There is still something special here. A magic pheromone in the air that slightly alters your DNA… permanently.
(All photos taken by me with a Motorola Droid Turbo cell phone)
This is the view this morning from my patio. I sleep well with the sound of the waves just a hundred feet away. It has been a long time since I stayed ashore on St. Croix. Over the years, we have anchored in Christiansted, and only ventured in as far as we could walk. Today I am at sea-level, but used to live on the top of a mountain on the east end, with a view of the north and south shores.
Just like returning to the home you grew up in, everything here, also feels smaller. Yesterday I went into town to see what had changed, and buy a new snorkel. I was amazed at how many shops were not only closed, but stripped to the walls. I talked to several people that had been here most of their lives, and they knew the answers I asked about shops and people that had moved on.
Up and down this boardwalk, and sometimes as far as Gallows Bay, is my normal hang-out space when I am here. This visit, I have an apartment on the NE shore and a rental car. Driving on the left, kicked back in, almost instantly. I went into town early and found that many of the shops didn’t open until noon.
On the internet, I have read about gangs, shootings, and escalated crime. I confirmed that there are such problems, but in my time back on-island, I have only met friendly people, still waving out their window to let me into traffic, and have not yet encountered the resentment that has often been displayed against tourists. I have drove through school bumbler-bumper traffic, tracked down and bought computer supplies, shopped for groceries, and walked all the streets of C’sted and F’sted. I have an advantage over most non-residents, I used to live here and know the areas to avoid. In the past, your best protection was common sense.
This morning, I thought that I would like to see what is left of that house on the mountain. Since the castle was built on the properties above it, it was confusing finding it.
After the reality-trip of seeing the house, I went down the south side of the mountain toward Grape Tree Bay. I used to snorkel that reef almost every day. Going west, I passed grassy point, that now has a house on it, and saw this beautiful view that I had forgotten.
Many years ago, I pulled my car off the side of the road, at the bottom of this hill, gathered my snorkel gear, and proceeded to march through the ground-cover height brush that covered the hillside down to the water. After about twenty-feet, I felt terrible pain in my flat feet. I looked down to see my blood pouring from my flip-flops. All of the ground cover was a very stiff creeping cactus. I pulled the flip-flop away from my foot and the blood ran harder. I had no choice but to walk back out, with each step perforating my feet. (Memories… got side tracked.)
There is still something special here. A magic pheromone in the air that slightly alters your DNA… permanently. I escaped here when I was in college. Four-hundred dollars was a round trip ticket. Any time life became more then I could handle, I came here. Even when I am sailing, I often end up here. Most of my friends from those years have moved on, but the pheromones still find me and call me back.
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