After a couple of nights of sleeping in a room that wasn't rocking back and forth all night, I am still warn out from trying to squeeze as much as possible into everyday that I am gone, not to mention how much the boat was moving in the swells the last couple of nights. When we left Antigua last week and started out on what was supposed to be about a 16 hour sail, it turned out to be almost 24 hours with no wind at all and motoring the whole way. Combine that with a 10 foot swell on the ocean and rather than having the boat heeled over to one side while underway, it just bobbed around like a cork in the water. This made it as difficult as ever to sleep as the mast was rocking about 45 degrees to each side and as you would lie down in bed, even on your back, it was enough to rotate your body over and not allow you to get any sleep. From there, we dropped anchor and after a beautiful day, the water in the bay became extremely choppy. Every trip to shore in the skiff, came with water pouring over the front of the boat and covering us on the way in and out. By no means pleasant, but you dry up pretty quickly in the tropics.
Visiting St. Martin again was nice as I had more time on this trip other than the one day I was there last time. After figuring out the bus system, (small buses run all over the island for $1), I was able to get around pretty easily, visit all of the beaches around and even make a few friends along the way. Saturday, I had booked a fairy over to St. Barts, but unfortunately when I arrived, after waiting on the boat, they announced that the boat was broken and would not be going. Very dissappointing since I was trying to go there last time I was in the area at the beginning of the trip. Oh well, it couldn't be that different from all the other islands could it? Anyway, the choppy water still had not left us when I departed from the boat at 5:00 a.m. yesterday morning. As I attempted to load my bag and myself into the skiff, the waves were bouncing the front of the boat about six or seven feet into the air. Climbing over the rail about six feet off the water with the main boat rocking and the small one bouncing and trying not to dunk my gear in the ocean was a difficult challenge. Somehow I prevailed only getting minimal amounts of saltwater on my clothes, face and bags before making it into the dock.
Now for Miami! I tell you what, I haven't heard to many great things about Miami other than the partying and clubs and hot women. Although there was not partying and clubs for me, there were plenty of hot women around. I couldn't believe how many beautiful girls there were there! The city itself was pretty impressive as well although I can't believe how many buildings were under construction. When I flew in, we were sitting on the runway and I noticed the number of tower cranes in the skyline. I was able to count 40, and I am sure there were plenty that I couldn't even see. These things were putting up ridiculously tall buildings everywhere. That place is growing too fast! I can't imagine being there in 10 years. Anyway, I spent the only full day I had there drinving around coral gables and coconut grove. Now I had seen pictures of the houses in coral gables, but driving around all of these beautiful red tile roofed floirda homes was incredible. Between that and all of the live oaks and other kind of amazing trees lining the roads, I couldn't imagin a better place to life. From there, I headed down to South Beach where I had a sandwich and followed that by playing some volleyball with a group of french girls and one of their boyfriends. From there, I wandered over the sand dunes down to the beach. This is the longest stretch of beach I think I have ever seen and it was just covered in people. Even in the parts with out condos, there were tons of people. Combine that with the number of topless women and you really can't go wrong on the beach in Miami!
Now I have arrived here in Quito, Ecuador and am straddling the equator. You would think it would be warm here, but I am up in the mountains and quite comfortable in blue jeans and a tshirt at the moment. It's raining so the raincoat helps block the breeze as well as I walked around town tomorrow. So far so good, the old part of the city that I am staying in is absoloutely amazing! I have never seen so many beautiful buildings done in an old colonial style. Also, I knew it was cheap here, but after a $3 meal, I bought a 35 cent bottle of water. The last bottle of water I bought in Miami cost me 3.50! Anyway, it seems like there are a lot of things to do, see and climb here so I should have some pretty good adventures of the next couple of weeks so keep reading!