Saturday, March 5, 2011

Don't Make Plans

HB and I relearned a valuable lesson about life in the BVI yesterday - the best-laid plans are guaranteed to go awry.

We had decided to use HB's day off to take a day trip to St. John, giving us the opportunity to get off island and try some new things. On Wednesday, we discussed how we would take the ferry in the morning, rent a vehicle, hike in the Virgin Islands National Park, check out some of the beaches, and spend the afternoon limin' at one or two of the restaurants in Cruz Bay.

We awoke on Friday to beautiful weather in Tortola, and made our way to West End Ferry dock for the 9:15 ferry to St. John. At 10:15, we finally boarded the ferry, which was only operating on one engine, and therefore slowly. As we approached St. John, we noticed gray clouds moving in. High season being in full swing meant there was nary a jeep available for rental, so we took a brief hike in the park, carrying all our snorkel gear that we had planned on leaving in the rental car.

The skies opened just at the end of our hike, and we were forced to shelter from the rain in a phone booth at Caneel Bay Resort. Once the rain let up, the skies cleared a bit so we took a taxi to Trunk Bay Beach. By the time we changed and stowed our stuff in the lockers, the clouds had returned. We snorkeled and swam for about 45 minutes, but the water was chilly (about 77 degrees) from the rain earlier in the day, and with no sun to warm me, I wasn't able to stay in much longer than that.

As we finished changing back into our street clothes, the downpour started again. I wanted to wait it out to take pictures of the beach, but after twenty minutes we gave up and went to get a taxi. Perhaps the worst part of the day was waiting 45 minutes for the taxi driver to decide he had enough fares to actually make the trip into town. A typical taxi can hold up to 18 people, and our driver didn't want to depart until he had at least 12. Even when HB offered to pay him extra to take just the two of us, the driver insisted on waiting.

Despite everything that seemed to go wrong, HB and I still had a pleasant trip, made better by the fact that the sun finally came out around 3:00, and the excellent margaritas we enjoyed before returning to Tortola. Still, I am certain in my belief that had we headed to St. John with no expectations and no plans, everything would have proceeded swimmingly.

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