I’m back from an 8-day trip to the British Virgin Islands. My bestie-in-law was celebrating his 40th birthday and chartered a yacht named the Sealyon (pronounced like Sea Lion, not “Seely-on,” like I initially thought). The logo was a Sea Lion, so that should have been an indicator. Duh.
I’ve never been on a yacht before and it was way cooler than I imagined. Endless water activities and unmatched service.
The crew is on point. If you order something twice, they know it’s your preference so will give it to you the next day before you realize you even want it. Wake up. Go upstairs. “Here is your ginger tea, Miss Chang.” And it’s not even the girl who I ordered it from the previous day. That girl told the rest of the crew. I imagine at their pre-shift meeting they have photos of the 12 guests on board and pow-wow about everyone’s preferences. “Christine Chang likes ginger tea, and a green smoothie after her afternoon water activities, but with only half a banana blended in because she doesn’t like things too sweet.” “Rob Levy prefers Tapatio hot sauce over Tabasco, and uses 6 towels per day.”
You open your dresser and see your underwear has been washed and folded into perfect little squares. They also clean the hair out of your brush and cut off the crust if you order a PB&J sandwich. I remember one time my mom cut my school sandwich into a star and I was elated. It’s that kind of happiness.
You’re on a boat in the middle of nowhere but somehow, whatever you want to eat is available. What would you like for breakfast? Raspberry + banana crepes, huevos rancheros, pad thai, congee? Whatever you want, the chef will whip it up in his kitchen, and everything tasted amazing.
Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve heard the word “no” in the last week.
One time my friend told me he was with Ariana Grande in a green room. She asked if there was hand sanitizer and someone said, “Yes, it’s right over there.” She cupped her hands together and waited for someone to put it on for her. While that sounds ridiculous and diva-like, I completely understand why she would do something like that because it’s how she’s treated 99% of the time. I was only on the yacht for a week and already started getting used to that level of service. What? I have to do my own laundry now? Where’s my morning ginger tea? That’s right, I have to get up and make it myself. Boo.
Joking aside, I had an amazing time. I got to do a lot of water sports that I’ve never done before. The yacht kept ‘giving birth’ to smaller boats, jet skis, jet packs, and other toys. “Where do they store everything?.” It was like Christmas every day.
Btw, the diving in the BVI’s is really good!
I’ve never been so sad for a trip to come to an end, but it wasn’t the activities and high-end service that I miss. I miss bantering with my bunkmate Rob in the evenings about the girl he met at the bar that night, and then waking him up every morning to have breakfast. I would say, “Rob, it’s 10am…” and then he would say, “10am?! I gotta go upstairs and relax!.”
I miss walking upstairs and seeing the same 11 people at breakfast in the morning, and then ending the day over dinner with them, where we would share highlights and lowlights from the day. There weren’t many lowlights – most of them were physical injuries. I encouraged Mark the birthday boy to try tubing with me and we ended up getting thrashed around like rag dolls. He flew off at high speed and upon water impact, chipped a tooth and couldn’t hear out of his left ear for the remainder of the trip. I hurt my neck and kneed someone really hard (probably Mark in the mouth, hence the chipped tooth). My knee is still fucked up, and going down the water slide really was the icing on the cake for my neck. I smelled like Tiger Balm the rest of the trip.
Because our group was in one place together (can’t go far when you’re on a boat), it was quality time. It reminded me of the importance of community. American culture in particular can be extremely independent so it’s easy to forget that humans are made to function in close groups. It’s not only important to have one partner, but a healthy tribe. I think that is when people truly thrive.
The last time I felt this sad leaving somewhere was in college, when I moved out of the UCLA dorms. It was the people and daily interaction that I was sad to leave. Gratefully 2 of those people from the dorm are still my best friends, one whom brought me on this trip.
Below are some pictures from the BVI’s. It’s a mix of photos from different people’s cameras and iPhones. Part of me wishes I took more pics of the water activities, but another part of me is glad I kept my camera away for a good chunk of the trip. I can’t remember the last time I sat in one place for a week and didn’t do any work. Actually, it was a few years ago when I was depressed from a breakup and didn’t want to get out of bed. This was way better. Lol.
One of the guys brought a drone. He got the best photos of the boat.
The jacuzzi had a TV next to it, so one night after the sun went down we watched “Pirates of the Caribbean”…on a boat…in the Caribbean.
I like how when the photographer said, “Kiss someone,” most of the guys went for other guys.
My buddy/roomie Rob.
One of the guys (who shall remain nameless, ahem) – ALWAYS on Tinder. I find it entertaining to see how guys swipe. There are the mindful kind, but most I see swipe like they are dealing a deck of cards. I’m like, “Are you even LOOKING at these photos?.”
When I was little my sister and I used to play “Miami Vice.” This reminds me of it, except we didn’t have a boat and used mini bananas as guns.
The Baths at Virgin Gorda.
If you look at the round lounge to the left, that’s me sunbathing, but what my I find more interesting is how all the pillows are always perfectly karate chopped.
I love seeing my bestie as a new mom.