Caribbean, Countries, Culture, UK

Elsa heroes in Bim half-shell

Barbados is a blessed island not least because it escapes the hurricane season…  but today we bring you  Elsa Bim heroes in half-shell.

Bim, as it’s affectionately known, last had to brave a hurricane, Janet, in 1955.

Until now with Elsa deciding to swoop to the southern islands.

Irie Barbados: With Jevan and Donna

My old West Indian pal Jevan has posted images from Barbados of Elsa at her fiercest.

Thankfully though Elsa has not been too vengeful to Bim.

No, not that one

With Jevan reporting that his only loss is some banana trees and potted plants.

While best and most surprising of all was a new appearance when Jevan braved the storms to check on his tortoises.

And discovered that one Mother Tortoises of his had given birth in the Hurricane.

Shell Superstars

West Indians proudly value their heroes in a half-shell, both tortoises and turtles.

And I even had to return to Bim to find me the swimming turtles I had missed the year before.

Probably because they were taking shelter from my boozy rum breath.

And we don’t even need a sea

Tortoises and turtles are made for the Caribbean, moving at a slow, casual place. Irie!

And they have a natural homing instinct as you all know from me having flagged up Aruban nesting turtles.

While, of course all our favourite small islands look out for their visitors.

But I prefer land

And few more passionately than Mother Turtle in the Maldives.

What’s the difference?

Of course, the question that has been racking our brains as we replay Jevan’s video is…

What is the difference between a turtle and a tortoise?

You looking at me?

The Scary One won’t be convinced… a tortoise is more a landlubber while turtles prefer to give you the runaround in the sea.

Elsa Bim heroes in half-shell

I’m beginning to think this is her plan to get me to take her out to Bim.

Barbados and much of the Caribbean is on the UK green list so what’s keeping you.

And Tropical Sky will look after you.

So welcome to Jevan’s menagerie… here’s to Elsa Bim heroes in half-shell.

 

America, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Holidos and don’ts – Green List and Scottish isles

And is your country on the Irish Green List https://www.rte.ie/news/coronavirus/2020/0721/1154621-coronavirus-travel/where you’re now allowed to visit?

And some more guidance too on if and how we insure ourselves amid contradictory Government advice.

I’m indebted here to my good friend Dominic Burke, of Travel Centres https://www.travelcentres.ie/.

Where are the humans: The Gibraltar Barbary Apes

And the Irish Travel Agents Association https://itaa.ie/ in Ireland for flagging up some anomalies here.

That Gibraltar is on it, but that you can’t get there unless you go through Spain which isn’t.

Monaco, go, go, go

Monaco the same with France too left on the list.

While if you want to visit the eskimos of Greenland you’ll need to go through Denmark which you guessed right is off the list.

Greenland… and white is the colour

I notice too that Belgium where I first met the similarly coiffure-bearded Dominic is off the list.

And we were invited to present the wreath at the Menin Gate in Ieper www.visitflanders.com, https://gtitravel.ie/ and In Flanders fields.

We’ll share a Trappist beer there again yet, Dominic.

Let’s all Muck in

Me old Muckers

I might not be able to get over to Ireland, well at least the southern part.

So it’s just as well that we’ve a few glittering isles of our own in Scotland.

Muck in the Inner Hebrides, or Western Isles, is reopening its self-catering accommodation, although Eigg is not.

Not every Scottish island has a funny name but I do love Ewe.

Get it… they do with it being a popular island to propose.

See www.visitscotland.com and Sunday Sermon – God’s Own Country Scotland.

A cruise to bear in Ireland

Shipping jobs

Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ descent into administration will be felt on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Whom we know through JMG Cruises http://www.jmgcruise.com

Our Irish ports will be hit hard.

Belfast was set to homeport in 2021 as was Cobh, no stranger to cruiseheads.

They have started and finished their trips in the past and were ready to do so again next year.

Visit https://www.thecruiseroomireland.ie/.

Over there, over there

It was an uplifting American war-time song… ‘and it won’t be over till it’s over, over there.’

The Americans, lest we forget, joined our two major conflicts in the last century.

And also led (and are still leading) us through the Cold War.

