Sunday, November 4, 2012

RAMBLINGS ON AND UNDER THE WATER FROM CARRIACOU

Net Fisherman
We've had the pleasure of watching local fishermen in the shallows casting their nets for bait. It's not as elegant to watch as the slow motion versions we've all see care of National Geographic, but it was definitely a pleasure to watch as he stood in a small boat as if on solid ground gripping his net as he waited for just the right moment when it was flung with a precision reflective of the years of practice like you or I looking both ways before crossing the street. On a more grand scale we had no more than to take the dingy
in to the local dock for yet another 'net' (sorry just gotta say Net-flicks) show. There were two local boats with two men in one and about eight in the other handling a large net presumably full of their day's catch. The floats marked the outline of the net that was being slowly pulled into one of the boats with a great deal of effort while four men who were in the water with snorkel gear carried out their tasks, which we never quite figured out. We watched for a while on the dock then wandered in to the fruit market for produce before finding ourselves a seat (thanks to John) on a couple piled up pallets nicely positioned in the shade at the water's edge. Toward the end ,when they stopped with still quite a large area of net out, workers would seem to pick things out and throw them over their shoulders and to freedom. The picture John managed to get was of the unlucky one that a Frigate Bird managed to catch in the air and make off with. It was funny to see the Frigate Birds gradually get the message around as we watched their numbers multiply with each toss.

Island style Health and Safety at Work
Walking across to the dock where our dingy was waiting we had the additional entertainment of watching why OSHA and The Health and Safety at Work Executive (UK OSHA) exists. Carriacou isn't quite there yet we decided as we watched the procedure for bringing 50 gallon drums across the street from the tiny tank farm,
out the dock and onto the deck of an island trader for transport. Each drum was brought out individually with a worker trundling his 55 gallon barrel of fuel on a hand truck, bare foot and wearing a hard hat......and no fire extinguisher in sight!! To their credit we did see a no smoking sign. So, as John said, ' The worker might be barefoot but hard hats WILL BE WORN AT ALL TIMES'.

AND I have to wonder who filed the COSHH assessment and RISK assessment. Carrying all that fuel as deck cargo.

Hey it is the Caribbean.

Good Snorkeler Spot
Jan had been snorkeling one to two times a day in Tyrell Bay. She found a lovely spot that followed the bay from just outside the mangroves to where the bay runs into the sea. It was out and away from the boats, a quick dingy ride away from Elephant's Child and full of entertainment. She's never come back with fewer than 100 pictures. John asked for about 20 shots for the blog but it was just too hard to pare it down so there are a few extras this time! Added are a few from other snorkels that had fish or pretty coral. You'll see: a ray, yellow trumpet fish, file fish (Jan's favorite), a jack knife fish, drum fish, yellow grunts, a puffer fish and lots more. The fan and vase coral are also pretty spectacular. Before coming down Jan found a thin wet suit that has become her uniform. For accessories she's added to the outfit are a yellow noodle to drag along for visibility whenever away from the dingy and a float ball for the camera. Quite a get-up!

Johns say " This is what happens if Jan goes snorkelling. SLEEPY TIME IN THE COCKPIT!"

Lunch at the Slipway Restaurant Jan says 'yummy' to the Tuna Sandwich with veggies. Their burger bun was unlike those found in the US....a pleasant surprise. The tuna was done to perfection as was the small chocolate dessert, with the flavor of Grenada chocolate very apparent. The d├ęcor was terrific: tables made of 2 x 4s with wider boards painted white on top, some supported with the base of an old planner, an ancient band saw for decoration, an old rudder post, and a traditional wooden rowboat in the rafters. Bare feet and dogs allowed....and did I mention, we were a few feet from the surf? Good food and a lovely ambiance! Transportation to and from was, of course, via the dingy.

Cruiser's Support Net A Distress Call on the VHS from s/v Moody Finn up at Sandy Island in dire need of a gallon of gasoline for the dingy motor. Skipper, dad, had two toddler's aboard who badly needed to go ashore to stretch their legs when it was discovered that the last batch of gasoline was not of the best quality.
A bit later in the day there was a familiar boat anchoring by us with two toddlers, an infant and four adults aboard looking for a gallon of gasoline. They paid John for the gas, cyphoned it out of our dingy only to discover they still couldn't start their motor. Now it's probably important to add that the skipper of Moody Finn recognized the Scots coming out of John's mouth after full well hearing it most of his life as a resident of England. So...it wasn't long before John offered them his dingy for a trip ashore. See the picture documenting the largest load ever in John's dingy complete with smiling faces. One dingy trip later a bottle of wine arrived in appreciation of John's generosity....and the other dingy motor was worked on while kids were ashore so they were fit to be on their way. We had the additional reward of watching two toddlers practicing their monkey bar skills on the boom vang and, of course, being little men they peed rather well over the side.


As we thought about the short trip up to Union Island tomorrow the Lords and Ladies of the evening put on a show.



It gets pretty colourfull out here you know.

Last thought. Who can identify this object
See picture and make a guess....:)

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