As a writer and photographer I travel between my life in Toronto, my life in Antigua, and anywhere else my wanderings may take me ... writing my books and enjoying local arts and adventures along the way.

Just Out of Reach

The wind gusts were strong. In a breath the bird was gone.

The wind gusts were strong. In a breath the bird was gone.

The beach was very pretty. Just short of beautiful.

The beach was very pretty. Just short of beautiful.

Today we went to Darkwood Beach on the southern side of Antigua. We were about to head to Jabberwock Beach but on the way I stopped at the jamaican patty shop Bellyful and the good folks working there told me that all the beaches on the north side of the island, including Jabberwock, were a little rough and strewn with seaweed. In addition they said a painful encounter with a Man O’War jellyfish on Jabberwork was not out of the question right now given that a jellyfish could potentially be blown ashore by the wind and waves. The timing of our trip in relation to the recent onset of offshore storms put Jabberwock just out of reach for us this day. We would travel a little further in hopes of finding a better beach before the day’s end.

We found Darkwood and it was a very pretty beach. Brilliant silver clouds overhead cast shade on the lush green hills adjacent to the beach, each cloud traced out in captivating patterns of muted green where the shade fell, and vibrant green where it did not.

The hills were rugged and steep. Their irregular slopes stretched and contracted the shadows of the clouds to produce patterns of shade that were almost magically different from the picture of the sky above. With this backdrop this very pretty beach would have been beautiful, but unfinished construction marred my sightline in one direction along the beach and the rather untidy structure of the beach restaurant marred my sightline in the other direction. For me, this imperfection put beauty just out of reach for Darkwood. I looked at the beach from all angles in search of a great photograph, but had to settle for a shot that cropped out the more disorderly parts of the restaurant.

The kids took to the water. Since a few weeks ago when I bought a field guide to birds in the eastern caribbean my daughter identifies just about every bird she sees. “Look daddy, it’s a female Frigate Bird” she cried out. A Frigate Bird sailed over the beach, commanding attention with it’s arresting wingspan. In full mastery of the wind, it hung in the air motionless despite a gust strong enough to blow our towels away with the sand beneath our feet. Seizing the opportunity to get our first shot of a Frigate Bird, my son and I grabbed our cameras and walked the few feet to the pond across the road that the bird had come from.

The birds in the pond are used to coming close to people on their own terms, but not used to people approaching with their own agendas. At our approach the few Frigate Birds nearby spread their huge wings almost imperceptibly, but enough to catch the wind. In a breath they were gone out of the reach of even my long lens.

We returned to the beach and swam a little. We enjoyed bumping into and chatting with a local skipper named Dave Buller whom we had met a couple of nights earlier at Falmouth Harbor. Walking the beach afterwards, the kids amassed an admirable coral collection consisting of fragments that were indistinguishable to me but to them were of special shapes and sizes. During this while I enjoyed completing the stretching and calesthenics of my often neglected fitness regimen.

We went to the restaurant on the beach and were well satisfied by the simple meal of hotdogs and salad that we ate there. The kids said they enjoyed their day. I had to agreee. For all the small things that seemed a little out of reach today, it seems everything important was no further than the act of reaching for it.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*


*

HTML tags are not allowed.