And yet, nobody it seems wants them.

The haters have been smirking that the Mexicans have been turning away American tourists at the border.

But it is no laughing matter, not least for a British, European.

And especially Irish market which relies so heavily on the Yankee dollar.

With Bajan Geraldine and Virginian Patay

The good news is that a vaccine looks on the way and that there are countries who want to welcome the Americans back.

We all know how much Americans love the Caribbean.

And I was embraced by the Virginia Ski Club on their annual trip to Barbados www.theclubbarbados.com with www.tropicalsky.ie and www.tropicalsky.com.

And I’m glad to say that that feeling is mutual.

With much of the Caribbean reopening to Americans, subject to requirements.

And my sailing pal Patsy

I got out to see for myself how history is still being made in Virginia https://www.virginia.org.

And Sign up for the Civil War… it is Virginia www.visitusa.ie and www.visitusa.co.uk.

And I am hankering to get back.

crab on beach
Caribbean, Countries, Food & Wine

Holy Crab

Holy Crab! I’ve got crabs… come on a bit of sympathy here.

I picked them up from an eddying pool by the West Beach in North Berwick, East Lothian, south of Edinburgh.

No, I’m not making this up!

I’ve always loved seafood inheriting a passion for all things fishy I guess from my Dear Old Mum and Dad.

And I have been fortunate enough to indulge that passion through the adventures I’ve had.

Barbados natives

Bubba, Geraldine and Bandanaman

Crabs proliferate in Barbados and I found from personal experience with Tropical Sky http://www.tropicalsky.ie that they love Club Barbados http://www.theclubbarbados.com on the island’s Platinum Coast.

Where you can spend many a happy hour checking their progress… which isn’t much to be honest as they sidle sideways.

Much like I did, giddy from one too many Rum Punch, after Happy Hour. And who am I kidding? Every hour was happy hour.

It seems heartless then to say that I love them best on my plate but then if God hadn’t meant them to be eaten he would’t have made them so damn tasty.

And when I say ‘plate’ I probably mean a big pot.

Being shellfish in Boston

sunset skyline boston dusk
Boston skyline Photo by Kristin Vogt on Pexels.com

My first introduction to crabs was on the last evening of my much-storied summer in Boston https://www.bostonusa.com after university.

When I had saved up enough money to have a blowout and eat at the oldest restaurant in Beantown, the Union Oyster House http://unionoysterhouse.com on the Freedom Trail.

Mysel and my mucker Neilly proceeded to order the most expensive meal on the menu and were surprised and thrilled in equal measure when they presented us with what appeared to be two big wine buckets.

In which seemed to contain two giant scoops of Boston Harbour.

This being America where practicality is king we were each given bibs too.

Slip slidin’ away

wooden barrel and ropes
Maryland history. Photo by David Dibert on Pexels.com

We both waddled like crabs out of the Union Oyster House and back to our billets in Boston’s rough and ready Combat Zone where we were staying.

And drank the night away at their all-black shebeen Alfies’s. But that’s a different story and one I will keep for another day.

appetizer crab cuisine delicious
Full to overflowing. Photo by Terje Sollie on Pexels.com

Meanwhile I’ll tempt you with a recipe for Maryland Crab Cakes given to me by my favourite cousin which I spotted on this fridge magnet in the kitchen.

And which she gave me among a hamper of goodies when I visited when I was in Washington DC http://www.washington.org and Easy DC.

Tobago obviously

Any jobs going? With Auntie Ali and Uncle Kenneth in Tobago

While my mind wanders I’d be remiss not to give a shout-out to the wonderful Auntie Ali and Uncle Kenneth here at the Blue Crab in Tobago http://www.tobago.gov.tt and http://www.tobagobluecrab.com/#about.

And don’t you know they’ve only got Crab Chowder as a starter.

You want more Tobago then check out Ready, steady GOAT… racing in Tobago.

I’m off to mix a Corn & Oil and a Dark & Stormy, the recipes I picked up from my old friend Marc from Barbados… http://www.visitbarbados.org. Did I tell you I’ve been? Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

And which I will share with you… but indulge me my sore head might make me crabby.