A Brief Trip Home - Aerial Photos of St Lucia and Trinidad

Mike and Liz Downing
Tue 10 Nov 2009 14:09
The antifouling on the boat (the paint on the bottom that stops the boat becoming a coral reef!) has not kept the marine life at bay and it's meant cleaning the bottom on a much too regular basis. While it's fun donning the diving gear to clean it the first few times, the novelty does wear off! We could not have spent another year fighting the growth, so we arranged for the boat to come out of the water in October. With it out of the water and in a secure boatyard, we thought it was a good opportunity to make a flying 3 week visit home to the UK to see family and friends. While there we also took the opportunity to restock on spares and other boat parts - we came home with very little, but brought 98kg back to Trinidad! Following our return we have been working flat out to get the boat rubbed down and re-painted for a re-launch in 2 weeks time on 23rd November.
When flying back to Trinidad we were able to book our seats online and chose the port (left side) on the basis that the flight stops at St Lucia on the way and we may get some good photos of the west coast of St Lucia. We were not disappointed - we got good pictures of St Lucia and Trinidad. If we had a telescope, we could have seen the boat in the boatyard from the air. 
Clouds over the Atlantic - we both like clouds!
Rodney Bay, St Lucia. The entrance to the Lagoon and marina is in the middle of the bay.
Marigot Bay, St Lucia.
The Pitons, St Lucia.
More clouds - between St Lucia and Trinidad.
Charguaramas, where we are in Trinidad, showing all the boatyards. The main marina is at the top of the picture.
Most of the boats in the bay are on buoys, The anchorage has very poor holding and if you do manage to get the anchor to hold there is a good chance that you will get hooked up to the debris on the bottom. This bay was used as an American base during the war and as a base for commercial ships after that, so there's a lot of junk at the bottom. It is still used for commercial fishing - big Atlantic long liners. Lines of 40 miles or more long with a 1000 or more hooks catch tuna for the American market - it's chilled in ice and transported to the airport as soon as it comes ashore. There's a dry dock facility (in the lower half of the photo) and also a lot of oil rig maintenance that goes on here. Trinidad gets most of its income from its offshore oil rigs and gas rigs. So it's not all yachts, but the majority of the land is taken up with yachts ashore and the services that support them. A large number of boats come here for the hurricane season to carry out maintenance and repairs, and get ready for the next season starting late November/early December. I suspect there are more yachts here than on the Hamble. 
View from our CrewsInn hotel room.
On our return to Trinidad we spent the first 2 nights in the hotel at CrewsInn, to give us time to sort things out before moving back on board. We don't like living on the boat when she's ashore. Nobody does as it's difficult to keep the boat clean as the yards are always gravel and dirty. Also we are living about 15ft up in the air, or at least the deck is and the ladder to get aboard (they chock you high here and we have a 2 metre keel). But it's only for 2 weeks if we keep to our schedule. Then it's re-launch, or splash as the Americans call it.