Before I met my husband, my idea of the perfect relaxing respite was a posh, air-conditioned suite at an expensive resort located on a beach within the US territories. But like I said, that was before I was
introduced to the natural beauty and adventure of the Caribbean islands. There may be no better place to get in touch with nature than on a sailboat in the Caribbean. It’s a great way to get away from your everyday life, giving you a chance to recover and rejuvenate, while also experiencing nature up close in an environmentally friendly way. Each Caribbean island is unique, making the options for outdoor adventures nearly endless. Every day is a new journey waiting to be discovered!
Imagine waking up on your sailboat at sunrise on a tranquil anchorage of turquoise blue waters, facing a secluded white sand beach lined with palm trees gently swaying in the warm tropical breeze. After a refreshing swim and a breakfast of mangoes and other tropical fruits freshly picked the day before, load up your Coleman Exponent Daypack®, put on your surf and sand shoes, and paddle your inflatable kayak to shore to explore. As every true adventurer knows, the “real” Caribbean is best experienced through an activity. Whether wandering through the local markets; horseback riding in the surf; hike or bike through an incredible variety of landscapes ranging from mountainous rainforests to near-desert terrain; participating in a cultural event or dancing a spontaneous “Jump-up”, there is something for everyone in the Caribbean.
Today’s strenuous activity is an invigorating hike through dense rainforest to the rim of a dormant volcano crater. The extraordinary variety of fauna and flora that we pass makes you feel as if you really are in a Garden of Eden. Once at the top, we are amazed by the combination of fury and beauty of nature. On the way back from the crater rim, we take a break and have fun at a refreshing rainforest waterfall.
Once back on board our sailboat, it’s time to start the next adventure. We’ve explored above ground, now it’s time to explore under the sea. The Caribbean is known worldwide for its crystal clear waters. The islands are proud of their natural ecosystems and therefore many areas are protected, including underwater marine parks. Therefore, the Caribbean offers some of the most spectacular diving and snorkeling in the world. We spent a couple of hours in the afternoon snorkeling. We are mesmerized by the amazing coral formations and the colorful myriad of marine life. Although it is not as strenuous as our morning adventure, it is nonetheless exciting.
At the end of the afternoon, it’s time to relax a bit. We relax in the cabin of our sailboat while another charter arrives at the anchorage, lowers the sails and prepares to drop anchor. For those who are experienced sailors, it is always part of the fun and ritual of cruising to see other cruisers going in and out of an anchorage. Much to my husband’s chagrin, I grab my Bushnell binoculars and survey the latest visitors to this corner of paradise.
After seeing the most incredible and breathtaking sunset, we decided that we are too tired to prepare dinner ourselves. We attached a Coleman for Kids Illumistick® to the bow spirit of our yacht and headed back to shore to sample the delicious Caribbean cuisine in town. Then, as we pull away from shore, the dim glow of the lighting bar guides us to our boat. Without it, it can be difficult to find our sailboat in the total darkness of the empty anchorage from the reflection of urban lights. Once on board, under the glow of our floating lantern, we place the charts in the navigation station. With our handheld GPS, we plot a course for our next destination. After all, what fun is sailing in the Caribbean if you never leave port? After tidying up a bit, we huddled on the deck, gazing at an impossible number of clear constellations. Soon the gentle rocking of our sailboat works its magic. After a full day of being in nature, I am completely relaxed and a bit exhausted. It’s time to retire to our cabin, for tomorrow our sails will be full as we sail to our next Caribbean adventure.
Several years ago, if someone had told me that I would be “barely” in paradise, I would have laughed. Now I know. There is no better place to be in contact with nature than on a Caribbean island and there is no better way to do it than on an ecological sailboat.
If you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, discover the natural beauty of the Caribbean for yourself.
Every day will be a new adventure that you will never forget!