A Knight’s Tale (129: Waiting On Barbados Part Two)

Here is a selection from a swimming trip in the waters of Port St Charles harbour:

Turtle swimming 1
Turtle swimming 2
Louisa swimming with turtles 1
Louisa swimming with turtles 2
Louisa swimming with turtles 3

Louisa just had to join the turtles, like pebbles washed by tidal waters, the colours of their carapaces brightly contrasting with their natural element which reflected the skies above.

Louisa swimming with turtles 4

In this last picture, Jessica’s toes curl at top left.

On my ramblings around Barbados in May 2004, some of the local people, who called me ‘the white man who walks’, thought I wasn’t quite right in the head, especially as I had a tendency to set off around mid-day.

On one occasion this proved to be quite happy for the photographer in me when I was able to watch the sugar cane being harvested.

Sugar cane on lorry 5.04 1

It was the approach of this loaded lorry that alerted me to what was going on.

Sugar cane field 5.04

Here was the cane to be cut before collecting;

Sugar cane in containers 5.04

and, further on, containers loaded beside stripped fields.

Sugar cane harvest loading 5.04 1
Sugar cane harvest loading 5.04 2

Tractors were employed to load the vehicles;

Couple harvesting sugar cane 5.04

after which, were this elderly couple engaged in gleaning? I must say I felt for them labouring under the overhead sun.


They put me in mind of Jean-Francois Millet’s painting ‘The Gleaners’, which caused such a stir at the Paris Salon in 1857.


  1. The sugarcane fields and the gleaners were familiar sights when I was a school girl and we had moved to our home in rural Punjab. What was unique there was the Gur the farmers would make in the fields with the first lot of the harvest. Gur is the brown organic sugar they get from cooking the sugar cane juice. They would make a ‘kheer’ with it and serve passers by or anyone who came to the field themselves. Kheer is a rice pudding made with milk and sugar. The air would be filled with the heady aromas of gur and kheer!

  2. I am glad you wandered around with your camera even if local folks wondered about you. Because of this, you caught some scenes that are seldom featured in anyone’s collection of pictures of the Caribbean. I also like the gleaning connection you made. Have you seen Agnes Varda’s Documentary “The Gleaners & I”? If not, it’s worth seeing.

  3. Great post, Derrick! What an interesting trip. So cool to swim with turtles. Those of us who live in comfort sometimes forget how hard the laborers work out in the hot sun all summer long. We had a photo of the Gleaners on our dining room wall when I was young.

  4. I love the photos of the turtles. So beautiful! I’m glad you were able to walk and share some of your photos and insights. I had to look up Millet’s painting to see if I understood correctly what the controversy was. And now I’ll have to look for the documentary mentioned above.

  5. What a joyous day for Turtles and Human-beans! 😀 Beautiful photos! 🙂
    Good thing you did go a-walkin’…you found some great things to photograph! 🙂
    Yes, I’ve often thought about the laborers, especially eons ago, who gleaned the fields without the help of modern machinery. Even with machinery it’s hot, hard, back-breaking, often unappreciated, work.
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  6. The deep blue water looks wonderful and refreshing. What a great trip! And you are still “‘the white man who walks.’

  7. ‘The White Man Who Walks’ is surely an interesting sobriquet you earned, except that it begs for further elucidation: The White Man Who Walks and Shoots…. I am tempted to think of ‘Walks, Shoots and Leaves’….
    Beautiful picture of scuba diving — they must have been a challenge to shoot.

    1. Thank you so much, Uma. I laughed out loud at ‘Walks, Shoots and Leaves’… The biggest challenge of the scuba diving sequence was that I was on a boat.

  8. Great sequence of photographs.
    When they saw you coming down the road, at least they didn’t break out into a chorus of “mad Dogs and English Men”. 🙂 Take care & stay well.

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