Ta Ta to Trinidad and Tobago

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Sun 26 Jun 2011 21:00
Ta Ta to Trinidad (and Tobago)

The last few weeks have flown by as we have been arranging work for the
next few months while we return to the UK. We have also been up to our
eyes in dust as the deck is sanded ready for the application of a couple
of layers of epoxy and then non-slip paint. Yes, we have bitten the bullet
and decided to lift the teak, as, in the opinion of several wood working
specialists, it was past its prime and was of no help tracking down a
couple of leaks. It turned out that this was a good move, though not
necessarily from the bank accounts perspective, as we found that there was
a 2 inch crack in the fibreglass under the teak – quite why anyone would
lay teak over a crack is beyond us. Anyway this has meant cutting away
part of the deck and replacing some of the balsa core before reapplying
new fibreglass. This will be sanded again before the epoxy and non-slip
paint is applied. Nick and Augustus from Peakes are on the case and we
will be really keen to see how the new deck looks and feel when we return.

Nick is also keen to “peel” the hull rather than sand it to remove the
layers of antifouling and some osmosis blisters. To do the job properly
means taking out all the thru-hulls, some 21 of them, servicing them and
replacing the old gate valves which have been in Andromeda since she was
built. This makes sense from a safety perspective as gate valves are prone
to seizing either open or closed and the last thing we need is more water
in the boat. Also being done while we are away is the engine service and
overhaul of the cooling water system, the fridge – at last – and the last
of the electrical work not finished before we left Barbados. Clint is
bringing his sister’s boat to Peakes next month along with our new sails
and will work on the last few items. We have been very impressed with the
efficiency of Nick and Peakes are very confident of having a good job
done. Once the deck work is finished we can get on with the stanchions and
guardrail replacement.

We ventured out to the nearest shopping mall and large supermarket, a bit
of retail therapy for Susan who managed to find a hat and a watch and get
the groceries all in the hour and a half we were allotted. Last Saturday
Susan went to downtown Port of Spain with Vicky from Cinnamon Teal to go
fabric shopping. (can you tell the bits I am adding? The fabric in
Trinidad is fantastic, the kaleidoscope of colours that hit my eyes as we
went into the stores – well it was WOW – row upon row of brilliantly
coloured material of all sorts and at very good prices – I was exceedingly
good this time and only came back with three different pieces). Otherwise
we haven’t had the time to see much else of Trinidad so we’ll have some
treats to look forward to when we get back.

There is quite a community of cruisers here and each day there is a
cruisers net (Ch 68) at 8am where all sorts of information is exchanged
including weather, assistance with any problems and social events – lots
of trips to the swamps, pitch lake, turtles, howler monkeys, flowers and
shopping etc. Sunday evenings here in Peakes there is a barbecue and pot
luck dinner and it’s a great opportunity to meet other cruisers, the
majority of which at present are Dutch German . The plus side is
definitely the variety of ‘side dishes’ on offer as each boat brings a
dish or two for the table and last week our frittata contribution went
down very well.
Now, we would like to let you know where some of the folk we have met in
the last two years are and first of all well done to Ian and Glenda from
Lucy Alice for completing their Blue Water Rally round the world trip, in
Turkey, we are looking forward to seeing them again after saying goodbye
to them in Peniche, Portugal in 2009! Of our ARC friends, Jerry from
Bavarian Spirit and Trycha, Alice and Jilli from Triple D are back in the
UK, Laura and John from Rainmaker have just left the Azores for the UK and
Alan and Mary are taking the scenic route via Portugal. Celia and Andrew
from Alice are in New York, Graham from Nakesa is on his way to Nova
Scotia via Bermuda to pick up Altanta, Aston and Phaedra, and Lesley and
James from Coba Libra are working their way down the coast from Nova
Scotia towards New York as crew on Sulana. Tim and Vicky from Karinja
have made it to the Marquesas via Trindidad, Panama and the Galapagos and
are heading on towards Australia.

Friends from Lagos are also scattered across the western world – Sue and
Ron from Silver Cloud are heading towards the Balearics, Stephen and
Alison from Yo Ho Ho are in Madeira and planning to head to the Azores
before returning to Lagos for the winter. Sue and Steve from Kaivalia are
heading towards the Azores or Madiera, Andy and Lesley from Kodiak are in
Glasgow, intending to go back to the Canaries and continue sailing in the
next month or so, Helen and Mike from Island Drifter and are planning to
meet Liz and Ju from Little Else towards the northern end of Scotland as
part of their circumnavigation of the British Isles ( Ju and Liz are on a
summer cruise up there) and Andy and Michelle from Kerching 2 are heading
towards Turkey from Greece for the next winter. Bev and Alan from Clemmy
are cruising around southern Portugal and south west Spain before
returning to Lagos for the winter. Sue T from Tamar Swallow is in the
Azores – San Miguel- as part of the Azores and Back (AZAB) race but had to
retire from the first leg due to lack of wind and her crew being in danger
of missing the return the flight to the UK . We have our fingers crossed
for the second leg.

E-mail, Facebook , Skype and blogs are a great help in staying in touch
with the wonderful folk you meet cruising. Here in Trinidad we met Guy and
Deborah from Lady of Avalon who also crossed with the ARC and were talking
to Andrew Bishop from the World Cruising Club in St. Lucia when news of
our dismasting came through.

As for now, we are very excited about our trip back to the UK, with
weddings and births and so many people to see that we are under no
illusion of it being a holiday, more likely that we will be totally
exhausted by the end and will be looking forward to a break here on our
return – no chance of that however other than the couple of days in the
hotel on our return. So this will be the last post for a while but we will
certainly restart when we get back and you never know, we may get inspired
during the trip home. (We are staying in the little hotel run by Peakes
for a couple of nights to help with our leaving preparations and have a
very nice room and double bed and for the first time this year watched the
TV last night – Nick, Chris, Phil and Jenny will appreciate this bit, we
turned on the box, flicked through the channels and came across ‘Empire
Records’ being broadcast – say no more..... ).

Happy birthday to Nick today, we hope you had a great time, and thinking
ahead, happy birthday to Phill in a few weeks.

More in due course,

Susan and Andrew
s/v Andromeda of Plymouth
Trinidad, West Indies