Hello, my name is Zach and I am 13 [Shane – his dad owns the marine engine repair book publication and you should check it out at www.selocmarine.com]. I have an amazing adventure story for you all to read, so here I go. I flew from my hometown of Pennsylvania to the Virgin Islands on a surprisingly short airplane ride (three and a half hours long). When the plane landed my heart was racing because I was in awe of the gorgeous isles. Well, my family and I chartered a forty-one foot Lagoon sailboat with my friendly captain Shane (who can cook really well). First off, I just have an urge to mention that I had an amazing time snorkeling with tons of fish and creatures that I have never heard of back in Pennsylvania. From the airport, we took a taxi with our nice driver Yogi to stay at a beautiful resort called Paradise Cove. We hiked on a mini trail down to the rocks and saw some snails, exotic creatures, and tiny fish and other wildlife. There was a four and a half foot long iguana that scrambled swiftly into the flowering brush. There was a cool pool area where you could look down into the clear, blue ocean as you swam. Anyways we had some pizza for dinner and slept quite comfortably. I was a bit nervous to meet Shane, the captain of our boat. But he turned out to be really nice and fun to be around. The first day on the boat was fun (with the exception of the rules and regulations, but those are first priority). After we unpacked, we motored over to Water Lemon Cay (pronounced Key). We started snorkeling and it was a brilliant sight for the eyes to see. There were many species of exotic fish and coral that was fun to just float and look over. Then we snorkeled back to the boat and took the dinghy over to the shore and took a hike to the old sugar plantation. We also saw huge termite mounds attached to the trees. The hike was long but Shane’s amazing tour was worth the hike. After we took the dinghy over to the boat, my Mom and I kayaked over to the beach again and I was the only one to snorkel. I rode two sea turtles (one was a green sea turtle and one was a hawksbill turtle) and I also saw about five barracudas and I chased them until I saw the southern stingray. There were fish literally riding the stingray which was kind of funny. After we left I came up with the name “Barracuda Cove” for the little cove. After a good night’s sleep on the comfortable beds, we motored over to Norman Island and we checked in to the British Virgin Islands at Soper’s Hole. Then we motored (once again) to the Indians and snorkeled there. It was my Dad’s favorite spot to snorkel because of the various depths, somewhat random drops, and crevices. Plus, there was a good amount of fish and coral there too. It was my first “real” experience snorkeling in the Virgin Islands. Then we went snorkeling at the Caves which were a stellar performance of Mother Nature herself. After that fun experience, we had dinner at Pirates Bight. We sailed to the Rhone and Shane took me out and then my Mom. We chose that we would continue sailing to the Baths, which was amazing. We walked through them, while Shane and I explored the beautiful side rooms. We finally made it to Devil’s Bay and then took the path around the end of the island. When we were done we anchored at Spanish Town. Afterwards we played an intense game of Auction, which is now my favorite board (card) game. We then went to Great Dog Island and snorkeled there. I had a blast of fun. There were jellyfish and all these different species. But I got a huge rash from “sea needles” which are pretty much tiny little pencil-sized jellies that sting you. It’s still on me which really stinks. But anyways, (if you’re still reading this) we went to a tiny little tropical island called Saba Rock. They fed the ten to eleven hungry tarpon, the lone barracuda, and the one and only Horse Eye Jack (he thought he was an apex predator) with meat. I got to wrestle one of the tarpon with a fun game of tug-a-war. They had three toucans there but they were noisy. They had a bar there and I got to drink a delicious mango smoothie. Then my Mom and I went to the mini, man-made beach and found that attached to the shady palm trees was three hammocks and you’ll never guess what I found!? I found a little baby hermit crab that was practically a millimeter long. They had an aquarium with two real cannons and an anchor from a sixteen sixty-five Spanish shipwreck. Also in the aquarium there were many pretty fish and there was a friendly yet menacing looking moray eel too. I set my hermit crab (which I named Ronald) in his new aquarium habitat with his new friends. I think he enjoyed it very much. There was a dive shop with many cool things like two flintlock pistols and some old currency. That was really interesting. Well, that word ends the day for that wonderful and sunny day. The next day after a wonderful breakfast was a “bluebird day”. We played some board games like Auction and Uno which were really competitive between the four of us. Anyways, we then sailed from Saba Rock to Anegoda which was a long trip. But we did have some pretty good fishing (even though we lost a lot of Shane’s lures). It was a nice breezy and cool trip to there. When we arrived we took the little, gray dinghy to the dock where a six year old funny girl tied us down. We were impressed with her talents and abilities. There were many hand-fishermen that were mainly kids but there were about two or three