Island of Paradise in the sun!… written by myself, was first published by Home Counties Newspapers in the February of 1974. Here, I have serialised the article for the internet. With the cold weather upon us… I hope its read warms the cockles of your heart!
We had flown to Grenada in the West Indies two weeks earlier to undertake a photographic travelogue assignment for the American Marketing Association. I say we, because there were four in our party – myself, complete with a wide selection of camera equipment, my assistant at that time: John Shult, Lynne Howes, a model, and Mick Letts, a representative from AMA. After about a fortnight of non-stop picture-shooting and ironing out problem after problem, we felt a complete day off would be in order.
We decided on a one-day visit to the neighbouring island of Barbados, which is really just a stone’s throw from Grenada, or that’s what it seemed like. Barbados forms part of the Eastern Caribbean islands known as the “Lesser Antilles” approximately 21 miles in length and 14 miles broad. It was not a long trip across and soon our boat was edging herself into the tiny dock of Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown, the capital, the largest town, and busiest port. Once ashore we found the climate was altogether quite pleasant. A temperature of around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit greeted us and a gentle breeze blew in from the Atlantic. The history of Bardados dates back to the days of the Arawak Indians. They first occupied the island in the late 11th century. In 1627 came the first English settlers, bringing with them such habits as black slave labour. The Island became an independent state within the Commonwealth in 1966.
The Island abounds on all sides with wonderful golden sandy beaches, and it was for this reason our taxi made one of these our first stop. It was an opportunity too, as it turned out, to get some interesting pictures, whilst the others took a short stretch on the sand. I took a walk to where a range of rocks were jutting out into the sea. Nearing this, I noticed the sand had built up to form a small plateau and was quite firm. There were several small holes pregnating the surface, about the size of a ten-pence piece, at different intervals and in no particular pattern. I stepped on one of these and a tiny object suddenly scurried from the aperture, raced across the short distance of sand and disappeared into the surf. It was of course, a sand crab! I stood for ten minutes or so, and watched as other crabs would appear and dash to the sea, whilst others would make the return journey.
Watching this interesting, if not amusing spectacle, I gently placed the Nikon level on the sand a little right of one burrow. It was fitted with a 135mm lens and this made my objective a little easier. Stretching myself fully on the sand… I waited. It was a long wait, 20 minutes passed, then half an hour and I was beginning to feel disheartened and not the least uncomfortable. But reward has its own realisation, as if by magic the little fellow emerged from the dark within, paused for a moment as if blinking in the strong sunlight, and then took off at a speed measurable only to that of a racing driver in the French Grand Prix! But that moment of pause had enabled my camera to record him forever – a spiny-legged image on a small piece of light-sensitive emulsion!
Don’t miss my further adventures on ‘Island of Paradise in the sun’…