4 Hours on The East Coast with Jerry
Well, Jonesie asked me to write a guest blog for her on my trip up the East Coast on Saturday. I’m going to do my best but I am by no means the writer that my wife is. So please forgive my lack of literary grace and hold onto your seats!
‘Twas the morning after Tacosgiving (perhaps a future blog topic by my beautiful wife), and we'd been up until 4:30am cleaning after the party. I awoke at 9 to a WhatsApp message asking me if I was ready to go – it was time for Bathsheba. The trip had been offered by and narrated by our neighbor, the “King of Dover” himself, Jerry. Turns out Jerry grew up in the area near Bath Beach and knew it like the back of his royal hand. Our son, Aiden, asked to join us so at 10am we began our journey to a “new to us” part of the island. Throughout our drive Jerry repeatedly told me to remember certain roads and landmarks so that I could bring the family back out there, which I did on Monday (Independence Day). Fortunately for me, Google got me part of the way there, my memory did some of the work and then friendly road signs finished the task…but I digress.
We started our tour at Codrington College’s coy pond. It's a beautiful campus and we enjoyed checking out the large goldfish in the pond. We also noticed a whole bunch of ducks hanging around and Jerry informed us that the security guards on-duty were there because at one point people had been stealing them, presumably for food. Mmmm, duck - so greasy and so good…
We then made our way to Bath Beach, stopping briefly on the road for Jerry to yell into his grandma’s house then having a quick conversation with his dad. (Also fairly loud, but not in a bad way, and done from the car) We arrived at the beach and, as expected it was beautiful. There were kayaks for rent, a nice picnic area or two and we saw what appeared to be a kayaking lesson being given to local teens. We stopped by Jerry’s childhood home and he showed us where he played from 6am-6pm every day, where he learned to surf,
the banana patch that he raided daily and the palm trees he climbed for his daily servings of coconut water. We walked the beach, found some sea fans, a “brain rock” and some really cool shells to bring home for Penny and Callen.
At that point it was time to go to Bathsheba. We drove up some hills then down some hills on some very rustic roads, passing a house that looked as if it was themed for Chefette, and eventually made it to Bathsheba. Luckily for us there was a surfing competition going and in typical Jerry style he knew one of the surfers, Mark Holder, who had apparently been the #1 surfer in Barbados at one time. He was still quite good and I must say, based on his physique, I became more optimistic about my chances of being an okay surfer when my lessons eventually start!
We found this cool little house right on the coast that was featured in a movie, (not sure which one), and a rock cave nearby that was also featured. On the return trip Penny & Cal made their way into the cave and played a game, seeing how far they could make it in before they had to run out to avoid being soaked by a wave. (They both ended the game with wet shoes.) That little house also happens to be where my all-time favorite picture of Jonesie, Penny and Cal together was taken and in the words of the outgoing US president, “everyone agrees."
From there we drove uphill for a bit and arrived at a very high point, St. John’s Cathedral. It was a beautiful old church built on a perfect overlook of the East Coast. It was open to visitors but we were feeling lazy and didn’t feel like grabbing our masks. We perused the grounds from East to West taking in the sights from the beautiful vantage point. There were those stationary magnifiers to see long distance but I didn’t have any dollar coins and, generally, I find that such views are better from afar than in detail.
We walked around the graves surrounding the parish looking for the oldest one, which belonged to the original pastor, from 1678. We also stopped at a cool little sundial, although it was cloudy. We then ended our rounds at the grave of former Prime Minister David Thompson.
St. John’s was the final stop of our 4-hour tour of the East Coast and I must say, it is wonderful in a completely different way than our home in Dover. The East Coast is not for swimming, in general, but has magnificent wild scenery, nature that seems intent on owning the landscape and ample little treasures that are perfect destinations for the intrepid explorer in all of us.
Thank you Jerry for being kind enough to show us around in a way that only a local of the area could and I look forward to returning there for sightseeing and hikes very soon.