“No see-ums, Sunglasses, Booze ’til Six…”

6:45 was the wake-up time onboard for Good Friday. A delicious bagel breakfast with tea or coffee prefaced the anchorage practice among the crew on the way to Trellis Bay, our next destination. Although it might not appeal to all, I was pleasantly surprised to find an artists’ colony, Aragorn Art Studios, with resident potters and unique wares sharing space with smaller gift and coffee shops, and marketplace. We replenished our staples, and it was there that we found out that the sale of alcohol on Good Friday was prohibited on the island until after 6 p.m. 

Following another period of shopping, we decided to walk to the nearby airport to negotiate a ride back to Cane Garden Bay, since it was a new destination for four members of the crew. Although the taxi personnel were reluctant to reduce the set rate, which was higher than the one we had already had from CGB, one of them finally decided to take us at the rate that was proffered from the group rather than lose a fare altogether. Our driver was distant at first, but with our group, we had him laughing, and along the way he stopped for spectacular photo ops, acted as our personal tour guide, and agreed to bring us back later in the afternoon after lunch, beach time, and showers at our home base.

The evening itinerary was to attend a Full Moon Party, and although one of the most famous is at La Bomba Shack, the captain opted to show us the one on Trellis Bay. Prior to the start of that event, the group reunited with the skipper, had happy hour at Deloose Mongoose, then returned to the boat for a late afternoon swim and surf and turf dinner before getting ready for the big party. I am glad that I did not miss it! Within the ambiance of gaiety, gigantic metal fire balls were filled with rolled newspaper and wood clippings, and were ablaze within the interior, where the outer sculptural silhouetted jumbies (rhymes with room) appeared along with an assortment of palm, stars, and tree branch symbols. These were accompanied with a sculptural series of pyramidal and round fire balls placed a few yards from the beach edge within the shallow bay water along with a tall abstracted Christ as Redeemer with raised arms in the center of the triad. The jumbies are native dancing adolescent males and females who are dressed in bright ceremonial costumes atop twelve to fifteen feet stilts. As soon as the moon is seen, they begin dancing to the music. Following the energy that was distributed throughout the crowd, the epic moment arrives: the sculptor wades into the bay and lights the fire balls and the metal skeletal statue. Someday, when I take a break from my paintings, I hope to research the iconography within these and the cultural history of the Full Moon Party. As the burned ashes left only the charred exteriors without the silhouettes, the group returned to the dinghy and the boat moored within the moonlit bay.

Oh… and the sunglasses? (See title.) When we had the beach time earlier in the day, I was caught underneath a turbulent rolling wave, where I immediately lost the sunglasses from the top of my head as I moved into a fetal-like sand-kissing position , without any control. A totally frightening experience followed by a sigh of distinct relief when I was able to stand up, and return from the turmoil of the unexpected roller. I had time to reflect later on the moment: power of nature, powerlessness of man, and endless gratitude.

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