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Location: Port Elizabeth, Bequia

Welcome to the Caribbean, love – Cpt. JS

Today started just a bit earlier than usual so that we could get covid tests. After breakfast, we motored over to town to meet our buses. We were expecting a big yellow bus but were greeted by two smaller island vans that could carry far more people than should be possible, judging from the outside. They were like the tents of Harry Potter. Our driver played island hip hop and beeped his horn before ripping around corners on the left side of the narrow road. We passed many people working on the roads and some goats, and then we arrived at the luxury covid test center. Being the only test center on Bequia, we were forced to go to the beach resort:) In the test hall, we all cheered Brianne and Freddie on as they had their brains stabbed by the testers. Still don’t believe covid lives in my cerebellum. Charlie said he never let the person who cried live it down. Then he proceeded to cry. He had to be held down for the doctor to administer the necessary brain stab. We gathered in the reception area and read coffee table books. Jack looked at LA homes. I read La Dolce Vita about Italian royalty in their villas. Then we took the vibe mobile back to town.

In Port Elizabeth, many had brunch on the upper floor of an open-air restaurant, and we munched on conch fritters. I asked the waitress where I could acquire the previously occupied conch shells, but she claimed not to have them. I and many of my friends walked along the main stretch, checking out the carvings and jewelry made by the locals. I bought a whalebone neckless and tortoiseshell ring from local artist Ali. Bequia hunts one whale a year, which sustains the islanders. Ali told Garrett Sr. and me that he buys a couple of ribs every couple of years, which provides enough bone for years of carvings. Tyler now has a whale tooth neckless, and Grace, Garrett, and Henry all also now have whalebone and tortoiseshell rings. There was also Vincentian Chocolate, which I am bringing home, in the grocery store from the big island adjacent to us. Leoni and Shona went for a little hike to Princess Margaret beach and had a coffee with Elle and Garrett. I ate banana bread from Carol in Lina’s pastry shop, where I met an islander named Peter who told me about his sailing adventure’s in British Columbia, eagles soaring over his head. Before pickups in Angkarn and Tia, our dinghies, a large group of us congregated outside the ice cream parlor at the dock, where some of us became entranced by a big black and yellow caterpillar. I dug my feet in the sand and had chocolate ice cream. Being our last shore time before Antigua, we sprawled in the grass and sand, enjoying the comforts of land.

Back on the boat, some of our crew tested their mettle as Nav Masters once again, while the rest of us practiced rescue diver mini-scenarios, which involved saving Shona and other staff from the water. We found Shona face down and rushed to get our fins and masks, and life rings to her. Leoni was not satisfied with our pace, so she jumped in after Shona. Once our people got our victim, we had to deal with flailing Leoni. Akiva threw Leoni off and handed her flotation. In short, we may not have saved Shona that day, but as I am writing this a couple of days into the future, I can report we did far better when we found four divers injured in the water only three minutes after being woken up. In fact, Dylan woke us up, and 10 minutes later, was confirmed dead. RIP.

Back to the day, I was skipper. Dinner time was great energy. We had food for sure, though I cannot remember what we ate. For squeeze, I asked, “If you were the demigod child of a mythological god, who would your parent be?” There were lots of children of Poseidon. It’s possible Garrett Jr. misinterpreted the question. He said he would like to be the son of Frederick and looked longingly at Freddie. Yeah… yep he knew the question.

I am writing this with only a few days left as we sail alongside Guadeloupe. Just a few minutes ago, I temporarily abandoned writing to join my watch team three as we chanted for a green flash as the sun descended below the horizon of the Caribbean. Thank you to my family, vous me manquez. See you soon. Thank you to the crew of Vela for such a wonderful, wonderful experience. See some of you sooner, some of you later.

Jamie

Photos
1: Some of Watch team three. Unaware of the photo. From furthest to closest: Sam, James, Kendra, Garrett, Grace, Bubba, missing Emma, Jamie, Shona, and Big Garrett. Thank you for all the great watches. Watch team 3.
2: Unidentified flying plates and bowls indiscriminately tossed down the gopher hole by Shona and Arden for me to catch. My favorite job on the boat
3: A Caribbean plant I liked looks like paint splatter

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