how the harbor will deceive thee

careless in our summer clothes, splashing around in the muck and the mire Cold War Kids

when i first came to st thomas, i walked along the waterfront and admired the blue of the water in the harbor. i wanted to jump in right away because it just looked so damn clean and refreshing on that hot august day. 

luckily, i didn't. 

when i moved here and started working on the boats, i learned of the grotesque contents of that deceptively pretty water. you'd never guess from just looking at it... how could something so contaminated look so beautiful?

but of course, those waters are home to scattered sailboats on mooring balls which aren't supposed to drop waste, but probably do. then stinky cruise ships spit their exhaust all over the harbor. world traveling yachts are scrubbed and sprayed on the docks there. and when it rains on the island, all of the "muck and the mire" is washed down the hills and into that somehow pretty water. 

when i was still learning how to sail, my hands were constantly covered in little cuts (who am i kidding, they still are). the boys quickly warned me about keeping my cuts clean to avoid staph infection. i wasn't sure how serious they were about it, but i washed my hands every time i held a dinghy line or put the boat on the mooring ball anyway. 

and thennn, i realized that about a third of the people i've met have had a staph infection since they moved here. either from working on the boats or handling things that were in the harbor or surfing in a cove that gets a lot of runoff. pretty gross.

so then i got a bit paranoid. (hence the little glimmer of terror in my eyes in the above picture of me on jordan's shoulders... don't drop me in the staph!). since i'm always cut and injured, i became diligent with the antibacterial soap. and that one time i slipped getting into the dinghy and fell waste deep into the harbor water before tony pulled me up? i sprinted to a pharmacy and bought the biggest bottle of staphiseptic they had. 

now, i know the little germs are there, hiding behind that pretty facade, but i've somehow been able to appreciate the beauty of the harbor despite that knowledge. because i haven't really seen the grime.

well today we had a nice big rainstorm pass through our corner of the caribbean. it was the sort of downpour i haven't seen since i moved from the states. 

we were doing maintenance on the catamaran in the harbor while it was raining. some time after it stopped, we looked out and there was trash littered all throughout the water. shane's first thought was that a passing boat dropped an open bag of trash, but then we realized it was too spread out for that scenario. 

we asked captain and he non-chalantly explained that the rain carried the trash into the water from the island. "it happens," he said. i wanted to hop in the dinghy and start picking it all up! where would it go?! what about the turtles?? why wasn't everyone freaking out about it?

this is all to say, what the hell can we trust nowadays? the irony of the cleanest looking water i've ever seen actually being the dirtiest is just a little much for my brain to process. 

don't even get me started on drinking water. has anyone seen this documentary? it's scary to think we can't trust the things we need the most. yeah?