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Thirty to forty foot swells – a scene out of the Sebastian Junger book, The Perfect Storm, was the start to my “relaxing” vacation on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. My friend, Sarah, and I boarded Speedy’s ferry, the Fantasy, our stomachs full of conch & mahi mahi and rum punch topped with fresh nutmeg, which we’d savored at the Petite Pump Restaurant after arriving on St. Thomas. Sitting atop the ferry on metal benches, I started taking pictures of the beautiful landscape: turquoise water in the harbor, a crumbling castle held up with scaffolding, houses painted in pastel pinks, corals, aqua and lime. Part-way into the two hour ferry ride, the sea got rough and waves washed over the bow of the boat, sending spray in powerful showers that smacked us across our faces, our laps, soaking our clothes in seconds. A man tied a windbreaker around his pregnant wife’s neck to cover her head so she could breathe; the rest of us held on for dear life and rode what felt like an amusement park ride gone terribly awry—and lasted over an hour. My sunglasses kept my contacts from falling out but beat a bruise across my nose. I cried hysterically in between waves while my friend choked and spit up sea water. I heard people swear and pray in the same breath, myself included. Then we arrived on Virgin Gorda and went through customs, standing awkwardly, dripping wet and shaking with nerves. The rest of our five night stay was full of thrills: we drove a jeep over a volcano dressed to the nines to go to a marina-restaurant, the sort of place where Morgan Freeman sometimes moors his sailboat; snorkeled in a choppy Savannah Bay, despite rumors of a bull shark—where my friend, Harmony, got tossed into fire coral by a rogue wave; and explored the incredible caves at the Baths with 3,000 tourists off of a cruise ship (our bad timing). Occasionally I found myself riding in the jeep wearing my dive mask with the prescription lens so I could see on the way to the bays for snorkeling. No sign of the Virgin Island tree boa or lizard that does push-ups but we saw dozens of gekos and iguanas, whose tails slashed through the undergrowth as we hiked along trails. Each night I showered outside our villa under a full moon in a swirl of warm sea breeze and magenta bougainvillea. I will have to go back to hike Gorda Peak, see the copper mine and ruins, snorkel Mount Trunk Bay, and take a boat over to Anegada, the so-called drowned island, which is a nature preserve. I’d go back in a heartbeat, with cameras packed in dry-bags.


Poet. Artist. Ecoheroine. Human ecologist. Spiritual mermaid and Mystic. I write about literary ecology, wetlands, water, Romantic ecology, and quirky adventures with my dog.

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Raecine Ardis Wilkinson

Sessions and healings by intuitive reader and priestess, Raecine Ardis Wilkinson

claire houston | p h o t o g r a p h e r

a collection of single images

Truly Teach Me Tarot

The Art of Holistic Tarot Therapy

Confessions from a Homecoming Queen

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Tupelo Press

Live from the Loft

Random Inspirations

Welcome to my blog, full of fun inspirations and insights on writing, self-publishing, and more!

Lezlie Moore

Always leave them wanting Moore

Miss Modernist

Written Word of the Modern Era

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Musings of a Maine lake dweller

The Ark of Identity

Laura M Kaminski's poetry practice and links


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Catherine Evans Latta

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Natural History Wanderings

Sandy Steinman's Blog

Mixed Waters

A look at the conditions and events surrounding estuaries, wetlands and coastal waters

Charles P. Martin-Shields

Comparative Politics | Development & Migration | Technology & Media