Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The beaches of Tobago & Trinidad

Walking the beaches of Tobago & Trinidad

This morning's sunrise was magical.  I almost expected to hear a crescendo of music as the rays broke through the clouds

What a spectacular greeting

We start our walks early in the morning before the sun comes up.  The shore is lined with coconut palms.  I normally bring home one or two coconuts with each walk and then cut them open on the back lawn with a machete.  In Tobago they call it a cutlas

The coconuts are delicious and we enjoy them daily.  I first cut the husk off the bottom of the shell and then with one whack of the cutlas, take off the shell end.  I drink the milk and with a few more whacks I halve it and break out the white meat.

We usually end up at the water's edge around 6:30 am.  If the tide is out we walk the beach.  If it is high we walk the paths in the grass above the beaches.  When the wind is high we can hear the waves crashing on the beach all night long - it is very soothing

Catching the sun come up over the Atlantic

The island of Tobago has the Atlantic Ocean (pictured) on the east side and the Caribbean on the west side.  We live on the Atlantic side and with constant winds there are a lot of waves.  The waves aren't large enough for good surfboarding but it's ideal for windsurfing.  

This windsurfer was from California.  It took him a half hour to blow up his kite.  He waited for the wind to pick up and off he went flying across the water 

We were fascinated with his aerobatics.   He would fly above the waves ten or fifteen feet and do spin or flip tricks before hitting the water again

After he was finished he came back to the beach and had a cigarette - really!

Wormwood patterns that I loved photographing

Many varieties of colors & textures

Each one is an art piece

With the prevailing winds coming from the East over millions of square miles of ocean, a lot of debris comes ashore.  The many varieties of wormwood could have come from an African coast or somewhere on the European Coast

This morning I discovered this whale bone vertebrae and couldn't believe my eyes.  The opening for the spinal cord was probably eight inches in diameter 

This log had probably been on the ocean for months as evidenced by all of the barnacles that were on it

These small creatures with hard sharp shells become a problem when they cling to sea-going vessels

Driftwood and barnacle sculpture on the beach

A few days of fresh water rain and the barnacles were slowly giving way to moss 

On this day, the beach was covered with blue/purple 
jellyfish - they were beautiful.  I found them on the internet and learned they are a poisonous "Man O' War" 

The next day some were still there and I couldn't resist stepping on one and it popped - like a cellophane bag


Beautiful cellophane sculptures

One morning a lady we met on the beach was gathering this seaweed.  She said how wonderful it was as a skin cleanser - who knows - she did have beautiful skin

By the time we walk the length of the available beach, the sun is up


And everyone comes out to play

Two young boys playing catch me if you can - and showing off a bit for their picture

Handsome but irritating Southern Lapwing bird.  They cry out warnings when we come near them.  Too close and they begin a coordinated attack of diving at us and turning at the last moment.  

A sports team - probably soccer or football was doing drills in the resistance of the waste deep water

What a place to work out.  The water is just under 80 degrees, day and night

Do an about-face from the ocean to the jungle edge - the mystery in it's depth is intriguing

Interesting composition in reflections on this fresh water inlet

Looking back at the Southern tip of Tobago Island 


Lost fishermen's nets washed ashore

With consistent easterly winds and millions of square miles of open ocean, a lot of debris accumulates on the shore lines

We flew over to Trinidad to meet with the other senior couples and the mission president and his wife to spend a night in a beach house.  We had dinner together and then went out for a few hours of watching the giant leatherback turtles come in to lay their eggs.  That night there were thirty or so turtles moving in and out of the water - we could just make them out in the moonlight - several times we were surprised by them as they lumbered up behind us

When one of the turtles was laying, the guide let us put our cameras in close to take a photograph of her egg nest pocket in the sand

She laid about fifty eggs.  The small ones are just filled with air and during the incubation of the fertile eggs the small ones dissolve and leave pockets of air to aid the babies in their dig to the surface 

This little guy was caught going the wrong way up the road as we went back to our rooms

The guide carried him back to the beach and sent him in the direction of the ocean

This beach is on the Northern tip of Trinidad where the Caribbean and the Atlantic come together

A boy and his little sister wanted to show us some of the non-fertile turtle eggs they had picked up on the beach that morning

Their older sister wanted her picture taken also.  They asked us for "snacks" which we didn't have so I gave them several of the Trinidad-Tobago dollars I had on me.  They are worth about sixteen cents each 

The West Indies many islands in
contrasts of beauty, wealth and poverty

1 comment:

  1. Amazing. Still can't believe Nettie is in the West Indies. I remember her at girls camp and the stories she would tell about camp. The story of Carrie Ann and her knife comes to mind.
    Beautiful photos.