She met him at The Yacht Week, sailing the Caribbean Sea. She had met him before, long ago. She just did not know.
Her father was a sailor. That’s pretty much all she knows. One day he left and never returned.
“Where did he go?”
Her grandma used to tell her stories of pirates and rum. Life or death bets with soggy dollars exchange. “It must have been one of those, where you father went lost, got dropped.”
Grandma: “Hanged. Gone. Who knows…”
But that was another story. Not the one that unfolds.
She knew a secret that still nobody knows. Her dad had sent a letter in a bottle that one day she found: “I am a pirate, that’s all that I do.”
Her friend called her one day an invited to go on a boat.
“It will be 7 days of sailing, that’s it, no more. Do you want to come?”
It is hard to say no when a mystery needs to be solved.
The port and the sailing ship were to be found in an island well known for its rum. “Tortola. BVIs town.”
At her arrival the rest of the crew greeted with awe. Everyone was excited to be sailing and drinking, that’s all.
No phone. Disconnected. Alone.
What a great place to get lost.
“I envy my father.” For a moment, she thought.
“Hey Miss, you take control,” said the skipper of the boat, who she had still not met before.
“I’m going to be out for a while. Play my guitar. Loose control.”
What a pirate! The young man could not care more.
“Have I met this guy before?” Her world upside-down.
They went to a bar that night. Right after dark.
In like any other bar, stories were told.
“That’s what these islands do. You come here one day, you let yourself go and you never want to return.”
She had heard that before.
The skipper had kept drinking rum and was betting wet dollars with other skippers from other boats. He said he could walk over the bonfire without his feet getting burnt, or sore.
He tried, failed and went broke.
For sure, she had met him before. But where, though.
The days went on and her curiosity grew strong.
She wanted to know what had made this guy wanting to loose it all. Why didn’t he care? What was wrong?
The young skipper took the crew to a desert island with boulders and palms. No souls.
“This is why we live, guys. For freedom, no more.”
A lighting bolt.
Her eyes went bold.
Her heart started to boom-boom-boom.
“That’s why he did it…” The world, stopped.
When she was one and still sucking her thumb, her father took her to sea.
They climbed aboard a pirate ship the captain said to me.
“A bottle of rum to warm my tum and that’s the life that I want.”
Her father a pirate. And so was the skipper. Wasn’t he?
Accepting and knowing, she thought only of one thing. To grab a bottle and fill it with three sentences. That’s it.
“What a beautiful life, the life at sea.”
“It must have been a pleasure to truly dive, be free.”
“Thank you father. I love you. This is your daughter, living finally at ease.“
Experience The Yacht Week BVIs
Text Jorge Abian
Photos Jorge Abian
Photos Belen Hostalet
Photos Fabian Wester