Saturday, 23 January 2016

The Sea, Ships and Shells .......

My sketch of the beach, my "Minnow" and the Court House

Whenever we are home in Jamaica, we always stay in Ocho Rios.  Our second home there, however, is the beautiful seaside town of Port Maria thirty-three miles south.  A beautiful town steeped in history, Port Maria also has one of the most beautiful beaches called Pagee Beach.  Just off the coast is Carabarita Island, with a steep rocky approach topped with exotic foliage.  It really is a most breathtaking place.  We have spent many happy hours in Port Maria, visiting my favourite churches and attending services, singing, and of course, swimming in the waves at Pagee Beach.

On our last full day in Jamaica, I suggested to Howard that we take a drive to Port Maria for a goodbye swim.  I also wanted to do some sketching and record a song at St. Mary's Parish Church, so off we set.  After I completed my singing and sketching, we headed to the beach for the final swim of our holiday.  The waves were incredible, and as we were being bounced along I felt something in the sand.  I reached down and was surprised to find a little conch shell.  I was quite thrilled because it almost felt like Mother Nature was giving me a small memento to take home with us.  After swimming for awhile, we decided got go for a walk along the beach a ways.  We ended up walking quite a distance, taking photos, taking in the sights, and petting a stray pup who decided to accompany us on our journey.  As we walked back, I asked Howard to take my picture beside what I have deemed the "Gilligan's Island" boat aka the "S.S. Minnow." The old boat on the beach is blue, and every time I see it I am reminded of that old television show which I loved as a young boy.  The fact that the island off the coast somewhat reminds me of "Gilligan's Island" also lends to the premise and the appeal, ha ha!

As we finished taking our photos and getting ready to head back to the car, Howard and I spied something sticking out of the sand next to the old boat.  There, partially covered was the biggest, most beautiful conch shell I've ever seen.  We fished it out, splashed some water on it, and even in it's soiled state - it was the most beautiful shell I'd ever seen.  I was completely beyond thrilled with this find.  It was one thing to find the small one in the water, but yet another thing altogether to have this stunning beauty!  A truly wonderful gift from place I do indeed love so much.  Back at the hotel, a Rasta dude told us that the shell or the creature that inhabited it was most likely recently alive,  and the shell was quite an impressive find.  Howard cleaned it up for me in the bathtub with a toothbrush, and we sprayed it with some of my hair curl stuff so that we wouldn't have any issues bringing it home with us.  Today, my beautiful shell sits proudly on the coffee table alongside it's smaller counterpart, a daily reminder of a special day and a place we both treasure so much.

I hope you enjoyed my seaside tale, and thank you again for reading it!

Sandy .......

My two beautiful conch shells

Me in the surf with Carabarita Island off the coast

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