A Taste of Weather in the West Indies


Might this be another disillusioned expat escaping New York taxes? He lives just across the road in a run-down shack with a fabulous ocean view and 24 miles of living reef to dive around.

This Dutch West Indie Island has some of the best SCUBA in the world and I can’t wait to try it myself tomorrow.

Normally the island stays perennial dry with friendly breezes and protection from hurricanes. But, a freak tropical storm rained out our plans to shoot ocean adventures today including a bone-fishing voyage and a wind-sailing trip.

Even the migrating flamingos that, we are told, gather near the artificial salt lakes were strangely absent. Bright pink flamingos feast on the brine shrimp.


The ocean is remarkably crystal clear here tinted with a rich turquoise blue. Bright tropical fish enjoy sea temperature that hover near bath temps while prehistoric iguanas roaming freely down sidewalks.

To the North are miles of beautiful cactus-studded hills and wild donkeys that crisscross empty one-lane roads. There are very few wild Jack and Jennies in the world and those that are left are helped by a sanctuary on the island.

Bill took us on a bumpy ride through Washington-Slagbaai National Park on Sunday. The lush North is worlds apart from the windswept desert to the South.

To the West is the 190-year-old capital city of Kralendijk (Dutch for coral dike) where I am staying. In the evening I dine at friendly open-air restaurants with fresh Caribbean culinary favorites like seafood soups, goat stews and chicken croquettes – a Dutch favorite. The Dutch call it “gezellig” or dining in comfort with good friends.

Unlike most tourist-driven areas the portions are huge and I’ve been pacing myself or sharing with Sylvia. Yesterday’s side dish of polenta (corn meal) was big enough to be the main course.

This morning we saved a few bucks by visiting a grocery store for 98 cent pastechi – patties with spicy meat filling. They taste and look like empanadas but they’re better!