It’s Friday, and we are starting our weekend. We wake up at 6:30 a.m. as the sun starts to warm the sand. Andrew grinds the coffee beans for our morning coffee by hand with the burr grinder. “Whir, whir, whir, whir,” the cycle continues for about five minutes while the teapot starts to steam and whistle with hot water. Andrew spoons the grounds into the bottom of a stainless steel french press, pours the hot water over the top and leaves it to soak for the requisite four minutes. He presses the coffee with the built in press filter, then pours two cups. One into his favorite blue owl mug, and a second for me into my morning mug of choice.
We sit in the cockpit, drinking our coffees and watching blue water crash into a nearby blowhole and spray several feet into the sky. I pull out my computer and write. When Andrew is hungry, he starts chopping starfruit, coconut, bananas, pomplefmous and apples for a fruit salad topped with strawberry yogurt. It would be perfect if I had some granola, but we are out.
After breakfast, the sun is high overhead and we are feeling toasty. We change into our swimming gear and jump in to explore what we lovingly coin as our “personal aquarium.” We meet a little fish swimming just under Sonrisa’s hull that has white lines, yellow bug eyes, and yellow fins that flip back and forth. He is curious, especially when we dive down below the surface. He swims right next to our faces. I wonder what he’s thinking. Andrew names him James.
We swim over to a cliff with black rock below the water line and watch thousands of colorful fish swim and eat and play together. Then we swim to the beach to hunt for sea glass, seashells, coral and rocks washed up on the beach.
We swim back to the boat and practice our free diving. Free diving is diving below the surface without a scuba tank/oxygen, just holding your breath as long as you can. Some people can free dive for several minutes at a time before they need to come back up to the surface! It takes practice, though, and you must learn to minimize your body movement. We stay in so long that I start to get pruny and my lips shrivel up from the salt. My mouth feels like I have been eating too much movie theater popcorn.
After our swim, we eat tuna fish tacos with wasabi mayonnaise and dill pickles for lunch, then do a boat project. Today, I did a load of laundry with rain water we gathered during the rainstorm the night before. We have this nifty rubber bag called a Scrubba. It has ribs on the inside wall. We fill it up with a few articles of clothing, fill it with water and soap, then roll it around and rub the ribs against the clothing. I take each article of clothing out, wring it, and set it aside until the bag is empty. I rinse the bag, add clean fresh water and put all the clothes back in. Fresh water, rub, wring, dump, fresh water, rub, wring, dump, at least three times. Then, I hang all the clothes on the lifelines to dry. With about 4 days worth of clothing stashed, this process took me a little over an hour. If I’m lucky, we have a breeze and sun. If I am unlucky, we have breeze and sun until they are almost dry and then it rains again.
About an hour before sunset, we load up the dry bag with my camera, a bottle of wine and two owl mugs. We strap on flippers, goggles and snorkel, and swim back to the beach to watch the sunset. We swim, swim, swim, wash up on the sand with big crashing waves and unpack. We pour a glass of wine and send good vibes to the friends who gave us this tasty bottle of wine as a Bon Voyage gift. Crabs emerge from their sandy holes to watch the sunset with us. Rumor has it, this is a great beach to see the elusive Green Flash. As sunset creeps closer, we realize our first Green Flash sighting isn’t going to be tonight with clouds blocking the sun. Don’t worry, though, there is a silver lining to this story —the silver lining around the cloud blocking the sun. It was awfully nice, too.
Once the sun goes down, we pack up again and swim in the twilight. A neighbor boat calls out to us and invites us to share a cold beer. We meet a woman from Alaska and two gentlemen from Czechoslovakia. We eat peanuts we all agree are neither good nor bad, drink cold Hinano beer and discuss our comings and goings. The stars are out by the time we swim the remaining 100 feet to Sonrisa. As I paddle my hands through the water, the phosphorescence lights up and sparkles around me. I would stay in and play with the sparkles of light for another hour, but Andrew is sensibly creeped out by the dark ocean. He prods me to hurry up the ladder and get to dry safety, so I do. Tropical rain starts sprinkling again as we climb out, and we get a nice fresh water rinse. We dry off, make dinner, and settle down for bed.
“Now this is more like I imagined.” Andrew says as he drifts off to sleep.