OK, on with documenting our now more-then-a-month-old Caribbean Cruise.
Interesting . . . the editor flags “then” as being wrong. The quick rule, as I remember it . . . ‘than’ if making a comparison, ‘then’ if referencing time. I think I am correct in using ‘then’ in the previous sentence, but what do I know about time? I think I know a little about engineering, but many, many people question that as well.
HOWEVER . . . what’s this? The AP Stylebook recently made headlines (in editorial and proofreading circles; people at large could give a hoot about it) by stating “more than” and “over” are interchangeable. I stand corrected, idiot me; let me try again.
OK, on with documenting our now more-than-a-month-old Caribbean Cruise. Or, in deference to accepted usage . . . OK, on with documenting our now over-a-month-old Caribbean Cruise.
Like that? That’s me faking being a “real” writer, conversant in English and all that.
Where were we? Oh, yeah . . . St. Kitts. The original St. Kitts Part I can be found HERE. In that post I used small photos from the phone, photos hardly capable of giving a feel for the place, but I made up for it with my brilliant, witty, and insightful writing.
However, now I’m showing not only the same photos in a larger format, but photos snapped with my trusty Nikon D7000 and various lenses (but primarily Nikkor’s 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR DX lens), so I’m safe neglecting the writing as most people will ignore it anyway as they swoon over the photos.
Still, let me set the stage, drawing readers into the world of cruising, transporting them to places I visited using nothing but powerful words eliciting island images in their minds, and making the experience real by the sheer power of my prose!
December 15, 2014 . . . early morning; pre breakfast. We arrive at St. Kitts. I grab my camera and phone and head topside.
. . . did you feel the power of words? Did it seem like you’re almost there, experiencing it in person? Could you smell the sea air? Could you feel the weight of the camera and lens in your hand?
Me neither, but imagine, if you will, looking out to sea . . .
This puppy was way out there. I should have gone back down and grabbed my monster lens . . . too lazy; the above is a crop of a larger photo (same as digital zoom).
Admit it, you look at that and at any moment you expect to see the tell-tale puffs of white smoke as she fires her guns. As the cannonballs fall short of the Royal Princess, the “To Stations” bell rings on the Royal. The pool deck splits open, and a cruise missile shoots out, acquires it’s target . . . a few seconds later, in place of the above ship, a large column of water, debris, and smoke rises as if to scream at the empty heavens.
Alas, none of that happened. I turned my attention to the approaching island, St. Kitts.
Wait . . . this needs music. Here, play this while looking at the following few photos.
What’s that I spy . . .
That’s another cruise ship there . . . how did they get here before us? There went my hope to set foot on a pristine island; missed it by only 400 years or so.
While we waited to find out which other ship we would share the island with, I busied with a few surrounding shots.
Looking at the sights through my lens I had the impression St. Kitts was a more affluent island than it turned out to be.
By the way, click on any photo for larger version, or click HERE to go to the SmugMug Gallery. Also, be aware that as before I am mixing Samsung Note II and Nikon D7000 shots as I see fit.
Anyway, the ship that beat us to the island was the . . .
. . . the Norwegian Pearl.
A bit too close to do a panoramic shot, but that did not stop me from trying . . .
Here’s a few more conventional shots as we slowly saddled up to the dock. Or is it the pier? Berth? Whatever, here . . .
Here’s a few more shots of the ships (theirs and ours) . . .
Did you notice the size difference between the Pearl and the Royal?
If you want to see the comparison of the Royal and the Allure, click HERE. It’s not my photo, so I don’t want to post it here.
Anyway, we had an excursion planned after breakfast, but I took the time to get a few shots from our new parking place.
First, a Bad Boy of St. Kitts.
The moniker “Bad Boys” in reference to pelicans came about as explained HERE.
Here’s a few additional morning sights from Port Basseterre, St. Kitts. The name in Italian means ‘lowlands’. Odd that since the island was under British and French rule.
I did not like those two guys . . . perhaps because I wanted to ride upfront like that on a boat slicing through the water. Or, I don’t like people who wear green.
There was another ship there. One of the Seaborn line, the Spirit.
A wide-angle panorama . . .
. . . locals on the move . . .
. . . a zoomed-in panorama . . .
. . . and the Church of England.
Oh, and the Bad Boy was skimming . . .
I mentioned the Church of England . . .
Before I explain, let me mention that we went on an excursion on St. Kitts. As a group, we headed toward a really nice vehicle with a high enough viewpoint and large windows that would be perfect for snapping photos as we drove places on the wrong side of the road.
