Sunday, 13/04/2014. Chaguaramas, Trinidad. 10.40.75N 61.37.93W

David Batten
Fri 6 Jun 2014 11:48
We are sorry this is a rather late submission! Somehow in the rush to lay up the boat it got lost.
Thursday, 10/04/2014.  We managed to extract ourselves successfully from our berth in Port Louis after clearing customs at about 10.30 and had a good sail to Port Saline before the inevitable but quite comfortable beat to Prickly Bay.  Conditions were much more settled and the bay much less crowded than the last time we visited it and we spent a pleasant evening walking to the point before an early bed in preparation for a 5.00 am start in the morning.
Friday, 11/04/2014.  With the alarms set for 4.00 am, we were off in good time and by 5.00 am, the engine was off, the sails set with one reef in the main and a full genoa.  After scrambled eggs for breakfast and with the sun shining, we shook out the reef and were bowling along at 8 to 10 knots with the wind just forward of the beam, Alcedo’s favourite point of sail.  By 10.45 the rig “Hibiscus” which is the first one you come to sailing from Grenada, was in sight and we were making excellent progress.  Things got a bit more hectic as we approached the north coast of Trinidad, with a large tanker on a collision course that we had to give way to and some exciting wind shifts in the narrow channel between Monos Island and Trinidad.  So exciting in fact, that Jane handed the helm over to David, wisely as there was severe danger of an involuntary jibe and anyway, there were masses of birds to look at and some very impressive scenery.
betasmallThe rather imposing entrance to the Boca de Monas   betasmallThe port side of the Chanel and Scotland Bay
The impressive coast of Monos Island at the entrance of the channel and the more benign coast on the Trinidad side with a yacht in Scotland Bay.
Arriving in Chaguaramas, we had more excitement getting on and off the customs’ pontoon, as even though it was high water,  we went aground both getting to the pontoon and getting off the pontoon, to the extent that we had to lift the keel to get away.   Customs and Immigration was just a question of filling in the correct forms in the correct numbers (they have a plentiful supply of carbon paper much to Jane’s amusement). We enjoyed an exchange on the merits of having a Toy Boy with the very friendly lady behind the customs office desk. Documentation completed and after successfully extracting ourselves from the mud, we negotiated the very difficult manoeuvre in the tight space between the piles onto B pontoon.  Not our finest hour, with the Skipper determined to use the engine and the dockie determined to use warps only and more than usual lack of communication between all the parties on board.  However, it was achieved with no damage and we had time to take stock of Crews Inn and Chaguaramas Bay.
betasmallThe pontoons at Crews Inn   betasmallChaguaramas, the fishing vessal side
The rest of Friday, Saturday and Sunday has been spent getting to know our way around Crews Inn, which has a very nice swimming pool and thriving bird population and some of the yachting fraternity in Crews Inn.   The Skipper’s wife and Jane have also been bird watching early morning and late afternoon, with great enjoyment as there is a flourishing parrot population, tanagers, fly catchers, orioles, hummingbirds and thrushes, as well as numerous vultures, pelicans and frigate birds.
betasmallBlue Grey Tanager in a Papaya Tree at Crews Inn    betasmallJust one of the many vultures
A Blue/Grey Tanager in a papaya tree and one of the many Black Vultures in the car park at Crews Inn.
betasmallFly Catcher with supper   betasmallWalking on one of the back lanes
Tropical Kingbird with a very large insect and one of the tracks behind the boat yards which form part of the nature reserve at Chaguaramas.
Tomorrow we are going to the Asa Wright nature reserve in one of Jesse James's taxis, for some serious bird watching.  Skipper’s wife and Jane are really looking forward to it, the Skipper is less enthusiastic!