Monday, March 4, 2013

Walking the Line

Walking is a chance to think - ponder a question, examine a point of view, wonder at the beauty of nature or tap into the creativity of your mind by exploring a shape or color. As I left the house this morning I was struck by the number of lines - both straight and crooked - that were in front of me.  Walking down the bumpy line (Victoria Street) that hugs the west side of Salt Cay, I took the opportunity to record a few of the lines.

Lines of Stone. The Main Salinas is a network of lines build with stone.  The lines of stone served to separate the salt ponds to allow the harvesting of salt for many generations on the island.  They represent hours and hours of hard work by the forefathers of the island.  Without these lines, Salt Cay may have just been a small, uninhabited desert island. Sweat, stone and salt lines.

Disappearing White Line is a cement cap on the wall that runs the length of Victoria Street dividing the Salinas and the road.  There are breaks in the wall in places that allowed the donkey carts in to collect the salt in days gone by.  Today you can see the names of some of the guys who have repaired it and worked on the roads within the past ten years.

Holy Bell! Lines.  This is the bell tower outside of the St. John's Anglican Church.  Once rung to announce time to come to church, it is one of three bells that are still left on the island.  There's another at the Methodist Church.  And there used to be a bell by the Mary Robinson Elementary School to let the island children know they'd better hurry or they'd be late!

There may have been other bells too but these are the only three that I know are still around.  We don't hear them ring anymore but walking past them, you can't help think of a simpler time when it was a bell and not a telephone call that would serve to get a person going!
Holy Disappearing Line with a disappearing shadow line on the ground and a bisecting line from the power line.  Okay, I may digress a bit from time to time - or is it just a stretch of my imagination?  But this wall around the Anglican Church was calling to my camera and when I took a good look at the photo I enjoyed thinking about how this wall disappears into the Sea.  

It doesn't actually disappear into the Sea. Located on the west side of Victoria Street, the church grounds overlook the Sea.  These sturdy walls keep the winds and animals out of the graveyard and church.  This particular wall goes all the way back to the Sea before it wraps around the Sea side of the church grounds to protect the graveyard from the Sea.
Shadows of Tin Lines from the roof on top of the Government Cistern by Deane's Dock. Interesting observation goes with this one.  If you really look at the shadows of anything white or light grey, you'll find the shadows are blue - reflections of the sea.  Fantastic.

The sun has only been up for about an hour when these photos were taken and the intensity and number of lines are great.  Standing back to get a view of side of the cistern adds another dimension.  

This cistern and all of the other Government cisterns on the island have been empty for a number of months now.  Everyone is waiting for rain and begging the TCI Government to replace the outdated RO System on the island.  (Update in April - we're still waiting for rain and water resources are very, very limited.)
Communication Lines. A close up of the pegs to climb to the top of the Cable & Wireless Tower that first brought telephone to Salt Cay.  This tower has been collapsed for years now and one of the local osprey families have enjoyed building a home and using it.

A few years ago Cable & Wireless (now Lime) were going to clean up the area they don't use anymore but because of the osprey nest on the top, they left the tower (and all the other stuff too).

There are no birds in the nest this year and I'm not really sure what their nesting habits are.  We have three nesting places on island currently.  There used to be a nest on one of the windmills in the Salinas but a hurricane took that one away.  Of the two on the East side of the island (see earlier blog), only one of them is currently in use.  The Northeast nesting platform has a partially completed nest, guess they didn't like that location.
Lines Up or Down.  The first set of steps that were put in at Dunscombe Point swimming pool this year.  Left over from the salt industry days, the little pool area is a great place to snorkel and swim even when the Sea is fairly rough.  A great place to snorkel out of and I have enjoyed kayaking from my house to the pool too.  

Bird Line.  One of the two osprey nesting areas that a bunch of guys did a few years ago (see earlier blog for the whole story).  If you look closely you'll see that this osprey is really into Salt Cay Island Grunge decor and have included bits and pieces of rope with buoy attached. The lines on the pole seem to twist as they rise to the sky.(Hey don't forget that you can click on any of the pictures to take a look at it in full screen... some of them are fantastic that way.)

The Ultimate Endless Line, not to be confused with the End of the Line.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Oldest Bike on Salt Cay

This is my bike... it's a little over 16 years old now and has seen a lot of dirt roads, rocks, acacia thorns, donkey and cow droppings and has crashed & burned twice.  Only two crashes - one in some soft sand, the bike went one way and I went the other but was able to catch myself.  The second time was up by the water transfer station by Ms. Natalie's house.

It had been raining on Salt Cay for a couple of days and the sand/salt roads were slick.  I had to get out of the house and decided to take a short bike ride up to the airport and back.  For whatever reason, on the way back I thought I'd take the side road behind Ms. Natalie's that runs along the salinas.  The mud was so slick that the bike went flying out to the right and my butt landed firmly (and jarringly!) in the mud.  To this day you can see the butt print in the road and the shorts I was wearing never came clean.  Okay, maybe not the butt print in the road...

I used to have a front basket but it disappeared a few years ago when my bike went missing for a week. That's another story.  Anyway, the back baskets were on a bike that Diver Mike had.  He got a new bike and was sad to think about his baskets going to the dump... fortunately we talked and I inherited the fantastic back baskets!  They come in handy for carrying groceries, stuff that I find along the road, my computer when I have to bike somewhere for a connection, and my towel and a bottle of water when going to North Beach or Candy's pool.

Notice the new seat?  That's new this year!!  Enrique Dickenson came up with one for me.  The old one was so rusted out that it was like riding on a board.  This new one might not be blue but I love it!  And be sure to enlarge the photo so you can check out the fenders on my bike.  The back fender is a piece of plastic that Mike found at the dump.  The front fender was so rusted this year that Mike had to attach a wire to keep the fender from rubbing against my tire and making an annoying noise.

I love my bike.  I've thought about getting one of those new fancy aluminum fat tire bikes and maybe some day I will.  The oldest bike on Salt Cay and I still have a lot of adventures left to take together. Ride on.