Toiling again in Trinidad
Toiling (still) in Trinidad –
So, after travelling some 6000 miles around the UK seeing lots of friends and family and a fair amount of the country itself, we arrived back in Trinidad by way of an enforced stop-over in St. Lucia. All because the BA 777 we were travelling on developed a fault while we were waiting on the runway in St. Lucia for the passengers and a crew change who were joining our flight to Trinidad. We subsequently found out that the problem had originated in Gatwick which was why we had to wait for an hour after our scheduled departure time to take off, not that the crew said anything of course. The issue was with the cabin pressurisation system which is, after all, pretty important when flying at 39,000 feet. However, due to the circumstances, we were put up overnight in a 5 star Sandals hotel complex which was very tough indeed. This was an all-inclusive resort not far from Rodney Bay and something we haven’t experienced before. Needless to say we tried to enjoy ourselves – curiously the restaurant menu did not have prices, merely calories; some things in life are really tough! Our room was beautiful and more importantly included a big bath so in the time available Susan managed to cram in 3 dips in the tub..........
After being picked up the following day at 11.30 we joined the BA flight down to Trinidad and finally arrived a day late, and after a much improved experience with the Immigration and Customs staff, shared a taxi back to the boatyard. We were really pleased to be back. The humidity, the rain, the sun and the people were all a familiar and very welcome and of course we went straight over to make sure Andromeda was still there.
The following morning after another much quicker visit to the Customs and Immigration here in Chaguaramas and delivering a few bits and pieces we had been asked to bring out from the UK, we finally made it up the ladder and onboard Andromeda. Several trips back and forth saw us hauling all the bags up and we started the task of putting everything away – stuff taken to the UK (not a lot really)and stuff brought back (including a whole new second large bag needed for it all), of course we were a little overweight on the baggage allowance but at no extra charge! Result! She’s creaking at the seams and we now have a page jobs to get on with before we set off up island across the blue water in search of new adventures.
Naturally there have been a few other activities to engage in between the sweat and the toil! One involved a final race on Wings with a crew of 14 – not much space it had to be said. However the winds were fickle and generally light which led to a shortened course and finally, with the finish line ½ a mile away, a race abandoned call. Typical. And we were leading! However the evenings’ food and wine made up for the disappointment and a good time was had by all. We didn’t even manage to get the spinnaker up such were the fluky winds. First, starting as usual from the east, then the west – almost unheard of, and the finally the east again, but too late for the racers.
A second trip was over to Caspar Grande, an island to the south west of Chaguaramas, to see some caves. Not particularly extensive, but a home to fruit bats and a lovely, lovely cool pool, fed from the sea. Wonderful. The island is really a second home island for the wealthy Trinis – there was a marina and resort once upon a time, but wind and waves and weather have taken their toll so its no longer in use, alas. Caspar Grande was originally a whaling island and now is home to some 6 species of snake, including a Boa Constrictor. All in all a relaxing way to spend a morning – the bats were surprisingly vocal given the time of day, and alongside the electric lights installed for safety there were some gloriously brilliant shafts of light from above ground and our guide let those who wanted to, have a swim in the pool and we can testify that the water was gorgeous. Once back down on the dock waiting for our ride back we were able to enjoy a dip in the sea too, certainly beat just sitting around.
Susan has been into Port of Spain with her usual gang of “ladies wot shop and lunch” and has now some new custom made swimsuits and bikinis and great they look too. A lady called Debbie makes them at a very reasonable price and is well worth seeking out. Susan has also resumed her Net Controller duties – only took a few days before she was approached, and Andrew is back on weather duty for the foreseeable future until we leave.
Jobs continue apace and we now have a launch date arranged – this means the anti-fouling can now be scheduled and the engine re-test also agreed. The dinghy has been overhauled and the slow leak sorted, the anchor chain has been re-marked, wind vane has been serviced, cable for the second wind generator routed, the propeller has been anti-fouled, additional cleats fixed, replacement gas sensor and alarm fitted and tested and we are ready for the shrink-wrap to come off – a test of the hatches is looming!
We had a nice evening with friends at a pot luck barbecue for our anniversary – 35 years – and we seem to be pretty unsual amongst the cruising folks, still being together (with our original partner) after such a long time! This is the time of year when folks start moving off for their cruising season, so whilst we see familiar faces arriving in Chaguaramas, we are also seeing familiar faces setting off – some to the west, most to the north and a few hardy souls heading south towards Brazil and Guyana. Some we may see during the season and next hurricane season, but some we’ll only remain in touch with by e-mail. We have come across some wild, wonderful and very interesting folks out here.
More as and when..........
Susan and Andrew
Andromeda of Plymouth
Photos to follow