Norman Island BVI

  Norman Island is said to have been the inspiration for the book Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.  No one is sure, but the caves there would make excellent hiding for pirate treasure.

  There are 3 different caves you can swim into, and the snorkeling in the area is fun, the coral is not spectacular, but there are usually plenty of fish.  It can get crowded here though.  We made sure we picked a time when the cruise ship wasn’t in the area.  The walls inside the cave are beautiful; you can see lots of red and purples in the rocks.  It can be a bit spooky snorkeling into the dark cave, but we have done this so many times that I have gotten used to it.  The first time I was very intimidated!!!!

Dan, Tessa and I head into one cave, Tristan opts to stay outside.  We are following a group of about 6 people.  The cave goes about 40 to 50 feet back, and gets darker and darker as you head in. 

    The sides of the walls are red and purple, with crabs crawling across them, and sometimes if you look up, you can spot a bat or two, hanging from the rocks. Dan and Tessa are ahead of me, right behind the other snorklers, and I am trying to catch up.  The current is pretty strong here; you really don’t have to swim, just go along for the ride as the current pushes you deeper and deeper into the cave.  Dan sees me lagging behind and motions for me to catch up.  I finally meet up with them, and start to relax and get the camera ready for some photographs inside the cave.  No such luck.  The pack in front of us have reached the end of the cave and have now turned around in mass and are trying to squeeze past me through the narrow opening.  It’s like a stampede that I am helpless to get out of the way.  It’s the Who concert all over again!  Tessa is swept past me, and I try to grab her, but she is caught up in the migrating herd, and I am hit with passing flippers for my troubles.   I yell for Dan to watch out for her and then they disappear in the group.  I struggle after them.  Then the last wave of snorklers gets me and soon I am hustled out of the cave with the masses.  Dan and Tessa are with Tristan waiting for me.  It seems Tristan was definitely the smart one here for staying out of the cave.  So much for a relaxing snorkel! 

    Unfortunately, this is high season here in the Virgin Islands and this is what we will encounter everywhere!  That night, the harbor at Norman Island is filled to capacity with all kinds of boats as now the Puerto Ricans have started to come over for the Easter holiday.  We visited Pirate Bight Pub for lunch.  Several years ago, when we were here, it was Billy Bones and was really a fun place.  Now it is Pirates Bight, and the lunch we ate there was awful and the service slow.  But the kids had fun playing “life size” Jenga and “Connect 4”.                                                    



Bitter End Yacht Club

I went for a massage at the spa at Bitter End resort. 


Bruises and minor strains are as much a part of cruising as clear waters.  We have been very lucky to have been free of any kind of sickness, and any major or minor injury…… except for my little toes.  For the last few months, I keep stubbing my little toe.  First few times it was the one on the right, and it eventually lost a nail.  The worst one was my two small toes on my left foot, which swelled up and turned all shades of red and purple.  Normally, though very painful at the moment, the pain goes away quickly. Not this time.  In fact while the one toe seemed to heal, the pinky toe seemed to get worse.  It hurt more everyday and was hard to walk on, plus I kept rehitting it, so it didn’t have a chance to get better.  I am not a whiner, but this made me become one.  I have my level one Reiki attunement, so when Dan or the kids needed some healing work done I helped them, but I am not as good doing it on myself. I decided to take advantage of the spa services at Bitter End and get a massage.  One massage, called the Thai Massage, seemed appealing.  According to the brochure, it combined stretching with acupressure (like acupuncture but using pressure not needles) to balance the body.  I knew my body was well out of balance from lugging loads of laundry and groceries untold miles so I decided this was the massage for me. 


At the appointed time, I was led up the hill, to a small cabin that served as the spa.  Inside it was very spacious.  One entire wall of the cabin was windows, allowing a beautiful view of the harbor during a massage.  Singh was my Indian masseuse.  I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  Instead of lying on the massage table, he had me lie on a mattress on the floor, on my back.  Singh asked me if I had ever had a Thai massage and I said no.  He explained it exactly as it said in the brochure, but somehow now it seemed more like stretching, than a massage, so I started having second thoughts.  But he assured me to give it a try, so I was in. We also talked about my Reiki, and he too was Reiki licensed and I assumed he would incorporate that in the session.  Maybe he could tell me what message my hurt toes were trying to tell me. 


First he started with massaging/stretching my toes.  As he got closer to the painful toe I told him, “That’s the toe I hurt. Please don’t pull on it.”

He gives me a nod and keeps stretching my toes. His eyes are closed and he is in deep concentration.  He pulls on my toe.  I jump a bit and remind him, “That’s the one.”


I am not sure he hears me.  I told him that I kept injuring my toe and I was sure there was some message I was supposed to be getting.  Singh seems to ignore me, lost in his concentration rubbing my feet.   I try again as he is still dangerously close to my toes, “That toe really hurts.  Again, nothing from Singh.  I close my eyes hoping for the best.


Suddenly I hear a voice. “You can’t just run away from someone just because you can’t communicate with them”



 Did he just say that?

He must have as no one else is in the room.

 Is this my message?  I’m not sure.  He doesn’t say anything else, and I still am not sure I heard anything or just imagined it and am too embarrassed to ask.  I think about what he said about communication.  I have been having trouble communicating lately.  I am obviously having trouble now communicating to him to not pull on my toe.  “Ow!”


He shushes me.  He puts up his hand, keeping his eyes closed and actually shushes me. I can’t believe it!   He’s gearing up to really pull on my toe now and as I get ready to yell…… It’s done.

  The pain in my toe is nearly nothing!  I can’t believe it!  Singh just gives me a nod.


My euphoria is short lived as now he starts in on my legs.  Before I know it, he has my right leg bent up nearly over my head.  I am starting to think it was a bad idea to wear my swimsuit.  Leg over my head, knee to the chest, leg to the side (definitely hanging out of my swimsuit on that move!). More stretching, pulling, and twisting until finally he asks me to turn over. 


“Oh, ok.”


 I have given up any input in this as he seems to know what he is doing and I don’t want to be shushed again. More stretching.   On my back he has me bend my feet up, he sits on them and pulls my arms back, lifting my upper body off the floor.  My body has started to lose contact with my swimsuit in various places if you know what I mean, but before I can readjust, we are on to the next pose.  I can really feel my body loosen up, and before you know it the time is up.  I actual wish we had more time!   After tucking myself back into my swimsuit, I am amazed at how great I feel.   I feel about 6 inches taller, and my toe feels amazing!  I seem to float out the door and and head to the beach to meet Dan and the kids.


“How was it?” asks Dan.

“Um, good.” I reply, at a loss for words, lost in bliss of relaxation.

“Really? You aren’t saying too much.”

Well, so much for my communication!


Bitter End Yacht Club BVI

  While I buried Tessa in the sand, Dan and Tristan rented a Hobie catamaran and had a great sail.          While they were gone, the staff at Bitter End hauled out a big floating trampoline, with a slide (called a super Playstation) and anchored it in the water in front of Tessa and me.   Could it get any better for the kids?  By the time Tristan got back from sailing, the Super Playstation was filling up with kids.       We met a nice family from Toronto Canada, who had 3 children near our kids ages.  While the kids played in the water, their mom Cari and I had time to talk.  After dinner, we caught up with them while watching Shrek 2 at the outdoor theatre. All the kids were so tired from playing on the Playstation.  Tristan and Tessa had a tough time staying awake for the movie.  Homeschooling tomorrow will be tough!

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