September 7, 2002
Cary's Delay and Our Adventure Along Buccoo Reef
Cary and Keri were supposed to arrive on
Saturday so we sailed back down the coast to Store Bay, next
to the airport on Friday, the day before. As we chose a spot
to drop our anchor, we had to be mindful to stay away from
a pipe running all the way from Trinidad to Tobago. The pipe
carries the electricity that provides power to the entire
island and we didn't want to be the dumb boat responsible
for uprooting the darn thing.
Saturday morning came around and we were
both excited to see Cary and his new chick, Keri. We were
ready with time to spare, so we decided to head-in and make
one last stop to check email before walking over to the airport.
Good thing too, since we had an email from Cary saying they
missed their flight and wouldn't be coming until Monday. We
were totally bummed, but also overwhelmingly impressed that
they were still going to fly all the way down here for a visit.
With a free day and no plans, we settled on one of our dinghy
adventures with no real plan other than to see what we might
be up the coast a ways.
Buccoo Reef is one of Tobago's national
parks. It's quite a large reef that stretches around Pigeon
Point all the way over to Buccoo Bay. We took our dinghy all
the way to the other side and drifted back down with the current.
We had our snorkels and fins with us, but while we passed
four of the big glass bottom boats that take tourists out
to the reef to snorkel, we noticed they were all just standing
there in waist deep water drinking cocktails. Curt slipped
his mask on and hung over the side of the dinghy to see what
lay below. Nothing. Not a thing. Just sand and some rocks.
So we kept drifting westward and tied the dinghy to a dock
in front of Pigeon Point. From the water, this beach looked
gorgeous, and I had been curious about it since we first arrived.
Lining the sand were a small handful
of little boutiques selling swimwear, jewelry and dive equipment.
There was also a snack shop selling fast food and so we ordered
a couple of rotis: the Caribbean equivalent of a burrito.
It was when were in line that I noticed this beach and the
shops were teeming with white people. Their skin was either
brutally sunburned or porcelain white, and several had their
hair braided like Bo Derek in that movie "Ten."
They were wearing silk-screened sarongs and brightly colored
sun hats, and had such things as People Magazine or Danielle
Steel tucked under one arm. The scene felt so foreign and
so bizarre. It wasn't until that moment that we realized how
accustomed we'd become to being the scarce minority of whites
over the last dozen or so islands. Did we really belong to
this race of people? Were we that pale? Did we look that stiff
and unhappy? When we left home, had we carried that much pudge
from sitting at our desks all day? And will we regain that
dull pallor when we move back on land? Something to consider
I guess, before we go back.