National Geographic : 1965 Dec
emergency. He would not only keep Finisterrein trim, but would liberate me for unworried exploration ashore. The third member of the crew was to be Winfield Parks of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC photographic staff. One of his first pictures to gain widespread fame was of the 1958 America's Cup defender Columbia. Thousands of photo graphs were taken that summer, yet Win's came closest to capturing the essence of the way of a boat with the sea. Win took his turn at the wheel and helped as much as any man could, even to defying the old seaman's motto: "One hand for the ship and the other for yourself." In Win's case, it was frequently one hand for the ship, one for a camera, and only an eyelash for himself! We had arrived in time to celebrate Old Year's Night, Grenada's way of saying New Year's Eve. Since Christmas, Henry had been listening to music rolling down the hill sides as the musicians practiced. "Have you ever heard a steel band playing carols in calypso rhythm?" he demanded, preparing me for the evening's "jump-up," native slang for a dance. From junked auto parts and discarded oil drums, artists fashion instruments producing weird but compelling music. As the stars revolved overhead, tempo and volume increased, until the whole island seemed floating on the waves to a jungle beat. Storm Caught Grenadians Off Guard When Grenada returned to an even keel, I found the big gest change since my last visit was due to the passage of Hurricane Janet in 1955, which left 137 dead. The Grena dians had considered themselves out of the storm belt, as the centers usually passed to the north. "Nobody took the warnings seriously," I was told by Mrs. Clive Belizaire, who lives on the hill next to Government House. "At seven on the evening of September 22, the Gov ernor came on the radio to say the eye of the storm would pass over St. Vincent, and asked us to pray for the people. "Then, instead of hitting St. Vincent, the storm struck us on Grenada at nine. Our strongest winds came at about eleven, when the front door blew in as the back door blew out. All our windows went. A tree crushed part of the roof. My husband and I finally crouched on the floor under our heaviest table in four inches of water. "Many roofs from the houses on the slope below ended in our yard. People kept coming by asking if I had 'seen a red roof,' or 'a green roof,' and I'd say to go look, we had plenty to choose from." It was only on visiting Dougaldston Estate, one of the oldest and largest plantations, that I realized what such a disastrous storm meant to a community depending on the products of slow-growing trees. "We lost almost 80 percent of our potential cacao produc tion," said William P. Branch, manager since 1908, a spry gentleman who confided that he was not 28 but 82. "Before the storm we made 1,200 bags; in 1956 we shipped 180. Ten years later we are only back to 700 bags. Our nutmeg and mace production suffered even more. Most of our trees were blown down. It is five or six years before a nutmeg tree 'declares' by putting out blossoms. Then male trees must 764 Race horses move fast in Gre nada, but islanders prefer a leisurely pace. At the Seamoon Track near Grenville, railbirds (above) and grandstand belles (right) shout for speed from their favorites in the stretch. Slow-moving buses, each paint ed with its own distinctive name (lower right), labor up and down steep, winding roads linking island communities. Beneath her green burden, banana bearer (below) saun ters toward the open market in St. George's, the capital.