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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.

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