Always excited when we get visitors from our home town of Austin, TX! We thought Matt (big Matt) and Diana were kidding when emailed in December saying they wanted to come visit over NYE (being that it was short notice and we had not really talked about it) – but to our surprise they pulled off a miracle, arranged for sitters, bought tickets, and met us in Antigua just after Christmas! As experienced travelers, they arrived with two small, soft, water proof bags and 18 bottles of Rosé! Now, I am proud to say that these are our friends! Welcome to Sugar Shack!
Adding them to the boat was fun. The eSeaClear website wanted positions for the new crew, so we had a swab and stewardess – you pick which was which.
This blog will be “G” rated partly because we were all high on Rosé most of the time, partly because I just plum don’t remember, and partly because “what happens on the shack stays on the shack.”
After everyone got settled, we discussed options for destinations, durations of sale etc, and settled on the whirlwind tour and headed off to Barbuda – one of our favorite places to do absolutely nothing. It is a pretty quiet island offering lots of solitude, few tourist, and a 7 mile beach. Pulled in a small tuna on the way over. The boys went snorkeling and introduced our dinghy prop to some coral heads (yep, our new outboard prop has an easily identifiable chunk missing from a blade) and the girls went for a walk / selfie photo shoot. We’d walk for a few minutes and then Diana would stop and say “wait…let’s take a photo” took me several photo shoots to catch on that she really didn’t want to walk – but we did get some great shots!
After we claimed Barbuda for an afternoon as our own island, we headed to see what a billion dollars looks like in St. Barth’s. On the way, landed a small another tuna for more some more of big Matt’s awesome sashimi. It is where all the biggest and best boats go to be seen (not necessarily the owners, but the boats). Of course, the mega, mega yachts are all out in the bay while the small yachts (200′ or less are in the marina slips). We had fun showing them around this fanciful island, admiring the airport runway, and beautiful boutiques, then we came back to the boat to take naps as we anticipated a late night ashore. We arrived to the dock in time to welcome 2017 and see the spectacular fireworks show before heading to Shell Beach. Of course, everything was booked and private until Diana took charge. She managed to get us a fabulous spot on the beach for my Matt (or little Matt) to nap, which always seems to happen after a little Rosé, while the rest of us to drank, danced, and enjoyed the craziness until the wee hours of the morning. Somewhere in there, little Matt almost drowned laughing as he fell into the St Barts harbor, Big Matt and I get lost, the dinghy key is misplaced, and we get towed to our big boat around 5 in the morning.
Luckily, there were no serious injuries, dinghy keys were found in the dinghy that had tossed lil Matt overboard into the drink and we started all over again at Nikki Beach on NY Day! More Rosé, crazy good saxophone player, scantily dressed women, and I think a mysterious pizza made an appearance just before we left. Only one thing lost on New Years day – besides brain cells of course – so we are improving.
Big Matt and Dianan fit right into the boat life, cranked on the lines, cooked gourmet meals on our 3 burner stove, and drove the dinghy while our captain became the worse back seat driver ever. Some how they managed to have fun and said they are willing to come back – we sure hope so!
Lazy slow sail back to St. Maarten where we would find an anchor spot, and await the departure – not with out visiting sunset beach bar of course to watch the planes land and take off, and of course a round of Rosé for departure. 45mins to flight time a taxi was hailed and just as soon as they got here they were gone, 4 islands in 4 days. Very Very Fun times.