by Ray Auxillou
I had a visit by a British Governor on Caye Caulker one time. Think it was Thornley? I was teaching at the Caye Caulker Primary School. He stood in my classroom and we wandered over to the window, looking across some acres of coconut trees and white sand, with the blue emerald lagoon stretching out to the reef, where the boom of the waves could be felt and heard even a mile away. He asked me in all innocence, what I was doing here?
I could not find an answer. I could only wave my hand at the scenery. Obviously he had not seen any Errol Flynn pirate movies of the South Pacific, or read the stories of Errol Flynn´s statutory rape trial in Jamaica, where he was prosecuted for having a young girl from first year high school one night, come aboard for some pleasure. During the day he had entertained a school trip from the girl´s academy, on his big sailboat anchored in Kingston and during the visit, one saucy young thing had been invited to come back aboard and see the moon from his salon that evening. She came, she did not see the moon though, but her momma apparently did not appreciate it and took him to trial. He got off because there was evidence that there had been no moon that night.
Still sailboats, roaring breakers on the reef, calm lagoons of brilliant clear waters and always a willing brown skinned girl, willing to sooth the needs of the sailor, attracted me to the Caribbean Sea. It was so different to England, or Canada, in attitude, if not in actions. I never understood Governor Thornley´s question that day. Nor could I understand why he would want to live in England.
Different strokes for different folks. Guess I was just a romantic, raised on stories like Thor Hyerdhel on his raft crossing the Pacific to Tahiti, or sailors wandering unfettered and free of rules and regulations, limited only to the rule of nature and unforgiving mistress, if you were not prepared.