Cruisin' with the Wilbrichts
We had our first visitors from home aboard Foxfire last week, when Tim, Mischelle, Luke and Noah flew down to George Town to share the dream with us, if only for a week. I can’t even describe how good it felt to see friends from home, especially Tim & Mischelle, who were by far our biggest supporters and mentors through the whole process of buying a boat and making this crazy dream of cruising a reality. They were the ones who picked us up and encouraged us to just do it, even when our family and friends thought we were completely looney. We didn’t realize just how home sick we were until we saw their familiar faces piling out of the cab and walking down the dock towards us. We also didn’t realize what a dark island tan we’ve developed until we were standing next to them. Guess we should probably bump it up to SPF 50+ from now on.
Since they had a limited time in the islands, we decided the first stop would be to head back north to Staniel Cay so the kids could swim with the piggies and do some snorkeling in the famous Thunderball Grotto. Staniel is about 60 miles north of George Town, so we were in for some pretty aggressive travel the first day, but Tim and Matt were excited to sail so off we went.
All was going fine until we hit the Exuma Sound and the waves began to pick up. We were all a bit unprepared for the motion of the ocean, especially the kids, who had their heads hanging in a five gallon bucket for the majority of the trip. The rest of us were slowly eating saltines and popping Dramamine, desperately trying to avoid the same fate. Lets just say it was not exactly the perfect start, and we hoped the kids wouldn’t be scarred for the rest of the trip. Poseidon must have heard our prayers, because by the time we reached Staniel Cay, the wind and waves died down and we were able to enjoy a few days of Caribbean bliss. And Piggy Beach, of course.
Unfortunately, the good weather was short lived, and another front with 30mph+ winds was expected to come thru mid week and continue into the weekend. Instead of island hopping south, we decided to play it safe and head back down to George Town to avoid any more traumatic rough days of sailing.
The trip back was so much better than the trip north, and Tim and Luke entertained us with riddles and random facts that Mischelle likes to refer to as “Tim Bits”. We have no idea if he was telling the truth or totally bullshitting us, but he sounded like a man who knew a lot about whatever it was we were talking about. No wonder he’s such a good salesman.
As we were anchoring off of Goat’s Cay back in George Town, we saw someone wildly waving in our direction from the beach. Sorta strange. We didn’t know if they were actually waving to us or not, so we decided to play it safe and ignore them to avoid looking like complete idiots. After we set the anchor, we saw two people, one on a paddleboard and another on a kayak coming towards our boat and we thought – “Hey! We know them”! It was Alex and Charlene, the two Canadians who hitched a ride down to George Town with us! Turns out we were anchored right off the resort they were staying at with her parents. Too funny, eh?
The boat was starting to feel pretty small with six people onboard, so we decided to get off the boat and do some resort hopping instead. The kids had WiFi and the adults had pina coladas, so it was pretty much a win-win.
After two-three days (two-tree as pronounced by the locals), we moved on over across the channel to explore Stocking Island, and to hike up Monument Hill, perhaps the highest hill we’ve seen since we hiked the cliffs at Staniel Cay. You really begin to miss elevation down here, where everything is fairly flat and looks pretty much the same. The trail to the monument was pretty neat… you began on the beach, then went thru some jungle, then back onto sand/coral, then did a small switchback trail up to the very top of the hill. The view from the top was awesome. You could see for miles.
We hiked around to the ocean side of the island and discovered an amazing beach with this beautiful pink sand that your feet sunk into all the way up to your ankles… It was like stepping on some sort of memory foam mattress. We walked the beach for a while, collecting shells and examining random flotsam, before heading back into the jungle towards the boat.
Noah’s favorite part of the trip was using our cooler to beat out some epic drum solos along with his iPad. After about three days of being woken up to the shrill sound of a flip flop banging on the fiberglass and echoing throughout the hull, Matt thought of a brilliant way to design him a custom “drum” set, complete with sticks made from an extra fiberglass batten and paper towels wrapped in electrical tape. He also took a foam knee pad and taped it to the cooler for extra protection. This worked wonders to dull the noise and had the rest of us voting him MVP of the trip. Way to go, babe… you’re a freakin’ genius.
Alas the week was over, just as quickly as it started. Isn’t it funny how vacations seem to work that way? Thanks so much for visiting guys! We had an awesome week and hope you did too. Hate to see you go, but sure am glad it’s not us returning to single digit temperatures back home.
Sorry… too soon?