Nearly Fairewell to Trinidad - the December blog

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Sat 22 Feb 2014 15:09
We were going to post the following blog just before we were leaving Trinni in December but as most of you know this didn’t happen, a further blog will be following on explaining all that occured.

Farewell and ending our time in Trinidad .......

Since our guests have returned to dear old blighty we’ve kept ourselves busy getting ready for our own departure from this interesting island, which we will be sad the leave. It has its problems for sure, but it also has some wonderful people, fantastic places to see and is a gem worthwhile putting on anyone’s list of places to visit.

So the rig has been checked and tuned – we’ll update you on how effective that has been – the batteries replaced and so far holding up well, the outboard has been severely spoken to by someone who knows the language (often involves the words “useless” and “Japanese”!) and thanks to Chris for this, and is now running well. The hull is clean and the inverter replaced, so we are good to go when Christmas is over and a weather window appears.

We were asked by Sue and Malcolm on Piano get help them get their sails hanked on and then go for a shakedown sail. This was the first time Piano was sailed after all the work they have had done to Piano and included new shiney gelcoat above the waterline and on deck – very spiffing it looks too. We were delighted to be asked, and after a good deal of heaving and puffing getting the sails on their furlers we ended up at Chacachacare island with Chris and Sharon from Quicksilver and Ray and Irene from C-Drifter. A jolly jolly good evening was had with chilli, garlic bread, red wine, stories and jokes. The island was, until comparatively recently, a leper colony and a fair bit of the original infrastructure remains. We were very curious as to why there were so many vultures flying around and couldn’t really get an answer or figure out what they were eating, unless it was locals climbing the hill, sunbathing on the beaches or us yachties relaxing on deck! However the sailing was excellent with Piano registering 8.2 knots as we beam reached into the sound – wonderful. Torrential rain the following day, and no wind, saw us motor back to Chaguaramas after what proved to be a successful trip with most things working and just a few not! Sue and Malcolm have now headed north, along with a few other yachts, and we may bump into them (not literally we hope) up island.

Susan has managed another few trips to Port of Spain and Jimmy Aboud’s so Debbie had a few more outfits and commissions on the order books! They are really well made though and the swimsuits and dresses and skirts are wonderful, as Sue and Suzanne and Susan will testify, and great value for money.

We had a very good manager’s Christmas Cocktail party with punch, wine, music and dancing with a bunch of other cruisers. Susan managed quite a bit of jigging around and the view was that it was the best do for nearly 14 years! The cruising community and Jesse also arranged a cook-out and boat jumble for charity with a considerable sum being raised for the less well off – this time we managed to return without buying anything we had contributed! We’ve also had some really well attended pot luck dinners and Mexican Train Domino sessions and met a whole new bunch of cruisers. We have even started to learn how to play Bridge – boy is it complex.

Meanwhile our tenants have refused to vacate the flat so we are now embroiled in legal proceedings and we had a scare when it was reported that the whole of Petworth Court was flooded after a contractor working on the reservoir down the road broke through a water pipe, curious eh?. And of course the flat is on the ground floor! However, we have been told that the flat is ok, the tenants have still not moved and are waiting to hear about the garage – stress or what at a distance of 4000 miles? Andrew’s hair grows greyer and longer by the day. Whether the tenants ever leave without the need for bailiffs, we’ll let you know, but it’s unlikely.

This year we spent Christmas with Debbie and her family, and experienced a “trini christmas”. And what a fun time we had, meeting the extended family, enjoying the “feast” and playing the Really Nasty Horse Racing Game – boy did our tums hurt after laughing so much. We had a great time and the family were wonderfully hospitable. Boxing day evening saw us trying various flavours of Aquavit courtesy of Swedish and Norwegian friends – wow, what a constitution they have......Andrew was defeated and woke with a headache!

So we are leaving Trinidad and Tobago with some sadness. We have had a great time during the three years hurricane seasons we have stayed here and met some fantastic local people, amazing cruisers and some distinctly odd folks as well. Such is life. Don’t be put off by the stories you may hear of the island, its people and its culture – experience it for yourself! The economy has done well out of us but we do not regret coming here at all. Brian, Dennis, Falco, Avi, Graham, Jonas, Nick, Greg, Maxwell, Suzanne, Debbie, Jesse, Sharon-Rose, Tara, Sterling, Stanley, Derek, Peakes lift crew, Crews Inn dock crew and reception,Charmaine, Melina, Marvin, Robert,Carl, Rick, Ash et al, have all done us proud and their experience, expertise and humour has got us through some tricky times. And the cruisers we have met who’s stories and experiences are fascinating and, in some circumstances, awe inspiring have also made our time here all the more worthwhile, not to mention the Aquavit!

We are now committed to ARC Europe 2014 and are due to leave from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands in early May for the trip back across the Atlantic to Lagos.

Will post some more photos promise when we next get fast interent...
More in due course................

Susan and Andrew,
Andromeda of Plymouth,
Crews Inn Marina,
Trinidad and Tobago

You know you are a cruiser......
You have forgotten what a white T Shirt looks like - only 50 shades of grey (and not the book).
A literary evening involves several yachties together with their pilot books and notes.
When you try to sleep on land you find you can only sleep in hammock after rocking it.
You understand and pay attention to the entire weather forecast.
You spend weekends sitting in your cockpit with a boat hook beside you, waiting to fend off the next rental boat operator.
You can heat your home with a Bic lighter.