Gardening tip 101
Brussel sprouts plant amazingly here, a Beaconite was excited to learn. So do tomatoes, basil and thyme. That’s all she knows for certain at the moment. Cooking tip 101: If you roast a chicken, try using the bones and juice in a broth. Look up a recipe online: It’s incredibly easy.
It’s surprising how little time it takes to reach the surface from 60 feet underwater — at least when you make the mistake of blowing too much air into your buoyancy control device. Watching her scuba instructor and fellow students become smaller and smaller as she floated helplessly away, flailing her arms and legs, is one of the strangest sensations a Beaconite has ever felt, reminiscent of a scene from Willy Wonka’s factory, or outer space. However, once she reached the surface, there was nothing left to do but go back down and try again, which she did. Upon her rejoining the group, her instructor wrote wryly on his erasable board, “The goal is buoyancy, not missile launch.” Duly noted. On that same dive, the penultimate one of her open water diver certification course, the Beaconite also managed to lose her instructor’s personal compass somewhere near Santa Monica Rock, having thought she had hooked it on to her gear. She apologised, but the instructor said it was no big deal: He goes there all the time and thinks he might find it again. Most people think that dropping something into 60-foot-deep ocean water means it’s lost forever. But once you become a diver, the ocean floor — which once seemed as remote and inaccessible as the moon — is just another familiar place to visit.
A Beaconite recently had enough cringe-worthy experiences in just one day to last her an entire month or more. While scrolling through the House of Assembly meeting video and jotting down hard budget numbers, she was thoroughly confused by a minister’s tendency to say “two hundred ten” to describe the year 2010. These slight slips continued and she had to replay the video three times just to make sure the numbers were right. Later, while sitting in High Court, the reporter witnessed a lot of tension between a witness — another senior HOA member — and a lawyer, and eventually that witness and the judge herself. The first moment of discomfort came when the witness said he didn’t know the literal definition of “transparent.” He described the term as meaning “aboveboard” but would not accept the lawyer’s definition that transparent also means “see-through.” Asked if he’d like to accept a dictionary definition instead, the witness agreed. The reporter wanted to pull out her phone, Google the word, show it to the witness, and get on with the trial. Of course, people have their “off” days sometimes, and that may have been the case for both these people.
Snorkeling for the first time
A Beaconite had the privilege of going snorkeling for the first time since she’s been in the Virgin Islands and she was astonished to find that it was the most calming, relaxing experience of her life. Something about being effortlessly suspended in clear blue water, shutting out all noise and doing nothing but gazing at the fascinating world of sea life put her in a completely Zen mood. Looking at the turtles and fish and manta rays, all of her stress from sitting through hours of House of Assembly meetings just melted away. She even swam from the boat to a deserted beach on Cooper Island with a sign forbidding trespassing and saw delightful sea treasures along the way like an enormous hermit crab and a strange 10-foot-long Q-tip-shaped object. She enjoyed her adventures so much that the first thing she did when she got home was look up scuba diving instruction rates so that she can spend as much time underwater as possible. She figures as long as she’s on a Caribbean island she may as well take advantage. If only blissful sea life exploration weren’t so pricey.