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.

This Dashing Photographer at the Helm of an Unbeatable Racing Yacht

This Photographer

This Photographer

Well almost unbeatable. The boat I was on didn’t quite win the race between two sailing yachts run by OnDeck Ocean Racing Antiguawhich is a company that offers sailing training, racing and excursions to anyone from completely untrained novices to advanced sailors.

But my boat didn’t quite lose either. Marshall, the real skipper who piloted the boat through most of the race told me that the other boat committed certain “irregularities” and that commensurate penalties would be applied to that boat. I asked what the penalties were. He smiled and mentioned something about a debt of beer or rum. After all … this is the caribbean.

Driving Beef Cattle in Antigua and Barbuda

Some people still live on the land here in Antigua and Barbuda. Motoring by the Sir Vivian Richards cricket stadium I saw a herd of cattle being driven past my car. Being a city dweller I was shocked to see so much beef outside of the supermarket and free from plastic wrap and a bar code. I grabbed my camera and waded into the thick of them. The cattle driver urged them forward with cries of “gwan!” (“go on” in Antiguan dialect) punctuated by calls of “see!” (which I believed was short for “see here”!)

Once in the middle of all the cattle I realized that some of them had wickedly curved horns. Others were aggressively butting each other. I asked the cattle driver if the cattle were afraid of him and if that fear would prevent them from trying to trample him or any other human.

He paused thoughtfully before saying “I don’t know”. I took his cue and stood behind the cattle and out of their way rather than relying on any understanding of their motivations.

Flowers Commonly Seen in Antigua and Barbuda

Pink Desert Rose

Pink Desert Rose

One of the things I remember most about the time I spent in Antigua during my childhood are seeing flowers everywhere around my Grandparent’s house. My grandmother would sing while she took clippings of those flowering plants and put them in jars full of water so she could replant them elsewhere. Then she would smile and talk nice words that no one could hear whenever she saw that the clippings had sprung roots and were ready to be replanted.

New Years Eve Fireworks Over Mill Reef in Antigua and Barbuda

New Year's Eve Fireworks Over Mill Reef

New Year's Eve Fireworks Over Mill Reef

I have no doubt that New years eve was celebrated with fireworks in countless places worldwide. But standing before the cliffs at Mill Reef on New Year’s eve and overlooking a turquoise Caribbean Sea that was lit up by the moon, I wondered if any of those other fireworks displays could have had as beautiful a backdrop as what was in front of me.

Last Sunrise Ever … St. John’s, Antigua

The last sunrise ever of 2009.

The last sunrise ever of 2009.

At sunrise many farmers and merchants were setting up their stands at the public market. Meanwhile across the street at the West Bus Station Terminal buses were dropping off people to begin their days work in town. Buses here are different from buses in North America in that each one has a name. Some of the buses with more entertaining names were not in the terminal during the few minutes I was there to capture the sunrise so I guess capturing those bus names will have to be a project for 2010.

Birds and Tarpon at Galley Bay in Antigua

After surfing I walked past the remnants of a mangrove swamp back to where my car was parked. Past resort construction had separated the swamp from the picturesque beach nearby, but disturbing the natural flow of water in such a way proved disastrous in many ways. Without water flowing the swamp became a stinking cesspool and without the mangroves the erosion of the beach has doubtlessly been severe.

But there are still remnants of wildlife in the area. As I walked back I saw tarpon rolling literally everywhere in the swamp. I wished I had my fly fishing rod with me. We also saw a number of waterfowl which my educated local friend identified for me. “These are whistling ducks” he said of the brown ducks we passed. “They are endangered but they’re starting to make a little  bit of a comeback”. He paused and looked at the ducks with more intense interest for a moment. “I tell you if I had my air rifle with me … man do they ever taste good” he added.

That comment sparked a conversation about conservation and sustainable use of resources. I’ll still come back with my fly rod and if I catch a tarpon I’ll practice catch and release since they are too full of bones to be considered edible. In any case tarpon aren’t endangered.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Page 8 of 32« First...678910...2030...Last »