Alas, what we actually got into was no more than a van retrofitted to cram as many seats as possible, fairly uncomfortable, and, of course, with limited visibility out the side windows.
We had a very nice driver, but English was not his forte, plus he had the annoying tendency to repeat everything, but with different emphasis. Our driver’s mastery of the English language, while adequate, was not stellar, and either out of habit or to fill the time, he would repeat everything he said immediately after saying it, but use slightly different words to say the same thing.
This is also where we realized that the nice homes we saw from the ship did not reflect the reality of most of the people on the island.
Anyway, as we slowed in front of the church . . .
The driver said this was the “Church of England”. Naturally, I snapped a photo.
It’s actually St. George’s Anglican Church, and you can read a brief history HERE.
I mentioned the noticeable lack of affluence as we drove through the streets. I feel weird, disrespectful, even, snapping photos of people living in the fringes of, or actual, poverty. It is a part of the island, and perhaps readers should know about it.
The few I did snap . . .
I think those are businesses, hence why I snapped photos.
We passed, and stopped to look at, two things that were, perhaps, also indicative of life on the island . . . one was a very small ‘market’ by the side of the road. No more than a single table, really.
The other was something the driver felt would really interest us . . .
That is the Tree of Bottles. Perhaps it holds a lot of significance for the locals, but it was of zero interest to us (but I snapped a photo just the same), and certainly the other riders were not impressed; many were looking at their phones and did not even look up.
I should mention St. Kitts came off the sugar economy less than ten years ago, well past the time when one would consider sugar a viable anchor for the economy of an area, let alone an island nation. Perhaps the reason why they are struggling, or at least appear to be.
I saw a lot of these . . .
They look like provisions to channel runoff from the hills. It may be indicative the area is prone to flooding. Not very interesting, but it is concrete painted red, and one cannot pass that up when crammed in a van with minimal visibility of the outside world.
The driver did, as the tour progressed, get much better with his description of things we saw, and the history associated with the island. I think initially he was following a script of sorts; eventually he just spoke about stuff he knew and lives.
The process for creating the colorful fabric involve waxing portions of the material leaving the desired design unwaxed, dipping the material into a liquid with the desired dye, then boiling the material to remove the wax, reapply wax outlining additional patterns, dip in new colored liquid, boil again, and so on until the design is complete.
I suppose the intense labor justifies the prices, but then again, I’m not an expert on prices for material.
Here’s a few photos from inside the shop.
It may seem like it was not crowded, but believe you me . . . it was. Also, hot and humid. The combination of people and heat had me step outside in quick order.
These are photos of the materials hanging outside, presumably drying after their final boil.
I had gotten excited about ruins we saw as we neared the place; people were casually walking among them, and I saw a lot of photo opportunities. Remnants of the sugar industry, I think they were.
Alas, they were not that close to the manor, and we did not have much time to explore. Close to the building with the fabric, what we could see was the jungle (we drove through it on the way in — very jungle-looking vegetation . . .
a small yard which was part of the ‘garden’ . . .
I have garden in quotes because it was mostly one small embankment with rows of flowering plants. There might have been more around, or maybe ‘garden’ here means ‘stuff that is in the surrounding jungle but now in a more manicured place’.
Everyone photographed this ornamental structure. I think it was ornamental; I could think of no other use for it.
It has a bell, so maybe it was part of a miniature church.
I snapped one flower shot with the phone . . .
. . . but mostly I was interested in The Tree.
Readers might have an idea just how much I despise this whole spiritual thing people want to assign to things . . . it is a lovely tree, awesome to behold, and it should be cared for and admired . . . assigning to it and further attribute diminishes, to my mind, the majesty of it.
Then again, I ain’t the poetic kind.
These are the shots I already shared in the original post, only now they are larger and better . . .
However, I also snapped a few shots with the nikon for a planned-for panorama . . .
You can click on it for a larger version, but for them wanting more, the SmugMug gallery has the full-size version.
Granted, this was shot against the light, so it’s not as good as the panorama later on. Regardless, SmugMug is the place to go to see these and earlier panoramas, and indeed, all the photos, in their full glory.
In the original post I mentioned vegetation was growing right on the tree itself, but because of the size and the limitation of the phone, it was not clearly shown . . . the Nikon photos have no such shortcomings.
I walked around the tree, and also shot a panorama from the bright side . . .
. . . including one close-up.
I would have had more, but our time was up, and I had to rush back to the van.
I’m going to call this post here because it’s already long and because the original St. Kitts documentation stopped here.
Our next destination, covered in my next post, Was the Brimstone Hill Fortress, and it merits its own post.
Here, another piece of music I like.
I’m not a prince, but maybe you could still remember me.
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