today, we have a private sunset tour scheduled. we don't do them very often, so it's a nice departure from the monotony of snorkeling at buck island everyday (yes, even paradise gets monotonous when you take a trip to the same place twice a day).
for sunset tours, there is no snorkeling or rowdy partying or soggy snacks on the decks. instead, the guests come dressed for a romantic evening at sea. we serve champagne and colorful platters of fruits and veggies. there is less conversation and more taking in of the beauty of those final glimpses of daylight. glimpses that aren't obstructed by tall city buildings or big oak trees, or whatever these people might have in the way wherever they're from. on these tours, there is just one flat ocean that swallows the sun whole and makes us all feel very small.
we sail the catamaran out of the harbor along the south coast of st thomas just as the sky starts to turn pink. we motor sail about a mile along the coast then turn around in time to watch the sun sink below the horizon. we pull up the gibb and turn the engines off, and the startling quiet is appropriate for the moment.
after the sun is gone and the surrounding islands are but silhouettes against those final rays, other lights begin to gleam. the stars seem to turn on one by one. we make our way between hassel island and water island, for a final little harbor tour. the lights on the hillside glitter like fireflies. i love that the city isn't flat and consistent, if only for this.