I can't believe we're actually going to do this thing. Again.
A couple of weeks ago, our crew gathered to lay out our tentative itinerary and tweak our provisions list–two cases of Red Stripe, nine bottles of wine, two bottles of gin, and a bottle of rum. Yo ho ho.
Captain Rick had framed a laminated map of the Virgin Islands and we used it to trace our route. The large island in the middle is Tortola, our starting and ending point. With trade winds coming from the west, we'll be sailing in a counter-clockwise direction, stopping overnight at Peter Island, Virgin Gorda, Marina Cay, Cane Garden Bay, Jost Van Dyke, and Norman Island along the way. That's the "plan" any way.
I've decided to travel light and take the challenge of taking just one lens with me for my D50. It will be a great opportunity to give my new 50mm f/1.8 lens its first real workout. Last year my bulky zoom got to go on vacation, so it's only fair. I'll also have my trusty G9 along for the ride for shooting video, which I hope to do more of this time around.
Great thought has also been given to what reading material I'll bring. Last year's selection was a real disappointment, but it turned out I didn't do nearly as much reading as I thought I would. (Most of my "free" time was taken up snapping photos.) This time I hope to carve out more chill/reading time. As usual, I'm bringing far more books than I'll ever have time to read, but better to be prepared for a long flight delay or shipwreck on a desert island. I've got an eclectic collection coming with me: The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (high expectations for this one), Sharpe's Company by Bernard Cornwell (great escapist action), and I, Fatty by Jerry Stahl (a fictionalization of Fatty Arbuckle, that got rave reviews and has been sitting on my book shelf for too long.)
The iPod is loaded and chock full of playlists for every occasion. (The boat has a sound system we can tap into.) I've got trail mix for the plane ride. The motion-relief wrist bands are at the ready (yes, I get seasick and yes, I swear by these) and I'm about to try and stuff all my gear into a duffel bag that will easily stuff in the overhead bin. (No checking baggage–the airline loses it, chances are we'll have left the marina long before it would be retrieved and delivered to us.)
So away I go. Hoping for fair wind, calm seas and sunny skies.