It was the summer of 1998 and we were in the British Virgin Islands with our 6 year old son, Austin, when we were introduced to Silmaril a beautiful 41 foot sailboat. We hired Captain Paul to take us on a 4 hour sailing and snorkeling adventure through the islands. I remember that day very well. Typically Captain Paul’s wife accompanied him but she had to stay behind for a function her daughter needed to attend. So we waved goodbye to them at the dock. In her place crewing with Captain Paul was a teenage boy from Africa named Craig. His stories and experiences I will not forget. His family lived on their sailboat and traveled the world. On one particular trip as they were coming around Africa a large wave swept his father off the boat. Seconds later another wave dropped him right back on the boat. Someone was surely looking over their family on that day.
We had a wonderful sail through the islands and went snorkeling in a cave. Captain Paul was sure to point out all the islands Black Beard and other pirates lived on, which thrilled Austin since he was big into pirates at the time. Austin even got to pilot the boat!
When Austin started 1st grade a few months later the teacher asked him a bunch of questions so she could get to know him. He talked of boats and pirates, the normal things. When I picked him up that night the teacher pulled me aside and said you know I asked Austin what his favorite drink was and he replied, rum. I couldn’t help but chuckle and explained that we had just been in the BVI where pirates are known to like their rum. She smiled and then went on to say; when I told Austin that probably wasn’t an appropriate answer he replied Margaritas. What could I say? Mom and Dad are known to like their margaritas! I just smiled and said kids will be kids. She didn’t call child protective services anyway 🙂
To this day we still talk about that sailboat ride and the hospitality of Captain Paul. It was the highlight of our trip and made all the more special in the way Captain Paul went out of his way to make it memorable. It is with great sadness that I must say we just learned of Captain Paul’s passing last October. I’m sure he touched thousands of lives with the unique experience he provided aboard Silmaril. I am happy to say that his wife Judy and daughter Robyn continue to offer sailing adventures aboard Silmaril http://www.charteraboat.com/silmaril/ Fair winds – Cindy