Exuma Bound By Boat…Day 1

Where’s my cape? Somebody get me my damn cape. I’m channeling my best version of Superwoman right now and feeling like a total badass. How does island hopping from Nassau to Georgetown and sharing hotel rooms with 11 other people you don’t even know sound? Like a terrible idea right?!?! Something you would only do in college because as grown adults we are WAY to mature and independent for those kinds of shenanigans. I know. What the hell was I thinking! Well let me tell you, it was an experience I won’t soon forget and I’d do it all over again. And then again and again.

I had every intention of writing one post about my boat trip but I couldn’t help but describe how comical this adventure was, particularly in the beginning.

So allow me to rewind…

I was helping some of my new found Exuma friends put together a boat party on Starfish Beach since the annual Stranded Naked party in Abaco was cancelled. We appropriately named it Lost and Loaded. I could have easily just flown into Great Exuma, attended the party and left. But the networking gods intervened and I was connected via phone with a mutual friend that was going to travel by boat from Jupiter to Great Exuma and still had room for one. Stoked! Then panic. I just agreed to join 11 people I have never even met on an expedition through the Bahamas. WTF. But as time passed, I was becoming more comfortable with my decision and was looking forward to the adventure.  Island hopping through the northern Exumas is a bucket list item for many.  And it doesn’t disappoint.

When crossing from FL to the Bahamas, a flexible schedule is a non-negotiable in the event the weather doesn’t cooperate. Although my schedule is flexible, the logistics of driving to Jupiter, flying back to Ft. Lauderdale, then somehow magically getting back to my car, etc, didn’t warrant joining them on the boat in Jupiter. So instead, I decided to meet said strangers in Nassau and hop on there. Plans officially made.

One week before the trip, I met the boat owners (and the neighbor who was also joining us) at their home to drop off my gear and review any last logistics/plans. What a relief! Nicest couple ever.   For the purposes of anonymity, I shall arbitrarily call them Rob and Katie. I knew right away I was in good hands with the two of them at the helm and that just intensified my anticipation for the trip.

Travel day couldn’t come quick enough. But it did. I drove to Ft. Lauderdale, met the neighbor and two others at the gate, and took off on an 8:30pm flight, Nassau bound. Here goes nothing….

The four of us hop in a cab for the hotel at about 9:30pm. The ride seemed like an eternity. Perhaps it was because the cab’s battery died on the way to the hotel. We were about to enter a roundabout and we lost all power. The driver turns some knobs on his dashboard, pops the hood, jiggles the battery cables, and SUCCESS! This same mechanical dance would be repeated THREE more times! It’s the Bahamas. It’s what happens. We all just giggle, half nervously, because at this point we weren’t sure we would ever get to our hotel. I expected the rest of the group that was already at the hotel would be up having beers and shooting the shit. Afterall, its only 9:30. Nope. Rob texts me their room number and says everyone is in bed and asleep already. Well this should be joyful! I’m about to walk into a hotel room with an unknown number of people that I don’t know, all sound asleep and just lay my little head down and fall right to sleep. No. Way. In. Hell. I just got off a plane so I’m still wired from the overstimulation of traveling, albeit a short flight.

 

I get to the motel room, open the door, and it looks like a damn 5th grade slumber party without the pillow fights. The only light in the room is the light from the TV. There are bodies strewn everywhere…mouth breathing….snoring. I tip toe in so to not disturb my sleeping soon-to-be friends that I’ve never met and Rob pops up out of bed to welcome me. “Your bed is over there”, he whispers. “OK thanks”, I whisper back. End of conversation. It can only get better from here right? Oh dear.

So I lay my head down to sleep, or pretend to sleep, and I turn the TV off so that others may rest easy. I can’t help but wonder who is sleeping next to me. I didn’t have a clue if they were men, women, dogs, blow up dolls, or what. It’s a strange feeling sleeping just 3 feet from 5 other people, 3 of which might as well be Adam Levine. Let’s just pretend they are.

Now the silence is deafening except for the sounds of heavy breathing and quiet snoring. If I so much as hear a footstep four rooms away, I will wake up, so I just decide to suck it up and plan to not get a minute of sleep. I look at my watch every hour willing for the sun to rise. Nope. Another 6 hours. Nope, another 5 hours. It feels like an eternity. Then I hear a knock on the wall followed by a lot of rustling about. Then a female moan. Oh good lord, really? Kids…stop reading right now. Is this really happening? How old am I? Where am I? Whatever the answer, I’m in for a loooooong night. For what seemed like at least 3 eternal hours, the couple in the neighboring room decided that it was an ideal location and the perfect night to play hide the sausage. FOR THREE HOURS!!!!! It sounded like a terrible time, and it was SO obvious the “she” was faking every moan uttered. Anywhoooo, enough of that nonsense.

I was elated when I opened my eyes to the sunrise. Actually, I’m not even sure it had risen but I could see light peeking through the blinds and that was enough for me to get the hell up and away from the sausage party next door.  Rob was up, woke the others and gave us two hours to get packed and onto the boat…….

 

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