Over a month ago, we dropped our anchor in the bay of St. Eustatius aka ‘Statia’. Little did I know at the time, I’d be celebrating my birthday here a month later. My day kicked off with the most wonderful breakfast, hosted by our friends on Sailing Saoirse, Beau and Brandy along with Ciara and Gary, who are the dive instructors at Golden Rock Dive Center. Saoirse was decorated with pink balloons, birthday banner and party hats! We had faux mimosas (since we were diving at 10 am) (mine in a fancy light up cup!), fresh fruit, crepes both sweet and savory, loads of bacon and potato hash. There was not a topping or sauce missing. To top it off, I was gifted chocolates, the cutest unicorn fan EVER, and a pair of lionfish earrings I’ve had my eyes set on since we arrived here. After breaky, we headed to the dive shop where I was greeted with 12 others who sang happy birthday to me on the back of the dive boat……so fun! How lucky was I, to be able to dive in one of the top ten dive spots in the Caribbean for my birthday?! The visibility was amazing and I felt like I was floating in an aquarium in Sea World. The best part was Beau and Brandy were able to join us for their first dive since getting certified! Yahooo more dive buddies!
After diving it was time to get the party started! First set of business was a bloody mary with all the garnishes – bacon, pickles, celery, hard boiled egg……fully loaded! Gary made rum jello jigglers so it was fun to share those with the locals. Apparently jello shots aren’t a thing here…..who knew?! Later that day I was given the most beautiful blue bead earrings handmade by our new dive friends, Wendy and Linus. After a little liquid courage, we got the dive shop’s wakeboard out and took a few turns around the bay, super fun. Meanwhile back at the dive shop the crew was preparing a birthday BBQ! Guess what I wanted for my birthday dinner? Grilled hot dogs! It may sound like a strange request but I haven’t had a grilled all beef Ballpark since we left the states! Not only did we have hot dogs, we had burgers, Ciara’s special chicken and every side dish you could imagine.
We spent the rest of the day drinking, eating, laughing and making memories with our new lifelong friends of Statia. It’s not too often that people go above & beyond and out of there way to make you feel special, especially people that you’ve known for only a short time. There is just something special about the people of Statia. Statia is the island we’ve been searching for, the diving is wonderful, the views from the top of the hiking trails are stunning and the people are the most open, welcoming, accepting people on the planet. I seriously feel like I’m in a different world here. Let me say this, the population of Statia is around 3,000 and I’m pretty sure 1,500 of them wished me a happy birthday yesterday. We have created so many friendships here, it’s going to be hard to leave this place.
Big shout out to Sarah and Dave (owners) at Golden Rock Dive Center for opening your doors & arms to us and treating us like family, Gary and Ciara for just being badass & grilling enough food for half of Statia, Beau and Brandy for always being here for us out on the big blue and everyone else who stopped by the shop to spread the love. To all my friends and family back in the states, thank you all for taking the time out of your busy lives to message and call. And a big thank you to Gary, for making sure I had all of my favorite things to have the best day! Love you guys! ~ xo, B