Beyond Beyond; Episode 21
“The port is on the west side of the island,” Salty said. “Back when I was here there was no place to dock. You had to anchor off shore and use a dinghy to get to land; as near as I can remember.”
“My chart shows a small opening to a lagoon,” Rich said.
“If I recall that lagoon is very shallow,” Salty said, “and the way in was very shallow, two or three feet.”
“Take us around to the west side,” Rich said, “and I’ll get on the radio and try to reach somebody and see if we can dock someplace.”
Salty navigated around the west side of the island. Rich was able to contact a hotel that had a ship to shore radio. They were told of a place to dock down the coast from the lagoon.
Rich and Salty sailed along an outer reef of Barbuda that formed the lagoon; no more than 150 yards off shore.
“Look!” Salty said pointing at a beach. “Have you ever seen pink sand?”
“That’s beautiful!” Rich said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“These islands have a terrible history; Barbuda and Antigua – slavery,” Salty said. “There was no where to run or hide; escape was impossible. Why they helped me as a white man, I don’t know.”
“Maybe it was because some may have had white ancestors?” Rich said.
“As I recall some may have been lighter than others,” Salty said. “But I just remember them being very black. It’s been so long. Big smiles. Yes, very big smiles.”
“I just know you will find people who will remember you,” Rich said.
“Too many years,” Salty said and added sadly, “too many years.”
“I’m going to remove the tape on the transom and return this boat to it’s rightful name,” Rich said. He leaned over the stern and pealed the tape from Cody Boy and returned it Odyssey again.
They sailed to a small cape that suddenly jutted away from the island of pink sand and lush green vegetation. They sailed around it.
Rich’s imagination soured. He had no words to describe the meeting of blue waters, pink sand, and green foliage. “God has taken the best of all colors and brought them together right here,” he said to Salty.
Salty heard, but he seemed far from Rich. He was in a time many years ago. He looked beyond the beauty and pressed his memory to recall events and people. “I thank god for this one last voyage of my life. I never knew how I’d get here again. If I set out alone, at my age there would be little chance of making it.”
“That docking area should be just down the coast,” Rich said.
Salty continued to sail the shore line.
“Look!” Salty said. “Now you see white sand; as white as clouds.”
“I’m surprised you left this place,” Rich said.
“I was sick,” Salty said. “It must have effected my thinking. I dream about this place from time to time. And I don’t know if what I remember is a dream or it really happened. Sometime something will just pop in my head and I don’t know where it came from. They say when you get my age that’s not an uncommon thing. Dreams or memories, don’t know which. Never thought much about it; it could be nothing more than imagination, but I’ve never been known much for that.”
“Not from the stories I’ve heard about you,” Rich said. “The people down at the boatyard in Rockland said you could come up with ways to solve problems that engineers never thought about. And who would have thought with some black and white tape you could change Odyssey to Cody Boy?”
“Ahhh,” Salty said, “some dumb people have special gifts. God gives it to them because smart people are too busy being smart.”
“You mean guys like White and Stafford?” Rich said.
“Exactly,” Salty said.
They sailed for a few more minutes.
“I see it,” Salty said. “It looks like the place we can dock.”
A heap of leveled rocks jutted from the shore forming about 200 foot pier. A portion had a cement wall where a feathered blue skiff and yellow skiff bobbed loosely. Three large fuel tanks sat at the tip of the pier and gave the appearance of some sort of storage facility for what ever fuel was needed on the island or for boats.
Rich dropped the sails and the current carried them to the cement wall. Salty brought The Odyssey broadside and Rich positioned the mooring fenders. He climbed to the pier and tied a fore and aft line.
“Well here we are,” Rich said holding out his hand to help Salty ashore.