Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Sunday, February 24, 2013
The "Wasn't Me" sailed slowly up the coast, the catamaran riding up and over each swell under a blistering sun. Thankful for the breeze, I sipped my rum & pineapple and watched the shoreline pass by. The boat eased in between two surf breaks and anchored, and a crew member doled out snorkelling gear while another was already in the water, using a bit of bread to lure a green sea turtle to the surface. I stayed on board and snapped my camera as AK bobbed in the turquoise sea, a fat turtle circling him and the rest of the group. Half an hour passed in the blink of an eye, and then we were off again, sailing back down the coast to another destination.
>>>I flashed back to the day before, an entirely different experience:
Our first full day in Barbados, an ease-into-it sort of day. We took the shuttle down to the beach, wandered the boardwalk to soak in the Caribbean view. We took a swim, laughing in the aquamarine waves as we played with the waterproof camera, ducking below in attempts to capture our underwater faces. All too soon we clambered out of the sea and wandered barefoot down the sand to meet AK's grandmother at her rental house right by the next beach over. I marvelled at the hordes of bananaquits flocking to the bowl of sugar hanging on the edge of the porch, and the large black hummingbird flitting in and out.
With our foursome swelled to five, we ambled back down past the beachside bar and onto the sand again. She suggested this beach might have turtles about, but we hardly dared to hope. Once again we slipped into the water, waves crashing over our feet as we waded out toward the reef barrier. A few others played just off the sand, but few ventured out as far as we. A few hundred metres out and the water was still only shoulder deep, a bigger swell lifting us up and off our feet every now and again. And then...there! I was the first to spot a dark head popping up between the ripples. And suddenly it was clear that although a few of the dark shapes visible through the clear water were indeed rocks, several others were moving, young turtles grazing the ocean bottom in this protected bay. I bounced up and down - or as near as one can do under the forces of the ocean - feeling giddy. AK started snorkelling, while his dad and I floated at the surface and tried to follow the turtles as they ate at the bottom and then came up for air at regular intervals. They seemed ambivalent to our presence, mostly continuing their routine. When they moved away concertedly we let them go, watching the dark shape in the clear sea float off towards the reef. The moment felt so special, like a personal experience for just our group. I felt welcomed in by these graceful swimmers, allowed a glimpse into their underwater world. I was reluctant to head in, but knew the two others would be eager to see the turtles too and someone needed to stay on shore with our gear. I sat in the sun, watching happy heads bobbing in the sea.
Finally, with the afternoon waning, we all reconvened on the beach. Feeling wholly welcomed to the Caribbean by one of its most incredible beasts, we enjoyed a fruity drink at the beachside bar, walked back to our home for the week, rinsed our salt-caked bodies, and got ready for dinner. Making plans for the week, we were already talking about another swim with the turtles...
Today is a quiet Sunday, our plans changed and now a peaceful day at home in the works. The wind is howling with purpose, but I might try for a walk before the rain sets in. What are you up to?
>>> Sarah Britton's life changing bread is resting on the stove before baking. Can't wait to try it.
>>> I also whipped up my full-of-additions (pumpkin seeds, coconut, raw cacao nibs) version of these raw peanut butter cookies.
>>> I may be back in the northern hemisphere, but apparently my mind is still thinking summer, as I contemplate a new pair of sandals.
>>> Need some art inspiration? Check out this amazing piece from Lisa. I'm awed.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Sunday, February 10, 2013
The days are creeping, the light taking just a little longer to fade from the sky. A walk after work, in the daylight, is becoming a bit more common, a chance for an exhalation at the end of the day. I walked the quiet streets down to the marina to catch the glowing sky over the mountains. The quiet descent into evening on calm seas is interrupted only by the jingle of a cat bell, a fluffy boating feline who lets me give it a quick pet before continuing its twilight rounds. I head out onto the pier to see the orange sunset streaks reflected in the bay. I'm busy shooting, and don't turn at the sound of feet on the wood planks behind me, assuming just another evening walker. But a soft voice lets me know AK has wandered down to join me, and we talk quietly as we navigate the length of the pier. A peaceful moment just the two of us, watching the flush over the snowy island peaks. Flocks of gulls fly overhead, heading to their night roosts. An exhale of breath alerts us to a seal popping up, maybe enjoying the view too. We turn and head home. Another winter's day settles in to night, just a smidge longer than the one before.
No walks this evening; we're heading out on an overnight flight to the tropics. One of those spots where the sun sets faithfully each night at the same time, with little seasonal shift. I always find that so weird, being in a summery environment and yet the sun dips below the horizon quite early, not like long summer nights up here. Wishing you all a great week and we'll catch up sometime in the next one, okay?
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
The Subaru shifts low, working to climb the steepening hill and out of the fog in the valley bottom. I peer through the passenger window at...not much at all, glad I'm not driving as the winding route disappears into the mists. Gradually, slowly, there is a lightening ahead. The fog develops pale blue patches, hints of a clearing to come. The nose of the wagon points forever up, and then we emerge above the clouds into a sparkling winterland.
There hasn't been much snowfall in recent days; December's five metres condensed and settled to a respectable three. The trees cling to a few threatening snow mushrooms that shake off without warning, but mostly the firs and pines thrust skyward in their evergreen hue. Out of the car we remark on the mild temperature, and plans for thick layers get left on the back seat. The air is clear and clean, but not crisp; it feels like April, not the last day of January. The quiet of Thursday on the mountain means everyone is relaxed, not caught up in the bustle of weekend crowds. Under a saturated blue sky we head out from the lodge, crusty snow crunching under our snowshoes as we follow the well-worn path. The sound overrides the peace of an alpine walk, but it's still a pleasant sound of purpose as we wind our way through the alpine meadows and between stands of shaggy trees. The wide flats mark lakes covered in a sturdy layer of ice and snow. I notice spots that I recognize, where the winter trail rides directly on top of summer's boardwalk, and I contemplate how much snow separates the two. Nordic skiers whizz past on the set trails under a blinding sun, and I think "I should do that more often." But not today.
Before long we are climbing back up the gentle slope to the lodge, exchanging our snowshoes for a casual seat and a hearty lunch. There is more to do this afternoon, but for now a belly full and a mountain view feels pretty good.
Sunday, February 03, 2013
Because I could use a little colour today. Another day without the sun making an appearance, and possibly not even rising above the horizon, or so it seemed. It has felt dismally dark, and I think there's a drizzle going on out there. Honestly I haven't felt like venturing out, particularly.
But back to the point of this post - a pair of green sea turtles! A pair of fraternal twins, or maybe just brothers. Stitched in large part from vibrant linens from the lovely Carol at Yorktown Road, along with a few other pieces I had. One is a lime green, while the other more of a chartreuse. Both of them are pretty cute, I think. Entirely hand stitched, with all the individuality (and hopefully individual personality) that might imply. They will be available in the shop shortly.
Also a little notice that the shop will be put on vacation starting Friday, February 8th until the 20th. We are taking a little holiday, to a tropical place where I've got all my toes and fingers crossed that I might actually see a real sea turtle. And while I love all seasons here on the coast, I am also looking forward to a good dose of regular sunshine. So if you were eyeing any items that you would like before then, please purchase this week.
Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend, hopefully with more daylight than we seem to have today.