Thursday, May 14, 2009
ISLANDS IN SUMMER
"It's such a hard life", the Queen keeps telling me............. and I very much want to believe her, but with that smile she again fails to convince me (or anyone else for that matter). Our trip to FOWL CAY was great. Excellent snorkelling, none of which we can show you since the underwater camera died a salty death. Beautiful parrot fish, corals and fans, irridescent blue and orange fish and yellow and black angel fish................there was so much to see and every few minutes Corina's or Joel's head would surface with an exclamation of " Awesome, fantastic" and these are people who have done Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. A living, thriving aquarium. Then into the shallow sand spit, on the other side of the Cay, where rays were again found in a foot or two of crystal clear water and the search was on for 'sand dollars', the soft skeletal remains found buried about an inch under the sand. This is as close as one can get to tropical Paradise and unspoilt beauty. Most plant life on the islands is stunted from poor soil and a shortfall in rain, and yet the propensity to burst out in flowers of such brilliant colours catches us every time, just like this dwarf pink frangipani (plumeria).
THE BAHAMIAN NATIONAL TREE
This is an excellent example of "Lignum Vitae" the much sought after tree originally logged from the islands almost to extinction. It is so dense it sinks in salt water. It is also known as 'ironwood'. We found a piece that now holds our front hatch open. We would never have picked it up if it wasn't rolling on the bottom. Coconut palms are found only where there is at least some minimal soil but they certainly flourish.
While we are deeply respectful of the deceased, we couldn't help but observe the 'delightful' resting place of the very senior citizens of this fair isle. The Queen and I both agree that a 'good spot with a great view over the ocean' beats being buried at sea, hands down, even if it is in the middle of some shifting sands.
Comments received have indicated that pictures of the Queen are welcome anytime but the Captain in speedos, not so much.(Speedos in Oz are known as 'Budgie smugglers' and in the US as 'banana hammocks') "Someone buy that man some board shorts, please". Point taken..... no more speedo shots.......
" .................So you like my sand socks...."
Absolutely no idea what these flowers are called, just that they are exquisitely beautiful and Laurie does such a great job with her camera catching perfection and the unusual, like these mangroves deeply rooted in the sand and salt water and this old fishing shack and dock at the end of one of the bays. Almost a timeless oil painting.(double-click on the photographs and check it out).
Joel & Corina riding around in the dinghy once more, with another outboard engine. Your dinghy is more than your lifeline, it is your taxi, your U-haul, your truck, your everything and as you can see, anchoring off can sometimes be more than a mile away in shallow waters. Needless to say, it gets locked and chained at night to the back of the boat......... Oh, and by popular request here is some more of the JUNKANOO street parade held during the Heritage Island Roots Festival in Green Turtle Cay, a week or so ago.....and you'll see how much the Queen loves it......