Thursday, December 2, 2010


Pirates of the Caribbean

Wallilabou Bay has been used as the set for much of two of the “Pirates” films and there are many relics of these days on display including the coffins from the famous opening shot.

Gisela was reluctant to take my picture in one of the coffins leaning upright for that purpose.

As interesting were the scripts, daily shoot schedules and logistical charts detailing who needed to be where and with what to make it all happen, still pinned up on the walls.

Beach front buildings had been transformed into period pieces with fibreglass facades old drilling rigs given a wooden cladding and antiqued to provide a scaffold or crane, I am not sure which.

Hurricane Tomas had spared much of the set work but not this building which may have been the governors house nor the old rig or the pier it had stood on as both were torn apart and left with splintered planks dangling down for the birds to inspect.

Wallilabou Falls

As a respite from the film world we walked up to the falls.

We passed this strange fellow at the side of the road on the way.

I had been waxing lyrical about the Bromiliads and other air plants which I remembered as festooning the wires along the roadside but as we walked up all we could see were shiny wires with no hint of growth. I thought that Tomas might have blown them all down but the reason turned out to be much more prosaic; the electric and phone companies now employ gangs of men to keep the wires clear. Ahh such is progress.

But the falls were even better than I remembered as a EU project had built a welcome centre, paths and some protection to the falls. We had a beer, chatted with the staff, relaxed under the supervision of a friendly lizard before going for a dip and a session in natures massage center and jacuzzi.

At one time the falls had been part of a watermill site and this archway over part of the stream still stood even though a giant tree had grown up centered on the arch with roots that stretched for at least a 150 feet down the side of the stream.

Beach Front Service Provider

I had mixed memories of Wallilabou as in the past I had been met miles away by boat boys who would demand you use their services, insisting then on a tow back to Wallilabou, demand a drink . On arrival they would do their job of taking a line ashore so you were tied stern to a tree which is essential there but would return and hang on to the side of your boat with their boat grinding gouges in your topsides while trying to sell you everything and nothing.

However I was pleasantly surprised at how restrained and well behaved the boat boys now renamed and trained as “Beach Front Service Providers” were. No pressure and other than a fairly serious attempt to convince me that the price was double the going rate no hassle to buy.

The gentleman who tied us up in Cumberland bay though greeted us with a dreamy look on his face which might have been due to the giant spliff he was sucking on as he rowed hard to get our heavy stern line to the old pier he tied us too.

Joseph the rasta came out to greet us and explained that we needed to ask for Joseph the rasta as there was also a Joseph the old, who was also rowing around anytime a boat entered but could be seen rebuilding the roof on his beach front emporium; hurricane Tomas of course!

Hurricane Tomas relics

As the hurricane came with very little notice some had not had time to move their boats and when the heavy swells arrived they were quickly flung ashore. This small trimaran was going to be a write off and surprisingly had insurance as we met the claims adjuster who had come from Martinique to inspect it.

The catamaran which should be salvageable even though it had some hull damage was a charter boat and the charterers were probably in hot water as there are strict guidelines for charters to follow in the event on a hurricane watch/warning and staying in Cumberland Bay is not on the list.

1 comment:

  1. You seem to have lost some pictures of the cat and trimeran.
    Still freezing here, and I mean freezing.
    Have a great time.