10:41.00N 61:38.00W Returning to Trinidad - Part 2
If Knot Y Knot
Wed 5 Mar 2008 19:11
Spent the day at Union Island and was intending to leave at first light
Thursday. I knew I should have left before dark today, but had not rested
and wanted another night of sleep. I had to give in to reason and at 10pm
got 2 hours sleep and left at midnight, the morning would have been too
late for me to arrive in Trinidad in daylight. This was actually a first
for me as I had never left in the dark before.
Thursday - 00.04
The wind was 150 degrees behind me and the current was west, so why was
the boat heading into Carriacou, which was East. I had the wind vane
operating and was hand steering hard, what was wrong? It all looked ok,
and that was the clue. I had been into wind for so long, the wind was now
behind me and I had moved the vane 30 degrees off to steer 150. I was had
steering 150 (180 - 30) degrees and the windvane was steering 30 degrees.
I had to turn the vane 180 degrees and then take off 30. I could not see
the balance weight in the dark, I was so used to the vane into wind and I
was a little tired. That sorted my little world improved greatly.
I went past Grenada the next day. I was tempted to leave the boat in
Grenada, but I am not insured there for a named storm and it was silly to
risk it for the sake of another 80 miles. I carried on. The wind went
south on me, it came from 180 and I was trying to go 190 and with a
westerly current. This is why I had bought the guide to Venezuela, just
in case I ended up there and could not fight my way back to Trinidad.
In the night I was in the oil field for many hours. The wind was strong
and against me. I either went fast in the wrong direction or sat
virtually still for hours. It was difficult, but I watched the ring of
oil wells and platforms around me.
In the morning I could see the mountains of north Trinidad. The sea was
like a washing machine, but I gradually approached. My telephone had a
signal so I phoned a marina to see about going on the dock today and
hauling out tomorrow. The haul was fixed for Saturday and I phoned Jim in
the same marina to let him know I was arriving. He checked with the lift
operator who said he did not do hauls on Saturday; should the office not
be aware of this small fact? I had to haul today.
I had to remove the sails before going on the yard and so I decided to do
this before I got in. My sails are furling ones and not designed for easy
removal at sea, but I managed to get them stuffed down the fore hatch into
the front cabin. If anything happened to the engine now I did not have a
I motored in and arrived at the customs dock at 1pm and then reversed into
the Coral Cove haulout slip. Jim had to collect a parcel from customs and
had come over to help. Hunter was also collecting a parcel, so I gave him
a lift back and together they made sure I did not bump into the posts. I
wanted to change the oil while it was still hot, but did not want to
disable the engine, just in case something unexpected happened.
The haul out went well and I went to the office. They had given me a
price, but forgot to mention that they have a 40 foot minimum charge for
everything and at 33 feet that means the price is 20% higher for me, but
they would not honour the amount they had said over the phone. Various
other things were wrong, but I let it all go as I was tired and did not
want to upset them before leaving my precious charge in their care for
I went to dinner with Jim and we joined Hunter and Devi, Arctic Tern.
Spent most of the day trying to book a flight on the internet. 3
frustrating hours later I had a flight for very early Thursday morning.
Preparing the boat for storage. I found time for dominoes in the afternoon.
More tidying and sorting. In the evening I went to the BBQ at TTSA and
met up with the people I knew over there. 4 of us walked back along the
road in the dark. Most people will not do this, but the police patrol car
passed us at least 3 times and we were prepared. If you were a park
ranger in Alaska obviously you would have Bear Spray, and if it is good
enough to stop a rampaging grizzly them I felt quite safe, also we had a
big air horn. Not quite the normal walking conditions, but if it lets you
go out at night then why not.
Went shopping with Ricky and Wendy into Port of Spain. In the evening we
had the Thursday night poker session, specially moved forward for me.
Got a printout of my flight itinerary and then went through the departure
process with customs and immigration. The rest of the tidy up and then
tomorrow it is off to the airport in the small hours for my flight, via
Miami, back to the UK and work.