Friday, May 25, 2012

“Columbus was a criminal,” the man driving the taxi toward the airport said, threading his way through the traffic, the roundabout decorated with thousands of pink, glossy conch shells. “We started a petition to get the government to take down that monument.”

Some people say Columbus first made landfall at the southwestern tip of Samana Cay in the Bahamas, between Rum Cay and the Plana Cays. In other words, out in the middle of what feels like nowhere. Nowhere people belong. The fisherman’s cottages are in ruins. The wildness of the beaches (up close they’re scattered with plastic bottles, half of a grocery cart from a Puerto Rican chain, what you might call civilization a current, a common wind direction away)—the seductiveness of waiting space, waiting to be inscribed. The beautiful corollary that whatever you write will soon be washed away, and waiting once again.

We sail down the southern coast of the cay after visiting the reef—a shark considers us, reminds us that we are objects of curiosity, not, never will be again, really, of this element, our amphibious breathing sacrificed, perhaps, for the ability to control fire). The coast is one long beach, pale yellow with a green fringe. It is calling, calling—the land ends but the reef continues, a white fringe of breakers marking it, a sliver of turquoise connecting that long island with a tiny island, two small peaks of land. The kind of place that looks, out here, almost human in scale. 
Rum Cay
Election day

Snorkeling solo
Secret reef
West Plana Cay

Coming into Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

Friday, May 4, 2012

Last post from Georgetown and the Exumas--when weather window opens,  we head east and south--next main port of call Luperón, Dominican Republic.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I wait for words and get the luxury of images. Images—but maybe more the feel of things. The wind and the texture of the sand and the color of the water and the memory of the water, the feel of the memory of water.

Tiny balls of digested coral, buoyant damp sand the tide leaves behind, granulated sand that really is so much like pale golden sugar. Rough black rock. I feel like a king of imagined subjects, of a beautiful, transient domain. The long, empty beach (a pattern of stranger’s footsteps, evenly spaced, oddly pronated, don’t distract me)—this border of the Atlantic—is neither here nor there, disappearing, renewed, if not here, somewhere.

Back around, on the town side. There are people eating hamburgers and drinking bottles of the local beer. White tourists, cruisers in their shorts and plastic shoes. Nice people. White people. Tan people, spotted by the sun. We all look alike. Suburban voices on the radio talking about where to go from here. We form a swelling whiteness, a sort of canker—a friendly, common disease. 


Our sea journey from the air

My dad--badass?

My dad--Jesus?

Johnny Depp's private beach

Sailing dinghy

Snorkeling in a James Bond set, really

Hunting lionfish

Sunscreen tribal markings