Gliding through emerald water

It's at the end of this little dirt road

Have you ever visited a place, only to find after you leave that it has shifted your centre of balance?  A place that exhilarates you from the very first sight?  That you can barely tear yourself away from, because somehow you have chanced upon another world?  Somewhere that, whenever you remember it, your very breath changes pace.

Before I visited Tobago, I thought I had seen some stunning beaches.  Greece, Fiji, Australia, the Caribbean…so when everyone told me that Trinidad’s little sister island was gorgeous, I assumed that I would find more of the white sand beaches and clear acqua waters that I loved.

But no.  On Sunday 5 September, I visited a beach of such breathtaking beauty, of such soul-clutching serenity, that I can’t stop thinking about it.  In fact, even before I had pulled myself away for the long drive home, I felt this place shift my perspective forever. 

Englishman’s Bay, on the northern side of Tobago, a secluded white sand beach, perfectly shaded by palm trees, with crystal clear, emerald green water. 

Yes, emerald green. 

So clear I could see the bottom (easily over 2 m under the surface) and the fish swimming beneath me.  And, apart from some boats and about a dozen other people, I practically had this piece of paradise to myself.

After sinking into that cool, crystalline water, the colour changes immediately from clear to emerald until, around 20 m from shore, it drops down so deep, like an underwater cliff: your stomach leaps as you glide across that line to the dark abyss. 

All around you, green trees and rocks climb out of the water and the bay wraps around you like an embrace from God.  It’s almost as if He winked at me: “I suppose you never thought a place like this existed.”

As I flew out of Trinidad a few days later, we flew over Tobago.  I glanced down, and there it was: My Beach, reaching up to me. 

 I know one day I need to return to this paradise.

Some photo credits: and



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10 responses to “Gliding through emerald water

  1. Ginette

    Gosh you write so well… it makes me feel like I’m there!

  2. Thanks, Ginette. You really must try and go – it is amazing.

  3. Ginette

    Is it better than New York? I think a USA trip is next in line for me but if you think Tobago beats it I’ll have to convince the family to fly down there instead of the pacific islands next year.

    • Hey, Gin. I sent you a more detailed email on this, as your question is impossible to answer! New York and Tobago are so different that you can’t compare them: one is the most exciting, vibrant city in the world (at least that I’ve been to) and the other is a magnificent unspoilt paradise. For islands I would visit the Pacific Islands or Asia first, and recommend the Yasawa Islands in Fiji (unspoilt but not TOO hard to get to). Tobago is so difficult to reach from Australia, more a destination if you are in the US or London; otherwise it’s 4 flights and around 24 hours in the air from Sydney!

      As for New York, well, don’t miss it. It is a force to be reckoned with: where else can you see Al Pacino on Broadway and eat at some of the finest restaurants in the world? You will trip over icon after icon: there is nowhere like it on earth and once you go there, you will be planning your next visit.

      You must add Greece, and particularly Santorini, to your list too. No-one should live their life without experiencing the overwheming beauty and magic of Oia on Santorini, and the perfection that oozes from every pore.

  4. I’m not into beaches and water as you know – but gotta say it looks like something out of the The Beach (where’s Leonardo?). It’s the sort of place I would expect to see brilliantly-coloured parrots flying around.

  5. That looks absolutely stunning I must say! 😮 I’ve really known much about Tobago!

  6. Anna-Marie

    this is a recommendation that I cannot ignore! now if I could just myself over onto that side of the globe …..

  7. Anna-Marie

    if I could also learn to write English, it would help ….

  8. I’m still learning English, too…

  9. Pingback: A Tale of Two Beaches (Part II) « time2dance

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