of random things from all around the world.  There seems to be some music coming from one of these places, I'm sure we can find it.

There it is!  This guy was actually the owner of the place, he just sat out singing about anything and everything.  He would look at you and ask you where you are from, then sing a song about your home town making up stuff, incredible.  I'm pretty sure he was real, and I didn't imagine him singing did I?  

After music it was time to jump off the boat a bunch of times.  This is a very good sobering activity, and a ton of fun!  Especially if you have a tennis ball or something, brings me back to my kid days trying to catch something jumping into the ocean.  After a bunch of jumps, I guess the day is over and we have to go back to the dock and end the long sunny day huh?

 

Bye favorite place ever!!  Oh man, this day went by so fast I am so not ready for it to be over with.  But it sure is pretty out here, if only there was one more thing we could do before we go home, just one thing, one teeny tiny thing.  Wait a minute, do you see that?

In the distance, you can't see it?  Wait a while, it's coming up fast!

 

That's what we needed!!  A floating bar!  The party isn't over quite yet, it's time to get a drink and jump off the back of that boat.  Every time I see something like that all I can think of is how badly I want to jump off of it.  Apparently you get a free drink if you jump off naked, but I have no problem spending two dollars on a rum drink.  Ready, set, go!

 

My belly is not that big in real life I swear, it's just full of Caribbean beers and rum today, geronimo!!  Okay, NOW we are done for the day and have to head back in.  It's so terrible we have to leave such beautiful places to head back to our boring apartment.  I'll show you a picture of the awful beach I lived on, it's not for the faint of heart however, please don't fill yourself with pity.

I know, you are asking yourself "How did he ever live in such shambles?"  It's okay, as long as I had a day off every now and then I was able to survive.  This was only one day, this whole story and all of these pictures were from one day off.  I had many days off down there over the course of the two years I spent there, and I could write so many posts about my days off.  This is what made me want to move down there, days like this made it all worth it, and made me be happy with my decision to move there.  It's all all rum and fun though, it is more work and hours in paradise to maintain that lifestyle and have those fun days than it is in your home town.  But who wants easy?  If days like this are the result of the many many hard days of work I'm okay with that, and you adjust accordingly if you want this.  Hope you had fun with me today, it was a long day :)  The next and final post in this segment isn't fun, and will really show you the hardest part of working on a boat in paradise.  It takes place in a spot we called "The Boneyard."  Yeah not a fun sounding place to work in huh?  See you then!