We met some interesting characters on Spring Break while traveling. (Another benefit of not being buried in a PDA / laptop)
1. The check-out-of-life dude
The guy from SoCal who sold it all, bought a boat and was living on it while sailing around the islands. From the outside in it looked it awesome. I suspect I wasn't seeing the complete picture!
2. The Flamingo breeder
A lovely lady who was breeding Flamingos for Richard Branson on Necker Island. We were sitting at a bar and she was sitting next to us. She was downloading photos of newborn chicks and was just bursting to show us. They were amazing. Flamingos were native to Necker Island but were forced out years ago. The day after we met her was the day they were being released into the wild. Her excitement was palpable. She told us that if we'd ever like to stay on Necker, it is a mere $50,000 a day for 28 people…or $25,000 per week during hurricane season!
3. The Brits who moved to the BVI's only to move home and then move back!
We met a British family on the beach who had been in the BVI's for 5 years. They returned to the UK to get their girls into the UK school system. The rain got to them (familiar theme) and 6 months later they were back in the BVI's but had doubts they had made the right move. Sometimes paradise is not all that it seems…
4. The pom on a cruise from Ecuador to Cuba
I met a guy in the surf who was 2 weeks in to a month-long cruise on a big ass ship. I was so surprised at how much territory you can cover on those things. He started in Ecuador, through the Panama Canal and on to the BVI's. He was then heading on up to finish in Cuba. Amazing.
5. The family we just kept meeting
We met a family with kids the same age as our collective 6. They played forever. 3 days and much sailing later, we took the dinghy and went around to White Bay for a swim. Lo and behold the same family was there. Kids played for hours and we spent time chatting with the parents. The father was about to ship out to Afghanistan. They had had 5 years in Korea then the UK and Germany. It never ceases to surprise me the sacrifices those that serve make. We have a tiny Armed Forces in Australia. Barely visible. Yet here, they play a big part and when you get a chance to meet and speak with them you see the dedication and the sacrifice. Their Quinn and our Fynn are now email mates.