I have had a lot of discussion about this image in my Caribbean gallery so I am going to elaborate more on it. I
did an exploratory trip of the Caribbean in 1978 on an old 1930’s
schooner for six weeks. I traveled from the Grenadines to Antigua.
May 15, 1978 was the first time I saw English Harbor (I kept an
extensive written log so I know the dates). There were not any boats
in the outer harbor then (lower part of the image with a lot of
anchored sailboats) and I took a small dinghy and rowed over to the far
end of the bay. For the next few hours I snorkeled the entire length
of the shallow bay, repeatedly diving to the bottom. The whole expanse
of water was full of shimmering schools of juvenile fish, and with each
plunge toward the bottom the fish would open a “hole” to let me through
and then close behind me, covering my view of the surface. It was
magical. I was 28 years old and had been free diving and SCUBA diving
since my mid-teens in California, but I had never experienced anything
like this. It was an enthralling, interactive contact with
nature. I did not visit this harbor again until 1990 when it became
my first landfall after sailing across the Atlantic. Another visually
intoxicating experience with the elements. This trip was only my third
visit over this 31 year history. I knew that there were steel drum
bands playing on Shirley Heights on Sunday evenings, having been there
before, so we set off just before sunset in Pele’s Taxi, the driver a
local personality. I knew the view, I was armed with a basket full of
memories and I knew exactly want I wanted to convey in an image.
Which I might add as was quite different from the throng of commotion
behind me… a hundred steel drums, children & adults dancing, beer
and wine flowing to the staccato of the drums… even some palm fronds
being woven into baskets.
This image was published in the March 22, 2009 issue of the Austin American Statesman as it won their “Win in a Flash” contest.