Horizon at Sandy Point

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Return to Pirates Bay

Forest and sea at north-east Tobago
My friend whose father was a public servant, spent childhood vacations in Charlotteville in the rest house fronting the bay. She and siblings trekked the sand like hobbits, roaming the paths and rolling down the hill into Pirates Bay. I first came to Charlotteville maybe three decades later with two small children and a pup. The village was not much different in 1990 from the fifties. From one of the holiday cottages, the path to Pirates Bay follows the seafront up the bluff at the north end of Man-o-War and descends by a stone staircase to the Pirates. Now, 27 years have flown, and the return to Pirates Bay is a thrilling bumpy ride to a turning point and park at the edge of a cliff between Man-o-War and Pirates.
Path to Pirates Bay

Stairs descend through palm trees and bamboos. A motmot observes us, a question in its eye. No, we have no snacks.
Stairs descend to Pirates Bay; these were laid in the late 1980s

Motmot in Bamboo

The first view of any beach is a sigh, a release, as if to say, “we reach.” The arrival at Pirates Bay is a quintessential “aaah” a homecoming. Maybe this is what going to heaven is like, if you believe in heaven. The sun comes late to this west-facing hidden cove where the likes of Morgan and Blackbeard are supposed to have stashed treasure, their layaway for retirement. Maybe they did return to collect their savings. Our bounty today is soft sand underfoot, the gentle slap of the sea, gulls and pelicans soaring and swooping, and the towering green hill at our backs.

Our treasure: Pirates Bay, pristine, precious, perpetual

Snorkeller at Pirates Bay

From the bluff over Pirates Bay, you can see Fort Campbleton and the hidden Lovers Bay

We leave reluctantly. Our hearts say we’ll be back. Perhaps not so soon as we might like, living in the world tugging in our heads. We will be back. The sun, fully risen, shines over the bay, a jewel in the coast.
Last look

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