OTC Photo Archive

Creole Banksters

Haitian Rural Bankers www.oceantrader.co

A rural banker in Flande, Haiti poised for business. Nou pral pran ou lajan ou! Image © ocean trader

Store Taarne Gade’s 99 Steps

Caribbean Flora www.oceantrader.coYou can travel the length and breadth of the Caribbean, but you will not ferret out an island with more historical character and places to photograph than St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. When we were children we scampered up and down streets that were built in the 1700’s, played pirates in Riise’s alley and built Spanish galleons with discarded Drambuie boxes. The only place (I have seen) that comes close to this level of architectural temperament in a port city is Zanzibar, Tanzania. I will always remember the colorful array of tropical flowers lining both sides of Store Taarne Gade’s 99 Steps. Our Nye Gade posse would visit the 99 Steps to pick flowers, and count the steps as we descended. I remember the day it was noted that there are actually 103 steps; another historical diddle. Art by Joyce McKae – Image © ocean trader

Seascape Solitude

Buck Island, St. Croix www.oceantrader.coThis coastline panorama is paradisiacal and soothing partly due to the absence of man-made structures and people. Image © ocean trader

Anguilla’s Movie Stars

Caribbean A List Villa www.oceantrader.coAnguilla, West Indies is a diminutive island a boat ride away from Sint Maarten. The local airport ramp is normally gridlocked with wingtip-to-wingtip luxury jets, and commuter airliners. The locals have created a laid-back, but plush tropical retreat for the world’s wealthiest travelers. It is an island that the A List celebrities, and other powerful individuals have enjoyed for years – those that prefer not to attempt landing their Gulfstream and Challenger jets on St. Barthélemy. An invitation was extended to the Ocean Trader crew to photograph a rental property owned by a friend. The locals have developed the kind of real estate that most Caribbean islanders can only dream of. We arrived on schedule, but our host was not around. Instead we literally bumped into a real live movie star by the pool who apolgized for flying in a day early.  She was calm and polite and we showed our appreciation by giving her and her friend some still warm guava tarts, and a bottle of Jack Iron rum from Grenada.  My friend, the landlord, told us his movie star guest had her fixer foraging Anguilla for hot guava tarts. Ultimately he was directed to the old lady’s yard on Crocus Hill where the regular folk get their tarts and jams…simple pleasures. Image © ocean trader

Frederiksted Architecture

Old Fred'sted Buildings St. Croix VI www.oceantrader.coAn old upgraded building in the heart of Frederiksted, St. Croix in the Virgins reminds us just how thick those walls were built back in the day. Image © ocean trader

Boating Haven On Earth

Caribbean Yachting Capital www.oceantrader.coWe love it!   Image © ocean trader

Market Day

Caribbean Market Ladies www.oceantrader.coBuying locally grown produce from a farmer’s market or roadside vendors are still the best ways to source high quality organic vegetables and fruit. It was considered old fashioned at one point, but the younger generation is beginning to understand that all that pretty packaging featuring Red Dye No.40 and questionable preservatives is not the ideal way to fuel one’s body. If you did not grow up with a farming Granny and you can not tell one type of mango from the next, establishing Saturday as market day will help. Saturday is also optimum for swinging by the wharf for some fresh fish, and seasoning. Image © ocean trader

Gustavia Inner Harbor

Le Gustav Band Restaurant www.oceantrader.coLe Gustav Bar and Boutique in St. Barts is a convenient and fun spot for drinks and dining. The dinghy dock is considered a safe zone for leaving the dinghy while you wonder off. Image © ocean trader

Tax Relief

Caribbean Windsurfing www.oceantrader.coThis is just one way to unwind after tax day. For most, it is not the insane piles of money that the government collects on our behalf. The induced stress starts with witnessing the nonsense that these funds are squandered on. One man, one vote is meaningless against a monied oligarchy. Our tax dollars are no longer intended to benefit our communities. Bombs and Bullshit are expensive. Social welfare has been replaced with corporate welfare – the people making the bombs and shoveling the BS. When poor people embrace the interests of a conservative business class that is clamoring for more tax breaks and trade deals that only benefit the few, then sane men and women have good reason to be despondent. Image © ocean trader

Show A Little Skin

Caribbean Sailing Yacht www.oceantrader.coThis 30 meter New Zealand chariot was designed by Jussi Mannerberg and launched in 2000. When a yacht like this med-moors next to you, suddenly some of da gyals want to go borrow some sugar.  Those motorized secondary and primary winches are very impressive. Image © ocean trader

Caldera After The Floods

Atacam, Caldera Fishing Fleet www.oceantrader.coThe port city of Caldera, Chile in the Atacama appears picturesque and sedate in this photo, but just a few weeks ago this part of Chile including the town of Copiapo were inundated with continuos flooding of biblical proportions. The people that live in the Atacama desert areas are keen on reminding the world that “it never rains in the Atacama“. The recent floods claimed the lives of several people and devastated business and residential areas especially in Copiapo. For some insight into this region please read our previous blog on our travels to the Atacama: Sailing In The Desert. Image © ocean trader

Caribbean Secret

Haiti Ile a Vache www.oceantrader.coTraveling out to La Caye was a four hour drive on mostly good roads. Waiting for a boat ride to Ile a Vache required two additional hours and some negotiation, but we arrived with good daylight to spare. This destination is a must for anyone that wants bragging rights to being a true Caribbean traveler. Ile a Vache is an extraordinary outlier of Haiti. The islanders are hospitable and friendly, but being able to speak Creole or a little French will earn you extra points. Include this island on your emerging itinerary before wealthy Haitians convert this land into a leisure class ghetto and golf course  for the credit card crowd. Image © ocean trader

Mountain Air And Charcoal Fires

Haitian Countryside www.oceantrader.coThe angry crowds in Port-au-Prince were replaced with mountain roads, fresh air and sweet water from flowing streams. Near the end of every day on the road we would seek-out a property owner or farmer in the hopes of securing permission to pitch our tent. Unlike Africa, a ground tent can be used instead of a roof tent – no lions, hyenas or snakes (that I know of). Camping near a Haitian family afforded a degree of security we would not have on our own. The farmer or his children would sometimes sell us charcoal and 5 gallon jerry jugs of clean water. This routine was never a problem, and occasionally the Madam would throw-in a hot plate of Haitian rice and a bowl of brown beans. Heaven! The mountainous countrysides of Haiti are mesmeric and majestic. This photo shows the view from our campsite with the peaks of Sans Bouble in the distance. Image © ocean trader

Fos Opozisyon

Haiti Photo www.oceantrader.coRecent travel to Haiti was cut short by widespread street protests organized by growing opposition politics. When we noticed that the dry goods stores in Port-au-Prince were closing their wrought iron doors it was a clear signal that the protesters meant business. It is no secret that the polity is shifting quickly in this country. Haitians appear to be less tolerant of the US-backed President who has dissolved Haiti’s Parliament and now rules by decree. They also appear to be very intolerant of a prolonged armed UN occupation of their country. One thing that does not escape notice is how informed the average person appears to be when it comes to debating these issues publicly, or privately. Image © ocean trader

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