Sick of chlorine pools with crowded lanes? Here is your chance to get out of the pool and into sparkling blue waters of the British Virgin Islands. SwimTrek offers swimmers the chance to have an adventurous vacation touring some of the most beautiful waters in the world. Read more below from GoNOMAD’s article, An Open-Water Swimming Vacation in the British Virgin Islands.
“Sure, it’s really nice to go the British Virgin Islands to relax, but in my opinion it’s even better to go to the BVI and swim! Lucky for me there’s an outfit called Swim Trek.
More recently, another company, Swim Vacation has started to offer swim trips to the BVI as well. George “Hopper” McDonough started SwimVacation in 2007 and hopes to add more trips to the Caribbean and North America in the future.
The water was crystal clear – that blue/green/turquoise that you only see on screen-savers and commercials, and best of all, the water and air were WARM. I don’t like cold water, so 80 degrees was just fine. Pools are typically a little cooler to give you an idea of the temperature around the British Virgin Islands in April.
Our base for the week was the exquisitely situated Leverick Bay Resort and Marina on Virgin Gorda, where each room had a balcony overlooking the bay.
After a short introductory swim on the first night, we were divided into three groups according to speed, and each group was given a different color swimcap to wear for the week.
The caps allowed the guides in the boats to keep track of everyone. It just so happened that we ended up in three groups of five. For the next five days, we would swim with our designated group.
It’s not as rigid as it sounds; on other trips people have been known to switch groups as their speeds changed, but that didn’t happen with us.
Most days we did two swims, one in the morning after a healthy breakfast in the guides’ suite, and one after lunch, which we had on the boat while anchored at a prime snorkeling spot.
When we got to the swim’s starting point we were given something to sight/swim toward like “See the road above and behind that little island?” or “the second larger hill to the left of the antenna.”
While swimming, I could always see one of the small support boats or the big boat, as well as my other yellow-capped group members. I felt completely safe even as I rocked and rolled my way through some rougher water.
Swims ranged from 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) to 4.5km (2.8 miles), and the longest total distance for any one day was 7km (4.35 miles).
SwimTrek motto is “Ferries are for wimps. Let’s swim,” but their trips are not competitive events. “
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