My last charter this season was with six fantastic18 year old boys, which just graduated high school. They wrote about their favorite highlight of the trip. Enjoy and come back next week when you will get to meet my mother, who will be on the boat for the first time ever. Shane
By Ben – As the six of us boarded our flight to Miami and then St Thomas, this trip suddenly became real. With months of anticipation our group of freshly minted high school graduates couldn’t believe it was here. As we sat in a bar in St Thomas we started to think about how our 7 day boat trip on the Guiding light would be. Once we met Captain Shane and boarded his boat it blew our expectations out of the water. Despite being only our third night we have come to enjoy captain Shane as one of the guys. Captain Shane has displayed a lot of respect for us by giving us a lot of responsibilities and entrusting us to go out and do whatever. He has the perfect balance of responsibility while still having a good time. We have done some of the best snorkeling ever with some absolutely beautiful sights including a sunken ship and amazing caves. The social aspect of this trip has been wonderful too. We have all thoroughly enjoyed each others company and have been able to visit some great bars like the Willy T. We are less than halfway through our journey but so far it has been the perfect trip. We look forward to the next days ahead and the great food and experiences Captain Shane has planned for us.
By Ryan – The most memorable experience of this trip for me was exploring the Baths at Virgin Gorda. While many consider this a highlight of the BVI experience, Shane added a little extra flair to our day and took us off the beaten path in more ways than the literal. Upon swimming ashore, it took him a matter of minutes to befriend a group of college girls and convince them to take a tour of the Baths with us (and subsequently to join us for an afternoon of sailing and relaxing on the beach). We entered the Baths with our new friends, bypassing a large group of noisy families waiting to take the guided tour of the main path. Shane’s version of the tour had us climbing between boulders, jumping into the ocean, and ended with a flourish: an air pocket in a boulder only accessible via underwater tunnel. To top off this incredible experience, he led us to a more secluded beach, where we had the choice of enjoying the waves and weather or venturing off on our own to explore the incredible natural wonder of the Baths to our hearts’ content. It was a fantastic day, and Shane’s knowledge and expertise (and suave words with the ladies) made it one I won’t soon forget.
By Nick – My favorite part of the trip was our night at Cooper Island. At first when we pulled up it just looked like a pretty beach and a nice restaurant to me, but it turned out to be much more. While swimming ashore I noticed there was some sort of pole sticking up out of the water and asked Shane what it was. He told me that it was a camera for fish that was shown on a TV at the bar so naturally when I sat down at the bar I looked up at watched the TV for a while. Not too many fish were swimming by, but the bartender kept talking about how many huge fish came out when the camera had a light on it at night. Shane kept encouraging us to swim by the light at night and although I was scared, part of me was excited by the prospect of seeing so many fish. Luckily one of the other guys on our boat had the same kind of feelings and we headed over to the light to check out the fish. I remembered to bring a flashlight so as we swam through the pitch black waters I saw parts of many huge fish when they crossed through the beam of light. After a few minutes we came up to the light and I saw uncountable numbers of tarpon and other various types of fish. It was truly amazing to see all the different types of wildlife and after a while we began to head back to the boat. Knowing that there were so many large fish around me made the swim back to the boat quite exhilarating and one of the fish even touched my arm. Snorkeling near the light in Cooper Island was one of the scariest things I have ever done, but it was also one of the coolest things I have ever seen. As I boarded the boat my body was still full of adrenaline and it took me a while to calm down but it was more than worth it as I was never actually in any danger. If it weren’t for Shane, I don’t know if I could’ve pushed myself, and would probably have never experienced one of my favorite parts of my trip.
By Jacob – My favorite part of the trip was right before snorkeling the Indians. This was on our first day in the afternoon after already going on a pretty tiresome snorkel around an island. I was lying on the trampoline half asleep when Shane told us we were there. My heart almost sunk as I was so content just sailing. And the thought of perhaps taking this snorkel adventure off. Luckily my friends got me to rally and get up. I grudgingly put on my snorkel gear and waddled to the back of the boat. Once there I jumped in after my friends who were about 20 feet away. Of course immediately I swallowed a lot of seawater and I had a few more second thoughts. I called out for them to wait up and I started swimming over. About five yards into my swim I looked down and my eyes met something that made me lose my breath and I stopped dead in my tracks. A four foot nurse shark was gliding just below me. At the moment I didn’t know what it was I told myself, “Its just a barracuda.” I kept staring and I became sure it was a shark. I am very afraid of them if it isn’t already apparent. After becoming sure I spit my snorkel out and said in a hoarse voice “SHARK!” It seemed like I was the only one afraid because a few of them were already looking. I swam back and sat on the ladder for a second and realized how awesome that moment was. Even though nurse sharks are very docile I was so scared. Looking back on it, that is a moment I’ll remember for a long time. This trip was life changing and most of the blame is on the best captain in the BVIs. Thanks to Shane I got to have one of the most memorable moments of my young life.
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By Will – After seven spectacular days spent sailing through the British Virgin Islands, it’s tough to choose my favorite moment, because every day really and truly was better than the last. However, if I absolutely must, I’d say that one of the most incredible experiences was snorkeling at the Cow and the Calf. As you sail by this area, it’s nearly impossible to even tell that there is, in fact, stupendous snorkeling to be done just below. Once we dropped into the cool water and peered down, an entirely new world was revealed. Rolling hills of coral reefs, teeming with fish, connected two small rock formations on either side that only slightly protrude from the water. We started at one of these rocks and made our way to the second, and what we saw in between was breathtaking. Schools of fish with more members than I could count in a month made their way around the fire coral infested reef as beautiful, unidentifiable fish swam right by, minding their own business.
Just as we reached the half way point between the rocks, we spotted another one of the huge barracudas who seemed just a bit too common on this trip, and made sure to take a wide berth of it. Just after I got back aboard the Guiding Light, still out of breath from the swim, a few of my friends who had taken a different path through this area told me about the five or six foot shark that they had just spotted. I can’t lie – I was slightly relieved that I was not one of the guys who had a run in with a shark just as big as me, but I am sure that it only added to their memories of this wonderful snorkeling spot. All in all, the Cow and the Calf was only one of the magnificent snorkeling spots we visited on this trip, but I’m ecstatic to say that I witnessed it. Thanks Captain Shane!
By Grant – One of the coolest things Shane provided for us was a Drink of the Day. Every day Shane had a new concoction for us to try, giving us a fantastic feel for the islands. In my opinion the top three drinks Shane made were the Bailey’s Banana Colada, Vanilla Delight, and the Bushwhacker, but the others were all fantastic as well! Not only were the drinks good, but it brought everyone together for a nightly toast to what we believed was the trip of a lifetime. Lee S Rosen Website provided a nice change of pace every evening to just sit and relax, talking about life and cracking jokes to each other.