Monday, 9 July 2007

Reminder that it is Hurricane season

No, this is not a current satellite picture. This is Ivan from September 2005. This is him as a baby and we all know what a monster he turned out to be. Trinidad and Tobago were spared but it was a close call and Grenada was the first island to be decimated by this powerful storm. Let's hope we don't see an image like this in 2007. Just to give an idea, Trinidad is located at 10degrees North . It is really unusual for a hurricane to form this South and be this organized.

All over St Kitts

This dried leaf is not simply ornamental. In the good old days, the silvery underside was a warning to native Amerindians that bad weather was approaching. With winds picking up, the tall forest tree could be spotted from the villages below and with each gust, the leaves would bend back to expose their shining underbellies. Once off the tree, the green surface of the leaf dries into a brittle brown but the silver colour remains a striking contrast to the veins of the leaf. Imagine, one of nature's earliest weathervanes.
Nevis as spotted from Basseterre on a sunny morning.

When was the last time you went to a party and there wasn't an ipod in sight?Shiggedy Shak is one of the hippest spots on the island. When I arrived from Trinidad, huffing and puffing from our bustling pace of life, I was gasping for a cold beer and some good food. There are not many places left in the world that you can sit out under the stars (and a fat full moon that night), drink a cold beer and have lobster straight off the barbie. On Saturday night the place is a mix of students (from the Ross Veterinary school), locals of all ages and just about any one who happens to be passing by. Thursday and Saturday are Karaoke nights and once dinner has been cleared, the crooners flock to the mike.
The Caribbean is a small place. The connections are really amazing. My Kittitian friend Shoba; an ex-colleague that I never see in Trinidad and an old friend of my father's, were just a few of the people that I saw that night.

Shiggedy Shak is owned and operated by Sylvester Phipps aka Mr. X. Its success is a real tribute to his entrepreneurial skills as Shiggedy began as an ice cream trailer and water sport centre. It has grown to be one of the more popular watering holes on the island and offers ribs, chicken, fish, lobster, burgers and shrimp. Mr X also runs a taxi service between Nevis and St Kitts with a small fleet of red and black speed boats that offer an excellent option to the ferry service. With fireworks to celebrate 4th of July, word soon spread around the island that this was the place to be!

No one can resist the universal appeal of a bonfire on the beach and fireworks.
I'm back home and working on getting into some sense of routine. I feel as if I have just touched the tip of the iceberg with St Kitts. I could have stayed for at least another week and found something to do every day. And I didn't even swim. No time, can you believe?