Friday, our last full day on this paradise. I awoke at 6:30 AM after another refreshing night's sleep. The day was cloudless and the water was as blue as can be. The coral reefs were clearly visible from the shore. A perfect day indeed.
Last night before bed Molly saw flames coming from the fire tree which was slightly worrisome given its proximity to the house. She headed off to throw some sand on it, since the water we had poured and the evening rainfall of previous nights had done little to subdue the burning. The flames did finally die down but the fire tree still smoldered. I imagine it will do this for another year or so.
There is definitely something to be said for having the surf and the coral reef right outside my doorstep, 24x7. All of it good, fantastic actually. Solitude is not for everyone. We had no internet, radio, television, or even newspaper to keep in touch with world events. We had no way of knowing if there had been a military coup on the mainland, what the latest news was in the Arab spring, or how Greece was fairing in its financial crisis. Other than the disembodied human voice on the other end of the 2-way radio, we knew nothing of daily life beyond our tiny tear-shaped island. And other than having contact with my kids, I cannot say that I really missed any of it. No phones ringing, no texts, no emails to answer. Just the wind, the waves, and the birds. Occasionally there would be the sound of a coconut falling. The humidity was exceptionally high again but a breeze wafted through the island to keep us cooler than we would otherwise be.
For someone who lives her life in perpetual motion and addicted to adrenaline, I have managed to slow my pace down enough to match the pace of the island. I have learned to appreciate doing nothing, sitting quietly and letting my thoughts be still as I take in the beauty around me.
Around 1:00 I decided to head back to the coral reef to an area where I had earlier spotted a fish skipping across the water like a flat stone with his lunch clung tightly in his mouth. Once again I found myself singing to myself in my head under the water - always one of two tunes: Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid (makes sense) or Lola by the Kinks which sadly had been stuck in my head all week. I can only guess at that one since I have yet to see a fish in drag, but there you have it. Today's snorkeling was by far the best. I saw so many varieties of fish and coral, and even saw three fish as big as Molly. She is a tiny women to be sure, but a fish her size is a very big fish indeed! The water temperature alternated between uncomfortably hot to downright nippy which result in a foggy mask at times. Frustrating but, seriously, who could complain?
After lunch I spent some timely alternately napping, reading or floating in the surf to cool off. After one such dip in the water I thought I would nap in the hammock for a bit. As I began to sit I heard a noise that sounded like a small propeller plane overhead. We had not had any planes overhead all week, so this was an unexpected sound. When I looked up I discovered that I was swarmed by angry bees. They were above me and descending quickly and they had encircled me. I have never seen so many bees at one time or heard such a loud sound coming from a hive. I was trapped and felt a bit overwhelmed. I stood like a statue and then as slowly as possible made my way to the beach so that I could jump in the water if necessary and take as many of the suckers along with me.
I will never know what got their knickers twisted, but I will forever remember the sound. And I will forever remember thinking that Molly would return from snorkeling to find me dead on the beach after having been attacked by those bees. I stood there for over 10 minutes waiting for their anger to subside. They blocked my way to the house and I was pretty much trapped until they calmed down and started their retreat. Gradually they did begin to settle down and most of them returned to their hive but many flew around me in the hammock for another 20 minutes or more.
Molly returned from snorkeling practically glowing from her experience, I was still alive and quite pale from mine. We lounged around for the rest of the day, read, chatted, had dinner, chatted some more and stayed up a little later than usual on this last night on the island.
Saturday - departure day. Once again I was awake at the crack of dawn, this time feeling like I was experiencing back labor. If I could have changed one thing on this island it was have been the mattress. But again, who's complaining?
During my morning walk today I saw the usual sights...beautiful blue ocean, crabs darting around at my feet, seagulls, fish, and of course - the fire tree which was once again back in flames. We had a very lazy morning with not a lot to clean up due to our minimalist living. We lounged, read, packed, showered and awaited Barry's arrival. He was spot on time and gave us our bill which we paid. Then we loaded the boat and sadly waved goodbye to our tiny slice of paradise. I don't know if I will ever return here, but I sure appreciated my time on this island with my wonderful sister. And I will always remember the experiences on this paradise in the Caribbean.