12.1 PHOTOGRAPHING LEEWARD ISLAND PROJECTS – PART III
We continue with Part III, the final chapter of the story of photographing projects in the Leeward Islands. Photographing Leeward Island Projects Part I focused was on the first leg of the journey from Trinidad via St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, arriving in Antigua where Kevin [first mate/ musical director] left for a week to attend his daughter’s graduation in the USA. Photographing Leeward Island Projects Part II continued with our journey from Antigua to St. Barts, Anguilla, St. Kitts and back to Antigua. In the final leg of our journey we leave Antigua heading homeward bound via Martinique, Tobago Keys, Petite St. Vincent, Canouan and back to Chaguaramus, Trinidad. The trip took 25 days from May 10 to 03 June. On the last leg the crew was Phillip [captain/ chef/ mechanic/ plumber], Kevin [first mate/ musical director], Brien [bumper/ winer], Gerry [anchorman/ video man/ interpreter] and ‘yours truly’ [photographer/ dish washer].
On my previous trip to Martinique in 2012 I had encountered very poor weather the day I arrived to photograph Domaine d’Emeraude, a natural history museum design by Olivier Compère. I thought it was a very interesting project so I planned to make another try at capturing sunny images of it. Because we were travelling from the north we scheduled a stop at Saint-Pierre at the north end of Martinique close to the museum. The northern end of Martinique seems to be very humid and, as luck would have it, the weather was yet again very wet and we abandoned the shoot and set off to dock at the southern end of the island at Fort Louis.
The next day I set off with Olivier Compère to photograph the Ho Hio Hen Seaside Residence that I had seen under construction during my earlier visit in 2012. Although the project was completed the finishing touches on the interiors and landscaping were still a work in progress. The house is on the seaside and really captures the flavor of a vacation villa right on the beach – what a great place to live! The project is actually a renovation and extension to an existing structure and Compère brought it to life with the interesting use of timber wall cladding, Demerara type window shutters, zinc flashings and window sills. The house is quite small but quite photogenic and I ended up shooting quite a few interior shots and a good few dusk shots.
The following day Olivier, Gerry and I set off by car to visit Domaine d’Emeraude at the other end of the island. Although it was not raining, the sun struggled to get through the mist and clouds – clearly this area of Martinique is very humid and susceptible to mist and rain. Shortly after midday the weather turned again and we abandoned the photo session for the second time but this time we managed to capture a few images. On the way back we stopped for what must be one of the better onshore meals for the entire trip.
The Home Run
For the home run we set off from Martinique passing various islands including the Tobago Keys, Petite Martinique ending up at Canouan Island. On Sunday we all took the day off for a ‘cook up’ at Selene Beach – a remote, tiny and uninhabited tropical sanctuary with crystal clear water and deserted beaches.
Finally we arrived back at Chaguaramus in Trinidad safe and sound after almost a month at sea. After dealing with local immigration and customs we all returned to clean up the boat before our wives turned up to meet us. Five men on a small boat for a month can be a strain as everyone’s faults and shortcoming eventually come to the fore. I think we did rather well considering the unique personalities of the crew and captain all to whom I am eternally grateful for accompanying me on this adventurous journey.