(Thank you for returning for the final part of our island saga. Sharon)

In the middle of our week, we decided to venture to a nearby island where Don could renew his diving skills. I, being a self-confessed deep water coward, decided to stay on the boat while Don and the guide, a young woman named Sarah, went off in search of sea creatures. I settled in, content to watch the colorful sail boats coming and going. One anchored near us and a gray-haired man proceeded to climb up to repair his riggings, sans clothing, completely oblivious to his neighbors. When Don and Sarah returned, I told them about the nudist sailor. Sarah shrugged and replied in her very precise British accent, “Well, I hope he didn’t get his dangly parts caught in the riggings.”

At the end of each day, we ooh and ah over the breath-taking sunset from our porch in the trees — the sun settling into the sea, finger-painting the sky in glorious hues of scarlet and fuchsia with ribbons of gold. As the last trace of color fades into the horizon, we amble off to dinner, dressed in our most formal t-shirts and shorts.

On clear nights, the awning is rolled back and we dine by candlelight under the stars on delicious Caribbean specialties and scrumptious desserts. We “pig-out,” agreeing that food with friends has no calories. We each save morsels for Cody, the green-eyed island cat, who sits politely and patiently under the table, waiting for treats.

On our way back to our cottage on our last night, we wander out to the end of the pier to stargaze, soaking in the beauty of the night and the peaceful solitude. Thoughts of our flight home tomorrow are clouded by the knowledge that we are returning to the aftermath of the horrific attacks of 9/11, just two weeks earlier. We wonder when, if ever, we will be this free, this safe, and together with our best friends.

We walk home in the darkness, guided by our “torches” (Brit for flash-light), and are in bed by nine. The moonlight through our bedroom window is bright enough to read, but reading doesn’t last long. The surf crashing on the beach lulls us quickly to sleep. I drift off, grateful for one more perfect day in paradise.

Sharon Canfield Dorsey is an award-winning poet and author of five books. Many of her travel adventures are shared in her memoir, Daughter of the Mountains, available on Amazon and from High Tide Publications.


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