Way back in time, before mariner was a grandfather, he worked for a living. He had an interesting job as a consultant who designed computer system upgrades for large corporations then developed the project parameters for accomplishing that upgrade.
It was a busy job that had a lot to do with stress, timelines and budgets. Consequently, for a number of years in January, mariner would take the family sailing in the Caribbean Sea – specifically up and down the Lesser Antilles. Mariner often has said that the Lesser Antilles is where Heaven touches the Earth.
But storms have taken a devastating toll on the northern group of islands, the Leeward Islands. Most of us know about major islands like the British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands but there are many dozens of smaller islands that virtually are uninhabitable at this point. Populations on these small islands always have been fragile and originally consisted of Arawak and Carib Indians who migrated from South America. During the period 1990-2000, there was fascination and joy in sailing to various islands to discover differences in dialect, cuisine, and subtle, unsophisticated economies. The islanders mariner met then were survivors of centuries of brutal colonialism beginning with Columbus and the Spanish invasion in the early 1500’s. Even today, most islands are protectorates of many European nations and the United States.
Sadly, at least to mariner, a new age of colonialism has invaded the Antilles from Puerto Rico to Granada: tourism. Over the past twenty years wealthy folks have purchased whole islands, destroying the cultural uniqueness of those islands. Further and even more damaging to uniqueness, large tourism corporations like cruise ships and spas (one example is Sandals) buy up habitable portions of islands thereby completely wiping out Carib culture.
When mariner sailed the Lesser Antilles, there was a sense of experiencing a natural bond between nature and humanity. Though meager, the islands were balanced in the needs both of humans and the island ecology.
Mariner finds it painful to watch the cruise ship and spa advertisements on television. It is profane. It is an artificial and ecologically expensive reality that humans continually create. It is arrogance and disrespect.
The new rule is, whether technologically or economically, just because you can do it, you must do it.
It’s not mariner’s rule but he’s a grandfather now; He isn’t in the game anymore.