We left the house at ten for Pigeon Point Heritage Park, a private beach access area with a ton of activities and water sports available, unlike many of the smaller beaches. The entry cost is $20TT per person and gets you a wristband which allows you to enter and exit the facility if you want to walk as far down as to leave. It was just under an hour long drive, and upon arrival, I laid out a towel and started to relax in the cool morning. At this time of day, the island was the perfect temperature and I knew that by afternoon it would be too hot to lay in the sun. I worked on studying, moving between the sun, the shade, and the water for the first couple of hours before getting lunch from the Tradition Bar and Grill located on the far left side of the beach when facing the water. I tried the chicken tacos with a tequila sunrise, which was good but the chicken tacos were lacking in guacamole and so were a bit dry. The drink was also very strong, with more OJ it would have tasted far better, as it was I could only taste the tequila and I am not a fan of drinking straight mixing tequila.
Around 1:30 we walked to the other end of the beach to Radical Sports where we rented stand-up paddleboards. The rate was $140TT per person per hour. They had enough paddleboards for the large group of us that went and cubbies for us to keep our stuff for free while we went. We launched from a calm area on the beach but almost as soon as I stood up I was knocked into the water. I was so used to paddleboarding on lakes or in calm, protected bays, but here we were on the coast and the wind and waves were far more unpredictable. I was able to get back on easily enough and kneeled for most of the way out, as did everyone else. We did some paddleboard yoga, as much as we were capable of which mostly consisted of cat and cow. And relaxed and talked on the ocean in our own little world. On the way back I was able to stand and paddle for about fifteen minutes before a wave came along and toppled me and rolled my board, it wasn’t attached by an ankle strap like all of the ones I had tried at home were and so I had to swim back to and get my board, but it was too heavy for me to flip over without likely drowning. I was able to swim over to one of the other students who helped me flip my paddleboard back over and I was able to get back on, but for about five minutes it was the worst experience ever. We returned against the wind, which made it a lot more of an effort, but just as everything else on the island, time was liquid and it was no big deal that it took us a few minutes longer to get back. Overall, I would definitely go paddle boarding again despite the small trauma in the middle. I love being on the water and if I hadn’t been willing to take the risk of falling off again I wouldn’t have stood up.
If you’re interested in some of the more intense water sports offered at this beach there were jet skis for $50US, windsurfing, kite surfing, and a variety of others. The snorkeling at this beach isn’t great, and of note is that the salinity is significantly higher in the Caribbean sea than in either the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean and so it hurts if you swallow water or get it in your eyes and you float much more easily. You also don’t need to be as concerned about reef-safe sunscreen in this area because there is no reef off of this beach to damage. If you are interested in finding out whether your sunscreen is reef safe check for the presence of the damaging chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate.
We returned to the other side of the beach and relaxed for another couple of hours before returning to the house. I heated up my leftover chicken and rice and topped it with soy sauce and had a side of mystery greens. It was plain but it was good enough.
At seven we had our first ‘class.’ We gathered in a group and discussed what we had written about in our reflective essays, taking the time to think about some of the details that others had noticed that we may have overlooked the first time. We discussed the catcalling culture in Tobago and how, while it was still objectifying, it was not as aggressive as what I had experienced in the US. It also seemed to occur more often because we did a lot more walking here than anywhere else I had ever been and so there was more of an opportunity for it to occur.
We finished at nine and I went to bed to sleep away some of my exhaustian.