Alone Like a Rolling Stone

The sunset on a garbage dump

Everyone knows the fascinating sunsets of the Caribbean, at least from postcards and photos. We experience this natural spectacle almost every day. The sky gradually turns from deep blue to a yellow-red. The sun is still above the horizon. Touching the surface of the water, the scenery acquires a purple color. Depending on how many clouds are in the sky, the refraction of light causes yellow stripes to form, merging into orange, interrupting this crimson and causing the clouds to pass through the sky as shadows. If the sun has sunk into the sea, the sky turns deep red and becomes black towards the top. The first big stars become visible in the firmament. 

Sunset in the Caribbean

All in all a fantastic nature experience. On a boat you sit in the cockpit or on deck and enjoy this sight with a drink in your hand, the so called sundowner. We have experienced these sundowners countless times and just can't get enough of them. However, appearances are deceiving and on land there is another aspect that you don't want to document, at least not, in the context of a sunset. On the photos you see in the fewest cases the environment in which the shot was taken. Mostly only a small beach section, the shot concentrates nevertheless on the colorful sky. To the left and right of the viewer, the plastic garbage piles up. 

Plastic waste in the mangroves

Many crews try to give back some of their privilege by participating in beach cleanups or starting such themselves. But given the scale, this is a drop in the bucket. In most cases, as in Europe, an overall concept is lacking. Of course, everyone knows the saying "waste avoidance comes before waste disposal", which in view of the situation on the ground can only be classified as an empty phrase. The situation is mostly misjudged by the locals, it is mainly foreigners who have been living on the islands for a long time who take care of the problem. Not supported by the government in Grenada, these concepts are financed by donations. But not only is there no support from those in charge, the few people who have a disposal concept are also thrown between their feet. For example, the commissioning of a larger shredding plant for plastic waste, which was purchased as a replacement, failed due to the approval procedure by the authorities. Where do we come there also, if foreigners tell us, what is good and what is bad on our islands. 

Plastic, affluent waste

With this attitude, the destruction of ecosystems is pre-programmed and will continue to progress. In view of this, subsequent generations, at least those who can tear themselves away from their Playstation, will experience their sunsets on a garbage dump. For the rest, the zoomed-in sunset from the couch will remain.

Wrack, Carriacou

While we think about how to improve the situation in a sustainable way, our boat project continues to progress. It's still being sanded, but it now also has the so-called "finish primer" on it. This means that painting with the white topcoat is just around the corner. Shortly before means in the Caribbean next week, possibly the week after next. After that we can determine the waterline and touch up the underwater hull. After that we are ready to put our Katinka in the water again. So long we live on, not on a garbage dump, but in a similar condition on a construction site. 

Life on a construction site

You don't treat yourself to anything else, and as a long-distance traveler you need a certain masochistic disposition to survive the everyday situations on a world trip. By the way, this disposition also helps in other life situations, such as the cancellation of a bank account with DKB. "That can bank" just not close an account. After motto "Groundhog day", we now try since October 2021 to cancel the account with DKB. In the meantime, we have filled out the third cancellation application, but the bank has not managed to close the account. Instead, we keep receiving the same emails asking us to send the bank a cancellation application. Even the ombudsman who got involved and BaFin are so far biting their teeth. "Bank can do that." In this sense, even if you now know that we carry a good portion of masochism with us, stay with us. We wish you fair winds of water, and I won't mention, keep a stiff upper lip today.

Beach walk without plastic