Small, dusty, a historic building dotting the few streets here or there. Small wood framed houses of the classic Caribbean genre. Wood framed, broad porches trimmed with latticework as delicate as the lace on an antique ladies handkerchief, bright colors, windows bearing shutters to keep out the baking sun and provide protection from hurricanes and fierce tropical storms.
Despite the "White Party" of the night before, the largest and final big party of the cruise, I got off the boat early, water taxied to town and returned by lunchtime to relax by the pool on my final afternoon onboard. While in town I happened upon two guys from the boat searching through racks of sarongs and filmy chiffon blouses. They said they were headed to a beach on the island. While I remarked to one about the heat of the day, it was torrid, the other was telling the saleswoman "I'm looking for something to go with this bag" holding up a wildly colored faux designer bag and wallet set "I'm wearing it with my white bikini" he explained "Today I'm being Paris Hilton!" the salesperson gamely showed him one gaudy chiffon blouse after another. I moved on admiring both his enthusiasm and the salesperson calm professionalism.
There were chicken, chickens everywhere. A mother hen paraded her brood of ten across a yard cracked from the heat. Another wandered seemingly aimlessly down the sidewalk. Others could b e heard but not seen as they voiced their trademark call. A small drab lizard ambled across the sidewalk towards the shade of a raised porch. As it approached another, similar lizard, scurried out from under the porch and hissed, menacingly. A third, extremely fat, appeared seemingly out of nowhere and then the three ran together under the porch to do whatever it is that lizards do. The dynamics of the whole encounter remain a mystery to me.
Upon returning to the boat I located a suitable lounge chair and lazed, letting the warmth of the sun and the occasional cool trade breeze waft over me. I noticed a friend smoking on the upper deck and upon going up to spear with him discovered that bare feet and a hot boat deck do not mix well. I was joined by others discussing our outings that day. The subject of phobias came up One of mine is snakes. One mentioned that during his time as a priest, when he was working with children, one of the challenges he put them through in an obstacle course was to "kiss the snake" where the children had to ...well I'm sure you get it.. I pointed out to him that "kiss the snake" could be a euphemism. He assured me it was not.
At dinner that evening we were seated, quite by chance, with a couple one of which was celebrating his birthday. To commemorate this event the entire table was treated to champagne by the cruise line. This and a final cocktail with my dinner companions in the bar created a satisfying end to the evening and a perfect closing night to the cruise.