Virgin Islands Traveller

We get off to an early start; by 8:30 a.m. Troy and I are astride our mountain bikes and ready to go. Troy, a long-time St. Croix resident and experienced cyclist, is one of the regular guides at Freedom City Cycles, a bike shop in Frederiksted which rents bikes, leads tours and sells gear. Read More

Ras Lumumba picked me up in his Rasta-colored 1970s Land Rover and we set off for a drive along back roads to a viewpoint overlooking the north coast of St Croix. We were going on a hike, along with his daughter and another friend, but first Lumumba, a naturalist and exceptional tour guide, wanted to show us one of his favourite spots on the island. Read More

Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys

I came across Jean Rhys’ 1934 novel, Voyage in the Dark, in a used bookshop several months ago and read it during a recent trip to St Croix. I had read and enjoyed Rhys’ best-known work, Wide Sargasso Sea, previously.

At 187 pages Voyage …  is a fast read but the images and language are haunting and stayed with me for weeks. Rhys’ writing style is fearless: sharp, spare and unsentimental. Read More

Anyone who has ever bushwacked through the forest in the VI or, especially, had anything to do with land which has been cleared of trees, is probably well familiar with kasha, also known as catch n keep. Acacia riparia is a woody sprawler with lacy foliage that not only snags anything that comes its way (catch) but grips you even closer the more you struggle to become de-tangled from its embrace (keep). According to the Crucian Dictionary, catch n keep (also ‘ketch an keep’) is also sometimes called the Country Policeman or Hug Me Close, and that it is known as Zarza in Puerto Rico and Amourette, which means little love, in St Barts. Read More