adults fishing. There was a stinky fish cleaning station though. They had caught many lobsters that literally walked across the ocean (from the Gulf of Mexico to Anegoda). Those were dinner except that I was having a burger with some fries. We went to the beach and I found many shells and coral on the edge of the sand dunes. That was one of the softest beaches I have ever felt (except for my yearly vacation spot, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina). The beach was called Loblolly Bay. I caught three fish with my big hands and my blue/white surf shirt (though one of the fish had prickly spines and cut my shirt open). After the sunny beach, my family and I went to get ice cream for me. There we wrote on a piece of wood that we found and a local bartender said that we could put it up as a tradition with everyone else’s pieces of wood. Although most of the time the people used a magnifying glass to carve their name with the sunlight’s energy. Then we went back onto the boat after some shopping for gifts, fishing material, treasure, etc. We went back after a couple hours and ate an excellent dinner which was cooked right in front of us. That was a fun experience. Then, after dinner we saw one barracuda, six or seven tarpon, and two black tip reef sharks. Then I got a goodnight’s sleep in Shane’s “fire room”. It is the back, left cabin over top of the engine. It had all fire fighting related stuff (fire trucks, etc.). The next day we sailed to Monkey Point and I saw a huge tarpon fish. Then, we sailed to Sandy Spit. It was an oasis type mini island that had sand and a couple palm trees. The miniature island was a deserted pure-sanded paradise. There was rocks and coral that you could stack to make a statue or some sort of structure. The sand was whitish-yellow and was soft to the touch. Shane and I played in the sand. I made a sand and coral fort while he “eroded” my fort. I guess that you could call it a mini castle war. My Dad had a broken toe (stubbed) and a bruised rib (thinks that he slept wrong) because he is a little clumsy, so he couldn’t really do anything. Then Shane and I had a mini-competition where we had to run out as far as we could until we fell. Shane started to cheat by tackling my legs. Then we ate a good dinner cooked to perfection by our host Shane. We woke up and sailed to Jost Van Dyke, which is a nice looking island. When we got there we saw many sea turtles surfacing above the water. Therefore, I grabbed my handy snorkeling gear and literally dived off the side without thinking that I did not have my swimsuit on at that current time. I rode some sea turtles and saw many southern and spotted eagle rays. I found about four, five, or six red cushioned starfish (that is the name). My mom and dad really appreciated me bringing them a long was back to the big boat just to show them. That was a Kodak moment that I will never forget. Then we hiked up to the Bubbly Pool, which was quite a hike for my parents, but nothing for my track-muscled legs (I ran track in 7th grade- short distance). There was this feral cat that was a cute black and white, yellow eyed stray kitten. They released the felines onto the island because they used to have a huge rat problem (don’t be scared, there are not anymore rats that I know of). He followed my loving family and me the whole way to the cliff at the pool where he slept under the shady trees until we returned. The bubbly pool was not that good because the current wasn’t very strong, but don’t let that deter you from the fact that in the winter, the current is dense and powerful. The idea is that when the wave crests over top of the rocks that are in the way, the mint white sea foam acts as a bubbling product and makes it feel like you’re surrounded by a warm, foaming Jacuzzi. We saw some wild goats on the way back and also some lizards (iguanas, skinks, green anoles, etc.). After we got changed out of our wet bathing suits, we went to the famous bar and restaurant, Foxy’s. We ate lunch there and I had a wonderful basket of fries and a refreshing fruit punch that was made right at that very spot. There was an island dog there but I saw that it had a limp and a tumor, so I think that it might have had cancer. That made me really sad so I petted him and told him that he would be perfectly fine. I relaxed on the hammock and he rested next to me while we waited for Shane to pick us up in the dinghy. After we left, we went to the final spot of White Bay. There were many crazy people there who had drunk a little too much. I found a sand dollar near the crowded lounge chairs. I also went snorkeling near the shore looking for some rare and/or interesting looking shells and coral. I found quite a bit of those to bring back. There was an anemone field and coral reefs. Tropical fish were quite plentiful as I quietly drifted over the multi-colored environment. But, my Mom became quite disgusted with the drunken place, so we had to leave. We then sailed with the front jib to a small campground and I got the honor of having to grab a mooring ball, which is basically an anchor without having to struggle with pulling out your own anchor. We slept well, and went through customs quite easily on the last day with my cool captain Shane. My family is going to keep in touch with him. Well, I hope that you enjoyed my somewhat long adventure story. Maybe someday all of you readers will be able to have the time of your lives too!