|CrystalblueoceanSailing and Diving Around the World|
sailing and diving around the world
Left Charlotteville at 6am, and dropped the hook in Store Bay at 5pm. Wind on our backs the whole way. Store Bay was a more exposed anchorage, but fairly calm the whole time we were there. Got the vessel squared away, the dingy in the water, and headed for shore. There is no dingy dock to speak of, in Store Bay, so you have to beach your dingy, something I love doing. Always reminds me of the hours I spent exploring the deserted beaches of the Pearl Islands, on the Pacific side of Panama. Has a very 'Robinson Crusoe' kind of feel to it. Anyway, we had to wait for a few of the swimmers to swim out of the way before we could get to the beach. As the last swimmer got well out of the way, a Tobagan woman came up beside our dingy and handed me her little boy, saying to the boy as she passed him to me, "going for a boat ride, Ezekiel." I quickly and carefully took the little boy in my hands and stood him up on the forward seat, and then I kneeled down on the floor of the dinghy to keep a good hold of him. Naturally, I looked up at Ezekiel from my kneeling position, to see how he was reacting to this strange man that was holding him, giving him a ride in a strange boat. He looked at me with a confident smile, and bounced up and down a couple of times, showing me that he was a happy passenger. This was one of the most beautiful things that I've ever experienced. By then, I had a chance to steal a quick glance back at Ezekiel's mother, and she was following behind us, wading through the water, as we closed in on the beach. She came over and I passed Ezekiel back to her. I wanted to talk to her, but I had to join in on the beaching of the dinghy, which entails getting out of the boat, each of us grabbing one of the handles on the side, and hauling it up the beach, away from the water. This is a hard-bottomed dingy, so it's pretty heavy. It takes at least two of us to pull it up. I then looked around for the lovely mother and her little boy, but they had become lost in the sea of bodies, splashing around in the water.
We went to the beach pub, which was only about fifty feet from where we had beached the dingy, and sat down. I was still thinking about Ezekiel and his mom, so I excused myself from the group and went back to the beach in search of them. I got fairly close to the where we beached the dingy when I spotted them. She was standing knee-deep in the sea, with Ezekiel in her arms. He was looking up at her as she was talking to him. Ezekiel is 5-years-old, by the way. It took about a minute before she looked up and noticed me waving to her. When she saw me she came over right away and I introduced myself. She said she was Emelia. I quickly told her that her gesture, giving me her own flesh and blood, as I passed by in a boat, was beautiful, generous, open, extremely trusting. I can only assume that she could tell that we were all excellent men and that was why she passed me her little boy, and that made me feel great. I don't mean to make a big deal out of it, but she is black, and I'm not, yet we connected. The fact that we connected through a little boy was particularly poignant. Anyway, I told her how moved I was by the whole thing and thanked her. I wish I had the presence of mind to take some pictures.
On to Store Bay.... Friendly people, fun place. Went to Scarborough, the Capital of Tobago, and cleared in at customs and immigration. Fun car ride, because the car we flagged down was falling apart. When I say falling apart, I'm talking holes in the floor, so you could see the pavement rushing by, and the doors wouldn't close properly, either. To get around, in many of the islands, you simply stand by the side of the road and flag cars down as they pass by. There is a set rate, that all of the people who pick up passengers abide by. So it was only a few TT dollars to get to Scarborough. One of the highlights of our stay in Store Bay was the late night bbq we had on the beach. We found a big flat rock which we used to put our coals on, and we pulled up an old skid to use as our table. We ended up pulling over some old driftwood which we used as benches. I did up some Asian-style kebabs, and Seb made a potato salad, German-style. We were joined by John, a gentleman whose boat was anchored very near to us. He was more experienced than us, so we learned a lot from him.