10:40.859N 61:37.917W Back to Trinidad
– Finished work, well maybe I didn’t finish, but I left anyway
– for the 7th year in a row.
– Did the last minute things that have to be done.
– went for a cup of tea with Gill, then set off for Seaford to see Tracey
and Anne and then on to Saltdean for a final farewell to my Aunt. I have
spoken to Zoe and my Sister and now it is time to say goodbye to my long
suffering Mother and catch for the coach to the airport.
This is the
start of the real going home journey and I love it. The stress drops off with
every mile I get nearer the airport and then with every hour I get closer to
chose the coach specifically because there were no changes, but we had to
change at Gatwick. Luggage on, luggage off, luggage on, luggage off; in true
Karate Kid style.
Heathrow Terminal 5, looks impressive in the dark. The place is deserted, but
they leave all the lights on, not very green. With all those C02 emissions
from the planes you would think they would make an effort.
upstairs to departures. There were few seats which I am sure they would call
ergonomic, I would call them hard rubber/plastic. I found one of the few that
had two seats without an armrest in the middle and could lie down for a nap.
to take my luggage to the loo, incontinent luggage and my seat had been snapped
up by the time I got back. I decided to do some e-mail as I could pick up
the balcony I saw arrivals with Costa Coffee and comfy leather couches that
would have been a more sensible place to sleep – my 20:20 hindsight is
once more in peak condition.
5.00am and the checkouts opened. I had checked in online and only had to drop
my luggage off. Some of the checkouts lit up as Check In and some as Fast
Drop; I fail to see the difference. I could not drop off the luggage until 3
hours before my flight, which is at 9.35, so I went downstairs to Costa. I did
not get a coffee and sit on the soft seats, but I did sit on a ledge on the
other side and plug into the socket.
7.00 with a
fully charged battery I set off for Fast Drop, it wasn’t. I had to pick
the queue where the printer was not working. We moved to Group Check In and
that was the bags gone off somewhere, hopefully Miami. Someone else had to
queue for an hour and did not consider it fast, but that is what we Brits do,
we queue. I went through Security to Departures and a quick look in the
shops. It all seems very expensive. Is this an automatic reaction because I
have no job, or because they have Harrods and not Poundland here.
8.00 All I
have to do now is watch my flight progress up the boards. I started the
morning on board 3, have just moved onto board 1 and soon set off for the
boarding gate. 9.35 Off we go.
I watched 3
films; lunch and tea was included, although I did not eat it. It is the long
way to Trinidad via Miami. The captain said that we did not have to collect
our baggage, he checked with the ground crew and assured us again. We were
told by a BA official that the luggage was being checked through and it was
announced at Miami over the intercom. When we got to Customs without luggage
they were rather skeptical. We said what we had been told, repeated and
assured and his response was – ‘and you believe that?’ We
shall have to see.
I have lost
5 hours, so it is only 2pm here. I stepped out through the exit, it is hot
here in Miami, I like it. I must have been out there for several seconds, but
enough of the USA, I have a terminal to pace.
took off for Trinidad. This time I decided to sleep all the way as I was going
to arrive at midnight and would have been up for 48 hours. Perhaps a later
start with a rush on Monday morning would have been more sensible, but Sensible
is not my middle name.
July Midnight, Piarco Airport, Trinidad. I came out of Customs and was soon
being hugged, Mikey had seen me coming out of Customs; how many people get a
hug on arrival by their taxi driver. It is nice to be remembered. We drove
back to Chaguaramas and Mikey filled me in on the news. My friend Jim had gone
back to Ireland for a few weeks and I was going to ask him to get me a ladder
to the boat. 1am luckily the boat is near the yard stores and so we lugged an
end of scaffold tower to enable me to get on board.
my arrival at 8am on the Cruisers Net and got several hello calls soon after
and met a few people I know. It is good to be back, but it is very hot and
electricity had been unplugged, so the dehumidifier had not been working. The
extension cable had gone and the plug was hanging in the rain and damp, how
long for I wondered. I e-mailed Jim and he said that he had told Calvin at the
beginning of June, but the boat was not damp and the batteries were charged, so
no harm done.
It was the
last day to get anything on the boat delivery from Miami and so I ordered a
130w 5’x2’ solar panel, all I need now is to decide where to fix
it. I also ordered a new 2 speed winch, but that is not in stock and has to
come Fed Ex.
I did see a
small lizard, there are always lots here, but this was totally knock you eyes
out bright green.
There is a
pool here, about 12’ square,and I have decided to go in today and every
day. It is very warm.
My cash card
did not work at the ATM and the bank could not help. I had not taken any money
with me so had to come back. I invested over half of my TT$ in some internet
time and I spent the day tidying the boat; there is just not enough room for
all this stuff.
This is the
rainy season and it rained all day. It made a change from the normal 90 degree
heat with up to 98% humidity. Jesse the other morning described the weather as
crisp, well it was only 80 degrees.
I am the
whitest person on this part of the planet. Most people like to try foreign
food, that seems to extend to the mosquitos here.
I took my
few remaining TT$ and topped up my phone which reinstated my expired credit. I
walked all the way to the bank in the other direction, only to find the cash
card did not work there either. I e-mailed the bank and waited. I have had to
use a few of my US$ emergency cash.
Texas Hold’Em players are away at the moment, so no Poker tonight.
I had asked
at 2 places yesterday about cutting me 3 pieces of wood, but had to go back for
the estimate. I was ready to set off, but even if I got an estimate now I
would have to go back later and get the wood. I had found a piece of wood
which was the major section of a large board. It was soaked and looked rough,
but perhaps it was worth a try. I had stood the wood up under the boat off the
mud and it had dried. I had to get started sometime, so I got out the tools. -
Jigsaw, mouse sander, other mouse sander (which had the sandpaper in it) big
drill, small drill and assorted small tools. Using the cockpit and my knee as
a workbench I cut up the wood. Once the wood was sanded it was clean and I had
decided to cover it anyway.
I put a
shelf in each of the three tiny cupboards. They are good enough and covered in
material. I was pleased that I had done it myself, especially when the
measurements were not quite correct. I did not pay enough attention in maths
to be sure about the shape; they are rhomboid or trapezoid, but certainly not
right angled. This is a boat, it is curved with no straight bits and a right
angle is a highly sought after item. I also fitted a shelf in the bathroom.
I was left
with 3 x1’ rails from the cupboards and 1x2’ rail from the bathroom
and have found new homes for all but one small rail.
drinks with Mike and soon there were 8 of us. Half of us dipped out early, but
some of them stayed until after midnight - real 24.00, not Cruisers Midnight,
which is 21.00.
phoned me and said it was a security issue and the block would be taken off and
I could get cash, I would try later.
I decided to
make an assault on the aft cabin and the cockpit locker. The locker is organized,
but the back cabin is just full of stuff that I have nowhere else to put.
I have got
round to reconnecting the gas, I could cook now, I won’t, but I could.
It was so
hot that I went for a lunchtime swim.
evening I went to the Shark’n’Bake – battered shark (fried,
not beaten up) in a bun with salad; obviously I declined. I think I could have
managed just the fish, maybe some other time. We went over to the shop to get
some beer and I tried my cash card, still no cash. Then we moved to the BBQ at
my marina and met some more new people.
Today is the
social highlight of the week, Mexican Train Dominoes. I will spend the morning
trying to sort the saloon, which is now full of tools and everything from the
me to the end of my first week back in Paradise.
It is 8.30
here and I am sitting in the cockpit with a cup of tea and a biscuit and my
favourite mug which says: ‘A bad day on vacation always beats a good day
are and whatever you are doing, enjoy!