Duhkxy and the Sandy Island Rats

Prelude – Catching up

We are still here in Grenada on Ice Floe, moored off Sandy Island within the Sandy Island / Oyster Bed Marine Protected Area (aka Carriacou Marine Park).  We have been here since March 18th when the majority of Caribbean Island Nations closed their borders.  Our June 18th flight was rescheduled for June 16th and subsequently canceled.  The airport in Grenada will open no sooner than June 30th.  We are now rebooked for July 4th.

How do we spend our days under lockdown?

That is a question we hear quite often so here is a description of our typical days.
We are both reading a lot, and of course I write my Blog every so often.  I spend way too much time reading the news and then I feel depressed and play solitaire on my iPad for an hour, or so.
I am heartened that the outrage played out in the peaceful protests following George Floyd’s death has rekindled the Black Lives Matter movement and drawn international attention to the need for police reform.  I track and graph the pandemic statistics every day.  In my humble opinion, we haven’t seen anything yet.
There is the requisite cooking and cleaning every day, 3 times a day.  Now that the Paradise Beach Club has re-opened we treat ourselves to a visit there a few times each week – sometimes for the best rum punch we have ever had, sometimes for the best fish tacos we have ever had, sometimes for the best lamb fritters we have ever had….
I FaceTime with Riley and Tristan on Wednesdays.  They are both reading me a different book and Tristan recently serenaded me on his ukelele.
Our days are frequently variations of the same, with occasional outings to sail, fish, snorkel, watch the seabirds and turtles around Ice Floe, or take a hike around Carriacou.  Many of these adventures are described in other blogs.
We visit Sandy Island almost every evening with Duhkxy and I will devote the balance of this entry to Duhkxy discovery and fascination with the rats on Sandy Island.

Duhkxy and the Sandy Island Rats

Soon after we arrived I saw the first rat on Sandy Island flash past into a pile of palm fonds.  Several weeks later, George and I both caught a glimpse of several surfing along the branches of a sea grape.
The photo of the cute little rat at the beginning of this blogpost was first seen less than two feet from George’s right shoulder.  I said “George, there is a rat – right there – pointing”.  George asked “Where?”, a bit alarmed.  I pointed again and George, now seeing it, quickly retreated to a safer location.  I then kept staring at the rat, who kept very still in hopes I did not see it.  George pulled the camera from our pack and I captured this adorable shot.
Now, as rats go, the Sandy Island rats are quite cute – smaller than nasty dump rats, shaped a bit more like a kangaroo rat, with soft-looking brown fur and big round eyes.  George was having none of it – he does not like rats (or snakes).
It was not long after that Duhkxy discovered them and for weeks his favorite past time, while visiting the island, was trying to flush them out and catch one.  He is a clever doggie and it was not long before he succeeded.
His favorite game is chase.  Unfortunately, he is too fast, and so are the rats, for me to capture that in a photo.  He has treed them as below.
I got you
Get down here and play with me (or let me play with you)

And he forced one into the water.  He would have been in there after it if we had not restrained him.

Admittedly, not as cute as when dry and fluffy.  This rat sure could swim.

Each day brings new discoveries and things to see on Sandy Island.  Each evening a new sunset.


United We Stand

Divided We Fall

The flag of the United States flies off Ice Foe’s stern to identify our boat’s place of origin.
Glancing up at our flag, I thought:
“How symbolic of the destructive divisions that we are experiencing in the United States”
  • raw
  • messy
  • irreparable?

We are a proud nation, but prefer to forget that it was built along with the systematic, near, extermination of Native Americans, the enslavement of African Americans, and the extinction of untold numbers of species.  Rather than repair our nation, I believe it is time to remake it.  We cannot undo what is done, but that is no excuse not to learn from it.

How has it come to this?

Have we let our nation – the land of opportunity – devolve into the land of opportunity for a select minority or do we delude ourselves into thinking this is new?  If not new, I question how much of our current inequities exist by deliberate design?

  • Does it seem just that our public schools are largely funded by their district’s community?  Should children from a disadvantaged community have inadequate school supplies, larger classrooms, and teachers with lower wages?  Why has this paradigm for school funding existed for so long?
  • How about safe public drinking water?  Priviledge or Right?  C’mon!!
  • Why did my occupation allow me to essentially deduct from my taxes nearly all my and my family member’s health expenses, while a single Mom working two jobs could not?
  • On the topic of tax deductions, why can real estate moguls deduct enormous sums of income from their taxable income based on the depreciation of their properties, while their properties are in fact appreciating in value?
  • Why are monies earned through investment taxed at a much lower rate than those earned as wages?
  • How many hundreds of ways have the privileged persuaded our lawmakers to write into law practices that create and perpetuate inequities that benefit themselves?
  • Is it true that our lawmakers vote on their own salaries and the specifics of their health insurance plans?  If so, does that look like a conflict of interest to you?
  • Would illegal immigrants flock to our country if employers did not hire them?  Why not just expand the number of work permits for these same people to come and work legally?  A good-faith effort to hire US citizens should of course be conducted first.  Those from other countries could come legally via a work permit and be protected by our fair wage and safety laws.  Oh, I get it – is that why??!!
  • Just pretend I skipped another thousand other questions I ponder over that seem to foster, magnify, and perpetuate inequities that are neither new, nor the focus of our attention.

Is it just me?

Have you considered the possible – probable likelihood that the division of beliefs and stifling anger growing between diametrically opposed factions in the US  has come about also by design.  Every issue is discussed as though it is black and white – there are no shades of grey.  Our two predominant political parties are at war.  Are you not tired of being manipulated?  Can we not agree to differences of opinion, but acknowledge that facts are facts?  There can not be your facts and my facts unless we both have taken the time to discuss each other’s truths, and investigate the validity of our source of facts.

United we Stand!!