The pulse of change is everywhere, like a fresh burst of oxygen breathed in by the island. Each weekday afternoon, just before 5pm, I race the sun to the water’s edge for my swim as night descends earlier, darkness closes upon the beach by 6pm.
As I swim, the water has calmed down: Hurricane season has officially ended and you can feel the collective sigh of relief. The region got through without too much damage in St Kitts, although while I was in Cuba, St Lucia and St Vincent were smashed by Hurricane Tomas and 14 sadly died on St Lucia.
Winter drifts across the Caribbean, bringing more tourists who flee the icy winters of the US, Canada and Europe, and the relief of cooler weather accompanying bright and brilliant days. Cruise ships pile into the harbour, pouring out snappers in their thousands who overrun my little island and stomp all over my beach. I smile in my knowledge that, once again, the snappers are busy gaining impressions of a place which I am fortunate enough to have become part of, and wonder if I will ever be forced to cruise rather than to travel by lingering and exploration. Some day, probably.
The average temperature for St Kitts doesn’t vary much throughout the year: 26-31 degrees, with little variation way above or below the averages. The trade winds cool off summer, but in winter they make things positively chilly. When I emerge from my afternoon swims, after watching a ship depart and the sun drop beneath the horizon, I am positively cold, something I never expected here.
I, too, feel the change: soon, at last, even though just for a little while, I will be home.