The day after Thanksgiving is our traditional Cap'n Marty's Island Hop day, where we rent a boat from Mattheus at See & Ski Power Boat Rentals and hop from island to island. We bring our passports so that we are able to stop in the British Virgin Islands as well as the U.S> Virgin Islands.
Steve woke us up at 6:15 a.m. Our alarm had been set an hour off! Luckily, Steve had set his alarm properly. We hopped out of bed and quickly got ready for the day. We had a quick cup of coffee Wand then headed over to Marina Market in Red Hook. We arrived just as Marty and his friend Jesi were arriving (they stopped their car to let us cross the street). We introduced ourselves to Jesi (who is originally from Massachusetts) and then went into Marina Market. We all ordered sandwich #1 - turkey with cranberry dijon cream cheese on French rolls. The perfect "Thanksgiving leftovers" sandwich. We also bought beer, water, snacks, and ice for a day on the water.
We crossed the street to the marina and met up with Mattheus. We filled out all of the paperwork, and loaded up the boat (See & Ski #5, a catamaran) with supplies. We didn't have any tunes on the boat today because nobody had thought to bring the iPod cord. We were wearing updates to the traditional Island Hop T-shirt. This year we had made shirts that said "Cap'n Marty's Island Hop" on the front, and "Cruising the Virgin Islands wiith Dixie Wrecked since 2000..." on the back. Jesi was wearing one of Marty's old-school "My Dixie Wrecked" shirts.
The water was a bit choppier than usual, but we enjoyed meandering around Hawk's Nest and Peter Bay off St. John. We anchored just off Presidio del Mar, a 6 bedroom villa located near Mick Jagger's house and took a swim. All except for Marty, who was not supposed to get his new motorcycle club tattoo wet. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed the sun and swam in the turquoise blue water, while pelicans flew and splashed down into the water around us.
After our two leisurely stops, we were running a bit later than usual as we stopped to clear customs for the British Virgin Islands in West End, Tortola. Jesi and I went ashore to the customs office. The women working there were cheerful and the whole transaction (including our $50 payment) took between 5 and 10 minutes.
We made our way across the channel despite the wind and choppy water, and stopped in Hurricane Hole to rest our shaken bones. At around 1 o'clock, we arrived at the Willy T, a bar and restaurant located on a boat off of Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands. Our old friend Zeus was there behind the bar, and he recognized us immediately. We ordered a round of painkillers and he kept them coming. Craig immediately noticed the larger than normal cups, to which Zeus replied "16 for 12", meaning 16 oz for the 12 oz price. Marty tried to convince him it meant 16 drinks for the price of 12. Zeus once again addressed Steve by the nickname that Zeus imself had coined oh so many years ago: Milky.
Zeus turned from Zeus to his alter ego George by donning a pair of bifocals. We learned that "Zeus: The Home Game" (a.k.a Scott's black Friday best friend) had been stolen from behind the bar. We noticed that the shot ski was back (it had been out for repairs last year). This is a water ski with four holes in it. Zeus mixed up a concoction that looked like antifreeze and poured it into 4 shot glasses which he inserted into the holes on the ski. Craig, Milky, Marty, and I downed the drinks and Zeus was amazed that we didn't spill any. It was a party atmosphere at the Willy T. When a woman asked Zeus if he could play some music appropriate for her kids, he quickly queued up "Life's Gonna Suck When You Grow Up" by Denis Leary. We had not heard this song before and found it hysterical.
Jesi and I got temporary Willy T tattoos, carefully applied by Zeus himself. Zeus put a song on the stereo which had the lyrics: "You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals, so let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel." Too funny! Marty was enjoying himself so much that he jumped off the boat into the water, momentarily forgetting that he wasn't supposed to get his new tattoo wet. D'oh! We enjoyed our time with the charismatic, irreverent Zeus (and his alter ego George who is much more serious). In fact, we enjoyed it a bit too much. Suddenly we realized that the sun was very low in the sky. It was later than we thought. Zeus' shift came to an end, and Zeus unexpectedly jumped into a boat and rode off into the sunset. Just like that, he was gone. (Update: We later learned via the Willy T Facebook page that Zeus no longer works there - apparently George now has a government job. For us, Zeus was always a big highlight of the trip. He will be missed.)
We got back into our boat and raced the descending sun back to St. Thomas. We certainly didn't have time to stop at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke at all this year. We were about an hour late returning the boat to the dock in Red Hook. Sorry, Mattheus! We went back to the room and saw the remains of the sunset (some orange puffy clouds above the bay). We all crashed early after having spent an alcohol-soaked day in the sun. Marty and Jesi stayed over tonight, since we had that extra room. Unfrotunately, the fact that Marty had gotten his tattoo wet in the salt water today meant that when he woke up the next morning, there was a copy of his motorcycle club logo on the bedsheets. Sorry, housekeeping! It remains to be seen what affect it will have on the tattoo itself.
Marty, Steph, Craig, and Steve
Shot Ski @ Willy T: Craig, Steph, Marty, and Milky (Photography by Jesi)
Marty and Jesi at Willy T
Milky, Steph, Marty, and Craig at Willy T