SailTrek | Episode 6 | History, Art, and Recovery
(bright music) - Get your passports ready. - "SailTrek" is next. (upbeat music) (bright music) - Join us this week as we sail the Star Flyer to places that are truly unique.
Tony Harris visits an estate that links Caribbean and US history. (upbeat music) - [Tony] The Caribbean is well known for its lush and beautiful landscapes. Many of the islands offer ideal growing conditions, not only because of the wonderful weather, but because of the soil, rich volcanic soil. (upbeat music continues) (calm music) (upbeat music) (calm music) (upbeat music) The historic Wingfield Estate represents a connection to the storied history of sugarcane production in the Caribbean, and also a fascinating connection to the United States. Wingfield was not only the first working estate for the island for tobacco, sugar, and rum, but it was originally owned by Sam Jefferson, the great-great-great-grandfather of Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third president of the United States.
(upbeat music continues) (calm music) It's been many years since rum was produced on the grounds, and there was little evidence of this part of the estate's history. That all changed in 2013, when the original rum distillery was discovered. Buried for many years, it's been excavated, and has led researchers to believe that it was, in fact, the oldest rum distillery in the Caribbean, dating back to at least 1681.
(upbeat music) (calm music) (upbeat music) Wingfield Estate, a connection to the past that is not only part of Caribbean history, but a gateway into the founding of the United States. (upbeat music continues) (calm music) (calm music) - One of the great things we find each time we visit someplace new are the fascinating and unique people we didn't expect. Tony Harris introduces a fine artist capturing the beauty of Saint Lucia.
(calm music continues) (upbeat music) - [Tony] The "SailTrek" team is very much a family of diverse talents and interests, but the one thing we all share is an abiding love of the Caribbean, its people, culture, food, and in the case of our chief videographer Taimy Alvarez and correspondent Germaine Georges, a great love of art. (upbeat music continues) - I've been working here for the past 10, 15 years. I come from London originally, and I settled in Saint Lucia in 2006, and I've been painting ever since. Inspired by the beautiful scenery that's around me, I always enjoy painting landscapes.
So this is my passion, and this is what I've been doing ever since I've been here. (upbeat music) People come here from all over the world. And in terms of the community, we have the palm crafts section and the carvings in souvenirs gift shop, and we sell work for them, because most of them haven't really got anywhere where they can sell their products, so we accommodate them.
We work with them, work as a team, so anything they have to sell, they contact us, and say, "Oh, we have this to sell. Can you sell it for us?" And we say, "Yeah, come along." Some we buy and some we take on a consignment basis, and we do it that way. So whenever we sell something, we ring them up to say, "Well, this is your money," and they come and get it. (upbeat music) So I love the landscapes, especially here in Saint Lucia. There's so many beautiful sceneries around.
So landscapes have always been something I enjoyed painting, 'cause I like nature. (upbeat music) (waves splashing) (birds twittering) When a lot of people come here, they always want to come back because of the landscape. It's very beautiful. I mean, most of the islands are, but this one is very different.
I'm talking from personal experience. When I came, I loved the landscape, and if you love landscape art as much as I do, then it would appeal to you. (upbeat music) (Hattie chattering) So I did the hummingbird, and then, a couple of weeks later, I shipped it to the lady in Germany, and then, a few weeks later, we went to La Brea.
I sat on the jetty at 6:00 in the morning. We did this painting. I came home. And then, a couple of weeks later, an American gentleman came and bought it, and then I was quite happy, and that was my day. Every piece in the gallery has a story, and that's what's nice about it.
When you go out and you paint, you come back, you have a story to tell. (upbeat music) - We're aboard this magnificent tall ship, the Star Flyer, a connection to an earlier time when tall ships ruled the seas. On our stops, we see island beauty, but also resilience after destruction. Jim Scott explains.
(tranquil music) (mud bubbling) (tranquil music continues) (birds twittering) (people chattering) (tranquil music continues) (mud bubbling) (tranquil music continues) - [Jim] Many of the islands in the Caribbean are volcanic in nature. Some are dormant. Some, like the Sulphur Springs in Saint Lucia, have been turned into tourist attractions. But lest one believe that Mother Nature is asleep, witness the event of April 9th, 2021, when the La Soufriere volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines erupted. For weeks and months afterwards, the region was plagued by volcanic ash and fears of more eruptions.
But Saint Vincent has survived with the help of its neighbors and the resilience of its citizens. As we hear in this report from our friends at the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, Saint Vincent is well on the way back to normalcy. (bright music) - Actually, most of these valleys are dry ephemeral streams, so they only flow during heavy rainfall. But as you can see, during the eruption, they had damage.
The ash came down, and it broke a lot of the foliage off, but they're springing it back. - Well, life in the last six months has not been the same as before because of the eruption. - The difference that I see today is that at least the landscape is green.
And this is, compared to what I saw when I came here, a great sign of hope. - The future is uncertain. But the efforts that we make to address these uncertainties, those efforts are within our purview. - But I also see that people manage to take the control of their life because they are extremely resilient, and that's something that we could witness. - At the time of the volcanic eruptions, the UN representative and myself launched a UN global appeal. When the 500 vulnerable families, when they're being taken care of with psychosocial support, that's the work of UNICEF.
- Because in this time of crisis, COVID-19, the only way to overcome those difficulties is really through unity and through solidarity. These are the values that the United Nations is promoting. - When persons go to Western Union and get monies every month, that's the work of the World Food Program. - So there's another 41 houses to be built. We have to relocate 68 homes.
- Most of our agriculture have been destroyed, and, like, you gotta start from scratches again. - Take it one step at a time and see where things go. With the Soufriere did blow, and then COVID, we still have to watch how things will be ending up. - But the plans that are being put in place shows that we have a bright future. - We know that we have the La Soufriere up there still, so we still have to be prepared for if anything happen.
Event that it erupt again, you have to just be prepared. (upbeat music) - Another great week of stories we really enjoyed sharing with you Patricia and I will see you soon. Keep the wind in your sails, and join us again for "SailTrek." (upbeat music)