A couple weeks ago someone told me a story about a day trip to one of the outer cays. This is an activity that many people do here. But it is usually a special occasion.
You get a boat. You fill it with alcohol. Then you put as many people as possible into it and sail out to an uninhabited island for lunch, fishing, and goofing around.
Anyway, on this particular trip, a young lady, someones wife, fell from a cliff and drowned. The people on the trip were not...well lets just say they are displaced...and they did not report the death. This is how I understood the story anyway. A little hard to imagine isn't it. The people on the trip were people I know. I have thought about it a lot.
On Saturday I went over to Great Sand Cay on a boat trip with DECR employees and others. Great Sand Cay is an uninhabited island about 20 miles south of Grand Turk. It has one of the best beaches in the world. I snorkeled around a small bay; saw six turtles and four very large barracuda. I am very jaded now and this was not even exciting and actually rather disapointing. Spent the rest of the day playing around on the beach. There is nothing here but sand and sun. I had too much of both. The boat ride back was in six to seven foot swells. The weather was not as bad as it has been, but my back hurts so bad lately that boat trips like this are almost unbearable. For me the trip was uneventful. It was a good trip. That's my story.
When we got off the boat, in order to get to the beach, we had to jump from the back into the waves as they crashed on the beach. But remember, this was in six foot swells. The waves were moving the boat up and down four to six feet. When the back of the boat came out of the water just before the wave crashed it was maybe 10 or 12 feet in the air. You had to time your jump so that you moved off the boat just as it bottomed out near the beach.
One of the first people off the boat was the girlfriend of the one of the Oasis employees. As the wave crashed, her feet got swept out and she nearly got sucked under the boat as it crashed down. Her boyfriend was able to grab her and pull her up onto the beach. She was literally seconds from drowning. I was one of the last off and did not really see this happen, but I saw how distressed she was on the beach. Except for that, everyone was laughing about the situation.
On the way back this same young lady got sea sick and threw up. What a trip this must have been for her. Probably a very different story than mine. I was thinking about this today. Many of us share the same experiences but our stories can be dramatically different.
I have found that in these situations I become very protective. Last off. Last on. Assess. Assist.