While I was in St. Thomas, I met a couple that highly recommended if I wanted to go to the British Virgin Islands, I should go with Bad Kitty tours. The woman was so adamant about the company and insisted that if she were going to take another tour, she would go with the same company. After researching the stops included on the trip and reviews from Facebook, I was sold and gave them a call on Sunday afternoon. Prayerfully, they had enough space to fit me in for a trip the next day, as it was the only day I could possibly go. #LookAtGod!
Let me be frank for a second. I've never taken a cruise in life and have only had a handful of interactions with ferries. Cruises freaked me out in theory and therefore I was a bit hesistant to be on a boat dramatically smaller than a Royal Caribbean, but like Jen says, fear is for suckers, and I needed to show it who was boss. It's funny how God places people in front of you at just the right time. While sipping a water at the ferry dock, I met a man who was waiting to be called for the Bad Kitty ferry. Would you believe that he had been traveling solo as well? So, I wasn't the only crazy person doing this. We agreed that we would be each other's photography pals and lunch partners.
The first part of the ferry ride was a bit rough for me because the water was rough. I was internally cussing myself out for committing to be on this boat all day and was not sure my stomach would be able to deal with this all day. The captain and crew suggested for those individuals with weak stomachs to get up and go to the top. Oh hell no, are they crazy? Don't they feel this boat moving the way I do? However, with enough prodding and "you gotta see this!", I made my way outside and eventually to the top. I guess the crew knew what they were talking about because I felt a million times better.
Our stops for the trip included:
- The Baths at Virgin Gorda
- Lunch at Cooper Island
- Snorkeling at Norman Island
- Painkilla turn up at Jost Van Dyke
One of my favorite quotes of the day was, "you are officially in British waters", and the sights of the flags solidified that moment for me. It was eye opening for me and a sight I did not take for granted. Virgin Gorda was having some rough water, so our crew informed us instead of swimming to the Baths, we would be taking a hike but would need to be cautious of the cacti growing throughout the path. Alright. Cool. Thankfully, I had lived in Miami long enough to not mind the lizards crossing our paths at any moment.
My mouth dropped when our hike concluded for a moment and we were officially at the Baths. The rocks were colossal and mildly intimidating. It sure was a way to make a girl feel small. One of the crew members told us to be careful of the "men in Speedo's" who would try to breeze by us, but we as a group needed to stay together. I will not be discussing how many belly heavy middle aged men I saw in minimal swim gear on that Monday morning. Ha! We had to prepare to crouch and get low in order to enter into the path.
I'm pretty sure I will remember The Baths for the rest of my time on this planet. I had googled plenty of pictures, but actually standing in that location made it ten times better. I mean, Tyra Banks had her infamous Sports Illustrated photoshoot in the same spot I was standing in. Plenty of people were itching to get a picture and I'm surprised I managed to get one myself. Continuing on throughout the path, you could catch glimmers of the turquoise blue waters, but even when you could not see it, you were sure to hear it. Normally, I would not be caught dead hiking in Texas, but I was finding the crouching, climbing, and sweating all pretty enjoyable. And yes, my mouth dropped again when we reached our destination. The water was bluer than it had been in St. Thomas and I couldn't get my clothes off quick enough to hop into the water and take selfies. After we hiked it back to the boat, we were on our way to eat lunch at Cooper Island. We preordered our meals so that when we got there, we would not not have a lengthy wait. I also purchased a beautiful silver anchor necklace that I kept on me for the remainder of my #MostEpicSpringBreakEver.
Following lunch, we headed to Norman Island for snorkeling. On the way, we spotted two turtles swimming in the water and I was elated. We rushed and got on our snorkeling gear so that we could have enough time for a good swim and sightseeing of the coral. For the record, I'm not an expert swimming and would probably drown in 30ft water, but when you hand me a life jacket I believe I'm a mermaid and have no issues jumping into water. In fact, I was so ready my phone almost went into the water with me. I could tell that the waters were a bit rough but I still caught glimpses of fish and coral. I was so damn happy to be in the water that my happy self ended up in some fire coral and freaked out because I thought I ran into a shark due to its solid surface. After scratching my leg twice and feeling it sting, I knew that it was an area I needed to escape QUICKLY. I swam around for a bit but eventually when my pal Victor caught up with me, I was complaining about my thigh stinging and I thought I was bleeding. I made it back to the boat and saw that my leg was swelling up and had visible scratches. #OnlyMe Thankfully, the crew was preparing the open bar section of the trip and I used the Painkilla to help me forget about the pain I was in.
Our last stop on the excursion before we headed back to the USVI was White Bay on Jost Van Dyke, and the Soggy Dollar Bar, home of the first Painkilla. Even with all of the people, the sand was still beautifully white and the water was warm enough for me. You have to get wet in order to get to the shore, but at least you know you had some libations awaiting you. I purchased a sarong from the Soggy Dollar Bar to have as another keepsake from the BVI and then went to lay out and relax on the chairs. Aside from the fire coral stint, the day had been perfect and I was in an extreme state of gratitude for listening to the retired couple.
We jumped on the boat (and I was even standing at the top) and headed "home". After dropping off the St. John crew, the St. Thomas crew was last to depart. A lovely newlywed couple, Ben and Jen invited Victor and I to dinner at Blackbeard's Castle and we had a blast. Did I jump into a car with strangers? Yes, but this was a situation in which I trusted my instincts and prayed that the Lord would keep me. I made new friends from the trip and passed out by the time I got back to my resort. As Ice Cube would say, "today was a good day".
P.S. Would you believe that after my full day excursion, 2 out of 24 people did not get a stamp on their passport. Guess who was one of those 2?! UNBELIEVEABLE!!! lol