Part 2: We made for West End Tortola, where we pick up a mooring at Soper’s Hole for the night.
By Capt. Ken Kreisler — October 2002
Aboard are my wife Linda and aforementioned daughter, photographer/traveling buddy Jim Raycroft, a salty sea dog in his own right, and Eileen Zee and her daughter, the also-aforementioned Samantha Zee, whom we had met at St. Thomas' Frenchman's Reef resort the previous day. The kids had hit it off so well, we'd decided to invite them along for the ride. Also joining us on his own boat is David Rohr, the company's St. Thomas operations manager, and his two kids, Steven and Rachel. After we cleared customs, the whole group of us had dined at famous Foxy's on Jost Van Dyke.
Ah yes, the hungry pack of ruffians. I give the wheel over to Raycroft and head down to the galley, where I busy myself whipping up my own special pirate's grog that I hope will soothe the cravings of my fellow brigands. If not, I am facing a mutiny at the least and perhaps even a keelhauling. Worse is the prospect of losing my daily ration of Cheez Doodles!
But avast me hearties and by Davey Jones' Locker, my major-mojo dessert of three scoops of vanilla ice cream, a handful of sliced bananas and strawberries, and a smattering of chocolate chips placed in the blender with two cups of milk and some crushed ice and mixed until smooth and creamy yields a most tantalizing and cheery dessert that, when topped with a crumbled fudge brownie, does indeed soften their hearts. I am safe, for now.
"But Captain Ken," croons tow-headed Steven as he swipes the dessert mustache from his upper lip, "Why was Murray so mean? Didn't he have any friends or a bird or a pet fish or something?" Raycroft is already on his way down to the galley after learning I have made some of the tasty dessert for the adults as well, but with an extra ingredient: a dash of some homegrown island rum.
"Well now, that's a good question," I say, settling back into the helm seat. "What do you think made ole Murray so mean, vicious, and nasty?" He scrunches up his face for a moment and looks up at the big, puffy, fair-weather clouds lolling about in the blue sky in hopes of finding a clue. "That cloud looks like a baby pig," he says. And so it does. Then Zee chimes in from her seat just aft of the helm. "He probably never had anyone make him any really good treats like your stuff," she smiles. The kids all agree, and for the next two days, I make sure there is plenty of Capt. Ken's Special Swill on hand at dessert time.
After we leave Foxy's and stop at nearby Sandy Cay for some photo ops, we made for West End Tortola, where we pick up a mooring at Soper's Hole for the night. A local reggae band is just setting up as we dinghy ashore and grab a table--actually two, one just for the kids--and graze our way through almost every appetizer on the menu. The high-octane 151 rum runners help the adults in the necessary attitude adjustment, and the kids, rocking out to the delight of the band and the crowd on the terrace, are content with their virgin coladas and daiquiris. Sunset is a palate of soft pastels; silky pinks and peaches, muted reds and orange-yellows. By the time the band plays its version of Clapton's "Layla," it's time for us to dinghy our way back to the boats.
This article originally appeared in the April 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.